Suspected Nigerian internet fraudster, Raymond Igbalode Abbas, known as Hushpuppi, has made his first appearance in a U.S court, Friday morning, after he was arrested in Dubai through a special operation code-named ‘Fox Hunt 2.’
United States Department of Justice said Hushpuppi could get a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison if convicted.
Dubai police on Thursday, June 25, revealed that the duo and their accomplices had defrauded over 1.9 million victims to the tune of $435.6 million (N168 billion).
The Dubai Police recently extradited Hushpuppi and Woodberry to the United States to face criminal charges. If convicted, Hushpuppi would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
A few days later, the police authorities in Dubai extradited him to U.S, and handed him over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
After his extradition to the United States, the US Department of Justice revealed details of his first court appearance, which saw him face the money laundering charge.
It is understood that Hushpuppi faces criminal charges bordering on conspiracy to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams.
Among these are schemes that allegedly saw him and his cronies target a law firm in the United States, a foreign financial institution, and an English Premier League soccer club.
According to the affidavit filed with the complaint during the court session on Friday, Hushpuppi is one of the leaders of a transnational criminal network.
The affidavit described BEC schemes as involving a computer hacker gaining unauthorised access to a business’ email, blocking or redirecting communications to and/or from that email account.
This, it said, uses the compromised email account or a separate fraudulent one to communicate with personnel from a victim company, tricking them into making an unauthorised wire transfer.
In the scam involving a New York-based law firm, Hushpuppi and his crew were alleged to have undertaken a scheme that defrauded a client out of approximately $922,857 in October 2019.
He was also said to have conspired to launder funds stolen in a $14.7 million cyber-heist from a foreign financial institution in February 2019, sending the loot to bank accounts around the world.
The affidavit also alleged that they conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million from an English Premier League soccer club.
If convicted, Hushpuppi would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, the U.S. government has said.
In Other News: Nigerian celebrated entrepreneur, Obinwanne Okeke fondly called Invictus Obi, has pleaded guilty to the $11 million (N4.2 billion) fraud charged against him in the United States.
A spokesperson for the United States District Court for Eastern District of Virginia, revealed that Invictus Obi could spend 20 years maximum penalty in a U.S jail.
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