Instagram Billionaire Gucci Master Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Money Laundering and Fraud
Ramon Abbas was arrested two years ago on fraud charges and extradited to the United States from Dubai, UAE. Abbas pleaded guilty in 2021 and was sentenced on Monday.
A former star of Instagram’s glamorous influencer circuit will spend time behind bars after admitting he made most of his fortune through a massive, international money laundering and fraud scheme.
A federal judge sentenced Ramon Abbas, 40, to 11 years in prison after he pleaded guilty last April. Federal prosecutors said Abbas worked alongside a large, global money-laundering operation. now inactive The Instagram account that had 2.5 million followers. That money was laundered, according to prosecutors, to about $1.3 billion, some of which was the result of cyber heists allegedly carried out by North Korean hackers.
In the original complaint, the U.S. Attorney’s Office called Abbas “one of the leaders of a transnational network” of hackers and fraudsters that laundered literally tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars at a time. Prosecutors alleged that beginning in 2019, Abbas helped launder money by moving it between his and an associate’s bank accounts. Prosecutors also said the couple worked Business email compromise a fraud scheme by contacting companies under false pretenses and then offering instructions on how to transfer money to their bad accounts, as well as transfer to banks via SWIFT requests.
a a lengthy work on Abbas According to Bloomberg earlier this year, he is a pop culture celebrity in Nigeria due to his alleged lavish lifestyle, although online social circles often referred to him as “Nigerian Big Boy,” a sly way of saying he’s something of a con artist. : Although, as evidenced by her lengthy Instagram pictures and videos, her public life has been a pose in front of world travel and multiple Ferraris.
In his plea, Abbas admitted that he also helped convicted money launderer Galeb Alaumari open foreign bank accounts so he could help launder the 13 million taken from a Maltese bank originally stolen by North Korea-linked hackers. Alaumari, who was living in Ontario, Canada at the time of his arrest, was was sentenced to 11 years in prison in September.
Abbas’ attorney, John Iweanoge, did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment. He said Bloomberg In the immediate aftermath of Monday’s verdict, “everything is on the table” regarding Abbas’ 11-year sentence, although appealing the decision could be difficult given his guilt. Iweanoge told reporters they originally thought Abbas would probably only have four or five years.
Before sentencing, letters to the judge pleaded for leniency. One, sent by Regina Mariam Manne, said her arrest had a “huge impact on her family,” as well as her four-year-old son, Raymond Abbas, with Abbas.
Reports from the trial also said Abbas told the judge he was “desperate” in 2019 when he began accepting offers to help launder the funds. Abbas has used the name “hushpuppi” since at least 2014 and was only active until 2020, when he was arrested, according to court records.
Born in Nigeria, Abbas was reportedly living in the lap of luxury in Dubai, surrounded by his private jet and other luxury vehicles, when he was arrested Along with alleged co-conspirator Olaleka Jacob Ponle, who passed @mrwoodbery on Instagram. Police SWAT teams seized Abbas’ 13 luxury cars and $40.9 million in cash before handing him over to the U.S. Dubai police also claim to have found the addresses of nearly 2 million “victims” and more evidence of a planned $435 million “theft” :
The latest available court documents show that Ponle was still in plea negotiations.
The fact that Dubai does not have an extradition treaty with the US does not seem to have swayed the international police. Written by the US Department of Justice he was “kicked out” of the United Arab Emirates. Abbas’ lawyer called it a “kidnapping” at the time.
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