On the 25th of June 2020, Ramon Abass, popularly known as Hushpuppi was arrested by special agents including the Dubai police in a simultaneous raid as part of an ongoing FBI investigation into a transnational cybercrime network.

Hushpuppi was notorious as a disguised Instagram influencer who flaunted his ill-gotten wealth by posting pictures and videos of his lavish spending on luxury clothings, jewelry, and cars.

At the time of his arrest and later extradition to the U.S., he was found with suitcases full of cash of about $40 million and 13 luxury cars worth $7 million, all seized from him.

Now, the question remains, how was Hushpuppi able to pull all these scams? Having successfully scammed more than 10 organizations and individual victims of over $300 million?

The truth is that Hushpuppi is not really a scammer per se. He doesn’t really instigate or plan fraudulent schemes, but was a key player to many international scams.

This may be shocking to many people but in the dark world of the internet, there are many service providers like Hushpuppi who provide services for perpetrating frauds such as credit card details, account passwords, international bank accounts for receiving proceeds of frauds, etc. 

There are several collaborative efforts required to pull off a successful scam of the magnitude that he was involved in.

So, Hushpuppi was probably one of such service providers in the dark world of the internet.

However, he was not just a regular fraudulent service provider. He was a big player and a well-connected international fraudulent service provider. 

He knew some of the biggest convicted fraudsters around the world, he was in touch with the deadliest hacker groups in Asia, and he had hundreds if not thousands of bagmen, AKA pickers under his control.

The biggest secret was that he operated an international cybercrime network of more than 50 persons. They operated 3 scam businesses on a large scale and worked from distributed locations around the world.

International Money Laundering

The first scam business Hushpuppi and his gang operated was a money laundering business.

In January 2019, Hushpuppi conspired with Ghaleb Alaumary, a convicted Canadian money launderer to launder funds stolen from a bank in Malta by providing account information for banks in Romania and Bulgaria. The scam was worth over $14 million.

In the same year, they also laundered millions of pounds stolen from a football club in the U.K and a British company. Hushpuppi was responsible for providing a Mexican bank account that could receive the laundered funds without being blocked.

He was also notorious for redirecting funds of his victims to the bank accounts of luxury watch sellers, which he would then convert to cash.

Business Email Compromise Scams

The second scam business Hushpuppi and his gang operated was a business email compromise scam also known as BEC.

Their BEC operations typically involve gaining unauthorized access into a business email account and attempting to trick the organization into making an unauthorized wire transfer to foreign bank accounts provided by Hushpuppi and his gang.

In late 2019, Hushpuppi and his fraudulent gang induced a New York-based law firm to transfer almost $1 million to a bank account operated by a member of his gang under a proxy name.

Online Bank Heists

The third scam business operated by Hushpuppi and his gang, and by far their largest fraudulent operation was online bank heists.

Hushpuppi and his gang collaborated with North Korean hackers to commit a bank cyber heist in Malta which involved redirecting funds destined for the North Korean Government. 

They also impersonated banks via phishing activities to defraud business victims and large organizations looking to obtain business loans. In a plea agreement, Hushpuppi admitted to conspiracy to defraud a Qatari businessman of over $300,000 to facilitate a fictitious loan to help build a school. 

In a plea bargain, Hushpuppi told the U.S Central District Court in California that he deserves a lesser sentence after pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Determined to secure a lighter sentence, his lawyer Louis Shapiro maintained that Hushpuppi worked hard and created opportunities for himself despite coming from a poor background. He argued that Hushpuppi had shown extraordinary work ethics and entrepreneurial skills by pursuing his dreams of having a personal business.

On November 7, Hushpuppi was finally sentenced to 135 months in federal prison by U.S District Judge, Otis Wright, and ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution to two of his fraud victims.

Not being an American citizen, Hushpuppi will be deported after completing his jail term and paying up the amount to be restituted. It is expected that he may enjoy a 3-year period of supervised release.

This means that Hushpuppi is likely to be deported back to Nigeria or the Caribbean where he holds a passport, approximately by the year 2030.

We can then safely say that if Hushpuppi desires to do the crime, he deserves to do the time.




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