The United States government has urged the District Court in Central California to sentence a Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi, to 135 months in jail for fraud.
It gave its reasons for proposing the equivalent of 11 years and three months jail time for Mr Abbas in its court filings, according to Premium Times.
Hushpuppi, an international fraudster, was arrested in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE) in June 2020 over an extensive fraudulent scheme that has robbed victims of their money in the U.S., Qatar, the United Kingdom, and other places.
He was taken to the U.S, where he was charged with fraud and money laundering.
In July 2021, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in money laundering. He admitted to conspiring with multiple persons within and outside the U.S to launder the proceeds of the fraudulent scheme perpetrated against persons and businesses in different countries.
The Nation Community reported earlier that the trial judge, Otis Wright, has fixed 7 November as the date to sentence Hushpuppi.
Ahead of the sentencing, a team of U.S. attorneys led by Stephanie Christensen, urged the court to “sentence the defendant (Hushpuppi) to 135 months’ imprisonment.”
In presentencing filings countering Mr Abbas’ plea for a lighter punishment, the US authorities called for “a three year term of supervised release and order of restitution of $1,732,841.34, a fine of $500,000, and the mandatory special assessment of $100.”
He will also restitute all stolen funds to the victim, according to the plea agreement signed by the parties.
In the U.S. government’s response to Hushpuppi’s requests seeking “departures and variances” from the statutory punishment for his crime, the prosecuting lawyers disagreed with Mr Abbas’ claims of being a “life-long, hard-working and ambitious individual.”
The lawyers argued that Hushpuppi’s conduct leading to the charges “is… inconsistent with” his “long history as a scammed and money launderer.
“Defendant is, by all accounts, an ambitious individual, but his ambition has long been directed towards crime and its rewards.”