Ramon Abass popularly known as Hushpuppi has been sentenced to 11 years and
three months imprisonment by the United States District Court sitting Central
District of California for money laundering conspiracy through several online scams.
Hushpuppi, whose real name was Ramon Abbas, flaunted his wealthy lifestyle on his
page which had 2.8 million followers until it was disabled.
The judge in Los Angeles also ordered him to pay $1,732,841 (£1,516,182) in
restitution to two fraud victims.
Abbas will serve his sentence of 135 months in a federal prison.
Last year he pleaded guilty to money laundering.
Abbas admitted to attempting to steal more than $1.1m from someone who wanted
to fund a new children’s school in Qatar, court documents in California say.
The fraudster tricked his victim into providing funds for the school “by playing the
roles of bank officials and creating a bogus website”, according to a statement from
the then-acting US Attorney Tracy Wilkinson on the US justice department’s website.
Other suspects were allegedly also involved, the US justice department said, with
Abbas playing a key role.
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Abbas also admitted to “several other cyber and business email compromise schemes
that cumulatively caused more than $24 million in losses”, the US justice department
“Ramon Abbas… targeted both American and international victims, becoming one of
the most prolific money launderers in the world,” said Don Alway, the assistant
director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, in a court document on
“Abbas leveraged his social media platforms… to gain notoriety and to brag about the
immense wealth he acquired by conducting business email compromise scams, online
bank heists and other cyber-enabled fraud that financially ruined scores of victims
and provided assistance to the North Korean regime.
“This significant sentence is the result of years’ worth of collaboration among law
enforcement in multiple countries and should send a clear warning to international
fraudsters that the FBI will seek justice for victims, regardless of whether criminals
operate within or outside United States borders.”
Abbas apologised for his crimes to Judge Otis D Wright in a handwritten note, saying
he would use his personal funds to pay back his victims. He also said he had only
made $300,000 from the crime he was being tried for.
Abbas’ luxurious lifestyle came to an abrupt end in 2020, when he was arrested while
living in Dubai.
His Instagram account, which featured pricey cars and designer clothing, was worlds
away from his humble beginnings.