Alleged international fraudster, Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi, has agreed to plead guilty to charges including money laundering, wire fraud, felony amongst others brought against him by the United States District Court for the Central District Of California.
In a plea agreement document sighted by The PUNCH on Wednesday, Hushpuppi agreed to plead guilty as charged.
The document was signed by Hushpuppi; his lawyer, Loius Shapiro; Acting United States Attorney, Tracy Wilkison, amongst others.
It stated that Hushpuppi risks “20 years’ imprisonment; a 3-year period of supervised release; a fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offence”.
The document partly read, “Defendant (Hushpuppi) admits that defendant is, in fact, guilty of the offence to which defendant is agreeing to plead guilty.
“Beginning no later than on or about January 18, 2019, through on or about June 9, 2020, defendant knowingly combined, agreed, and conspired with multiple other persons (“coconspirators”) to conduct financial transactions into, within, and outside the United States involving property that represented the proceeds of wire fraud.
“These coconspirators included the persons referred to in the Information as UICC 1 and UICC 2, as well as other coconspirators not referred to in the Information. The coconspirators targeted multiple victims and laundered and/or attempted to launder funds fraudulently obtained, and attempted to be fraudulently obtained, through bank cyber-heists,1 business email compromise frauds, and other fraud schemes.”
“Defendant understands that the statutory maximum sentence that the Court can impose for a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h), as charged in the Information, is: 20 years’ imprisonment; a 3-year period of supervised release; a fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offence, whichever is greatest; and a mandatory special assessment of $100,” the document noted.
It also noted that the parties (US Attorney Offices and Hushpuppi) agreed that “the agreement will be considered part of the record of the defendant’s guilt plea hearing as if the entire agreement had been read into the record of the proceeding”.
The document, however, did not mention the date of the plea hearing.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the 37-year-old was arrested in Dubai in June 2020 alongside 12 other members of his crew.
The Dubai Police said it discovered that fraud amounting to 1.6 billion Dirham (N168 billion) had been committed by the gang.
No fewer than 1,926,400 people from different parts of the world were also said to have fallen victims to the suspects.
According to the police, 13 luxury cars, estimated at 35 million Dirham (N3.7 billion) were recovered from the house where they were arrested.
The Dubai Police later handed Abbas and his conspirators over to the FBI in the US and they had since been arraigned on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, among others.