Ramon Abass commonly called Hushpuppi, who is one of the most notorious cyber-criminal, Has opened up about his fraudulent career which he claimed to have only made $300,000 from.
Hushpuppi who has been in U.S prison since June 2020 following his extradition from Dubai awaits his final sentencing.
Ahead of scheduled sentencing on Monday, Hushpuppi penned a handwritten apology to the preceding judge, Otis Wright, where he thanked the FBI for doing a great job to make the world safer from criminals like himself.
In the note acquired by the People’s Gazzette, Abbas hinted at how he became rich from hawking sneakers, and clothes from his car boot.
He further added that masterminding cybercrimes only made him as much as $300,000 while pleading for a reduced sentence up to 65 percent.
According to report, Hushpuppi registered Moneabbas Nigeria Ltd on August 4, 2016, with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission.
In April 2021, Mr Abbas pleaded guilty to multimillion-dollar fraud charges and entered a plea bargain with the U.S. authorities in July 2021. Intelligence agencies recorded multiple crimes, including money laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, criminal impersonation, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft committed outside the United Arab Emirates.
Mr Abbas has been in custody since his arrest in Dubai and transferred to the United States in June 2020. In the letter, Mr Abbas claimed he was tortured at the time of his arrest, and he has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to it.
Mr Abbas apologised to the federal judge for his crimes, saying he would use his personal funds to pay the victims.
“Your honour, I totally recognise the seriousness of my offence, and no amount of sorry can write(sic) my wrong in the hearts of the victims, and this is why I have decided to use my personal money to offset all of the entire $1,700,000 restitution even though I only benefited a fraction of $300,000,” Mr Abbas wrote.
Lead prosecutor Khaldoun Shobaki argued that Mr Abbas should also be asked to pay $1.7 million in restitution, $500,000 in fines and $100 in administrative fees.
On Friday, Mr Wright reversed an earlier decision and denied Mr Abbas’s requests to view case files of the Juma case, where disgraced police officer Abba Kyari was an accessory to the crimes committed. A request to reschedule the sentencing date from September 19 to November 3 was also denied.
The Gazette had reported a deadlock between Louis Shapiro, Mr Abbas’s attorney, and federal prosecutors over the proposed delay in the trial ahead of sentencing on Monday.
Mr Shapiro argued that Mr Abbas would be unable to prepare for his sentencing hearing without all the documents relating to the Juma case, where Mr Abbas and Kenyan national Abdulrahman Imraan Juma conned their victim into paying $330,000 to fund an “investor’s account” to facilitate a $15 million loan.
The police officer Abba Kyari had been indicted in the Juma case by the government’s investigation, named among five of Mr Abbas’ co-conspirators in a $1.1million fraud charge.
Mr Abbas had hoped to reduce his impending jail sentence from 11 years as suggested by prosecutors. He had employed the services of Washington-based top criminal defence attorney John Iweanoge, but Mr Iweanoge’s application to practice across state lines was struck out from court records over inconsistencies in the filing.
Read the full handwritten note below.
By Vincent Kubi