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Cyberfraud: Instagram big boy, Hushpuppi, sentenced to 11 years in US



A United States Central District Court in California has sentenced Instagram big boy, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi, to 11 years imprisonment for cyber fraud.

The Nigerian cyber fraudster who had already spent two years in prison, is now expected to spend nine more years behind bars in the US.

His sentencing, which was initially scheduled for February 14, 2022, was postponed to July 11, 2022, until the recent verdict.

The Instagram celebrity in 2019 colluded with North Korean military hackers, Jon Chang Hyok, Kim Il, and Park Jin Hyok, as well as a Canadian colleague to pull a $14.7 million cyber-heist.

His sentencing was initially predicted could be up face up to 20 years.

In his plea agreement, Abbas admitted to laundering money from the Malta Bank heist and the BEC attacks on a Premier League club, another UK firm, and an American law firm, as well as additional schemes.

Abbas’s plea agreement, which involved crimes allegedly perpetrated by North Korean state sponsored hackers, was heavily redacted, and many of the filings in the case remain sealed.

About a year ago, the Dubai Police had arrested Hushpuppi, and ten others in an operation tagged ‘Fox Hunt’.

The suspects were accused of “committing crimes outside the UAE, including money-laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, criminal impersonating, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft,” the Dubai Police said. They were eventually extradited to the United states.

In a final appeal to Judge Otis Wright ahead of his scheduled sentencing on September 19, Hushpuppi wrote a personal letter to the court narrating his source of wealth, criminal adventure and regrets.

He apologised to his family members for bringing them shame while commending the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for doing a thorough job in bringing him to justice.

On September 19, Judge Otis Wright delayed Hushpuppi’s sentencing to November 3.

The Judge had initially rejected the plea of the defendant’s motion for a delay of judgement.

The socialite however bagged only 11 years in prison after he appealed to US Judge Otis Wright to temper justice with mercy and a lighter jail term after scoring high in cleaning activities while in prison.

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