Nigerian Instagram influencer ‘Hushpuppi’ nabbed for multi-million dollar fraud
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CAPE TOWN– A Nigerian social media influencer who goes by the name of ‘Hushpuppi on the social network service, Instagram, has pleaded guilty to multi-million dollar fraud charges, which were filed against him by the United States (US) government.
According to media reports on Thursday, Ramon Abass, who was initially arrested in Dubai in June 2020, was extradited to the US where most of his victims are located.
Nigerian news media website Premium Times Nigeria reports that Abass, who has now spent one year in an American prison vehemently denying any wrongdoing, has made an about turn and has entered into a plea bargain with the state in the hopes of a lighter sentence.
When he was arrested in the United Arab Emirates in June. Dubai police authorities say that they have recovered nearly US$41million in cash, 13 luxury vehicles, as well as phone and computer equipment containing the details of nearly 2 million people who have fallen victim to him, according to American news website CNN.
‘Hushpuppi’, 37, who has just over 2.5 million followers on the social network, proudly displays pictures of his luxury vehicles, lavish designer clothes and extravagant lifestyle, to the envy of his millions of followers.
According to American news magazine TIME, Abass pleaded guilty to activities ranging from business email scams to money laundering to the tune of US$24 million.
The social media influencer is regarded as one of the richest socialites in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of US$35.5 million, according to entertainment news website The 360 Report.
Furthermore, in an explosive revelation that was revealed in the court documents, Abass came clean about how he bribed Nigeria’s deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari, news website Sahara Reporters.com reported.