Following his arrest under Operation Fox Hunt 2 in Dubai, Hushpuppi was officially expelled from the United Arab Emirates and handed to USA, where its believed he was one of the masterminds behind $435 million worth of fraud crimes.
The FBI on behalf of the United States officially lodged a case against Hushpuppi on 25th July 2020, with an affidavit to back-up claims of fraudulent activities Hushpuppi & co, conducted in the USA between January 2019 and October 2019.
Evidence 1: Hushpuppi, Co-conspirator 1 and 2 defraud New York Law firm
A New York law firm was representing client A in refinancing their property with a Citizen’s bank. They were at the closing stage of their agreement when the firm’s paralegal, on Oct 15th 2019, sends an email requesting wire transfer instructions to what appeared to be the bank’s legitimate email address.
The paralegal receives a response with instructions to send the money from Citizen to a Chase Bank account. The paralegal checks this agreement again through a call and subsequently transfers approximately $922,857.76 to the Chase account.
Later in that same October, client A realises she had not been credited with the expected funds, by that time all the funds had disappeared from the Chase account and were unrecoverable.
Tracing Hushpuppi’s phone records, the FBI matches Hushpuppi’s communication with two co-conspirators against the refinancing fraud. These conspirators were not named, however, Agent Innocenti notes that co-conspirator 1 is not Nigerian.
On 17th of October, Hush sends co-conspirator 1 an image of a wire transfer from a Chase account to a CIBC account, to which co-conspirator 1 confirms money received.
Before informing Hush about the success of the transfer, co-conspirator 1 confirmed the transaction with co-conspirator 2 who was the CIBC account holder and was in the USA around the same time of the fraud.
Hush requests proof of the funds to which co-conspirator 1 promised to honour later as he had just landed from travelling. Co-conspirator 1 never got round to fulfilling Hush’s wish because he was arrested at a US airport on that same 17th.
Evidence 2: Hushpuppi, Co-conspirator 1 defraud Malta foreign financial institution
Prior to events of evidence 1, on “February 12, 2019, the Foreign Financial Institution suffered a computer intrusion and cyber-heist in which approximately €13 million (approximately $14.7 million) was fraudulently wired from the Foreign Financial Institution to bank accounts in multiple countries”.
In phone messages leading up to the heist, co-conspirator 1 contacted
Hushpuppi asking for two European bank accounts located in a “Foreign Financial Institution Country” that could receive 5 million euros, with a “hit” expected to happen on February 12th.
Hushpuppi provides him with two bank – Romanian and Bulgarian – accounts on separate occasions. Co-conspirator 1 proceeds to wiring funds from the institution with assistance from a bank insider who attempted to delete traces of the record to cover their tracks. They were unsuccessful.
The Foreign Financial institution notices the transaction and recalls the funds. Co-conspirator 1 informs Hushpuppi of the failed attempt with the intent of trying again in coming weeks.
Evidence 3: Hushpuppi and Co-conspirator 1 on other money laundering and fraudulent schemes
The FBI also notes evidences of Hush’s activities in march 2019 – again, this is prior to the refinancing fraud.
Co-conspirator 1 requests a bank account from Hushpuppi in which approximately $5 million dollars could be deposited. Hushpuppi provides a Commercial Bank International account.
In May 2019, co-conspirator 1 further asks Hushpuppi for a UK beneficiary account. These types of accounts are such that names and IBAN can be changed unlike the usual customer bank accounts. It serves mainly to receive large financial sums.
Hushpuppi, yet again, provides him with a Mexican account. Co-conspirator 1 changes its name and address to that of a UK company and address, using it for two contracts requests – one of £100 million sent to English Premier League and another of £200 million sent to a Scottish company in Edinburgh, Scotland.
According to the affidavit, co-conspirator 1 was unsuccessful.
Evidence 4: Hushpuppi with St Kitts and Nevis passport, full identity
Agent Innocenti in the affidavit describes Hushpuppi as “a Nigerian national living in the United Arab Emirates (the “U.A.E.”), whose social media accounts frequently show him in designer clothes, wearing expensive watches, and posing in or with luxury cars and charter jets.”
Images of his billionaire lifestyles on Instagram were also added to reflect this claim.
The FBI went on further to identify Hushpuppi’s IDs discovered in the Dubai raid. Two Nigerian passports, a UAE Identity Card, a Saint Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis passport, 3 mobile phones, rental contracts with the Palazzo Versace address were Hushpuppi stayed were found as having his names attached.
As a result, 37 years old Hushpuppi, real name Ramon Olorunwa Abbas is alleged to violated code section 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) – Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering.
If found guilty could get up to 20 years in jail.
Worth noting, these not the only crime committed by Hushpuppi. He is being charged by the jurisdication of Los Angeles where the largest money was made which is where co-conspirator has opened his account to defraud the New-York refinancing firm.
Justice.gov: CRIMINAL COMPLAINT BY TELEPHONE OR OTHER RELIABLE ELECTRONIC MEANS
Security Boulevard: Hushpuppi and Mr.Woodbery, BEC scammers: Welcome to Chicago!