Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison in the US for his involvement in an international fraud syndicate.
The Assistant Director in charge of FBI Los Angelis Field Office, Don Alway said Hushpuppi, was also directed to pay $2m in restitution to two victims.
Don Alway described Hushpuppi as “one of the most prolific money launderers in the world”.
“Abbas leveraged his social media platforms… to gain notoriety and to brag about the immense wealth he acquired by conducting business email compromise scams, online bank heists and other cyber-enabled fraud that financially ruined scores of victims and provided assistance to the North Korean regime”. Alway noted.
According to him, Hushpuppi pleaded guilty to money laundering last year, admitted to attempting to steal more than $1.1m from someone who wanted to fund a new children’s school in Qatar by playing the roles of bank officials and creating a bogus website.
The US Justice Department also said Hushpuppi admitted to several other cyber and business email compromise schemes which had gulped about $24m in losses.
According to the Department, Hushpuppi’s fraudulent act in 2019, plunged Malta into chaos as payment systems shut down after he tried to launder $13m stolen by a gang of North Korean hackers from the Maltese Bank of Valletta.
Despite his pleas and promise to the court to use his personal funds to pay back the victims, Judge Otis Wright still sentenced him to more than 11years in US federal prison.
Hushppuppi was arrested in Dubai two years ago shortly after he renewed his lease for another year at the exclusive Palazzo Versace apartments under his real name.
Writing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu