Instagram influencer Ramon Abbas faces 20 years behind bars after being caught by the FBI in Los Angeles as “one of the most high-profile money launderers in the world”
Dubbed the “Gucci Billionaire” he tried to scam a Premier League club out of £100 million.
Ramon Abbas – also known as Ray Hushpuppi – faces 20 years in prison after he was arrested with a staggering £29 million of cash and 13 luxury cars.
The 37-year-old, who was arrested by the FBI in a Los Angeles raid, has pleaded guilty to money laundering.
According to court documents in California, he has cost victims £17m in total.
Records state Hushpuppi even targeted £800,000 from someone trying to fundraise for a new school in Qatar, BBC News reports.
The lavish lifestyle he flaunted to his 2.5 million Instagram followers looks to have been largely gained from fraudulent email scams.
In Abbas’ verified Hushpuppi social media bio he describes himself as a “Real Estate Developer” and has shared over 500 snaps of him posing around the world in designer outfits.
The Nigerian crook’s most recent post was of his brand new all-white Rolls-Royce over a year ago.
As part of a business email compromise swindle in which legitimate real accounts are hacked and spoofed, Abbas worked in a gang to get a Premier League team to hand over £100m back in 2019.
The United States Attorney’s Office has not confirmed either the club involved or if any money was exchanged.
Of the suspected thousands of global victims is another UK business which lost £200m in the scam.
The acting United States Attorney General Tracy Wilkinson said that Abbas and fellow criminals tried scamming the Qatar school fundraiser by “playing the roles of bank officials and creating a bogus website”.
Ms Wilkinson added that they ‘bribed a foreign official to keep the elaborate pretence going after the victim was tipped off’.
He will have to “pay full restitution to the victims” for his crimes which “funded his luxurious lifestyle by laundering illicit proceeds generated by con artists.”
Kristi Johnson, the acting director of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, called Abbas one of the “most high-profile money launderers in the world”.
According to Ms Johnson, his “celebrity status and ability to make connections seeped into legitimate organisations and led to several spin-off schemes in the US and abroad”.
His guilty plea represents “a crucial blow to this international network,” she said.