The charges against renowned fraudster, Ramon Igbalode Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, are contained in a 26-page filing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Hushpuppi, who was moved from the United Arab Emirates, where he was arrested by the Dubai Police, to the United States of America earlier in the week, was on Friday dragged before a Chicago court.
The charges against Hushpuppi, were appended to by a Special Agent of the FBI, Andrew John Innocenti.
In the 26-page document, Innocenti said in the Introduction: “I am a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (‘FBI’), and have been so employed since approximately March 2015. I am currently assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office, High-Tech Organized Crime Squad, where I primarily investigate cyber-enabled fraud and business email compromise (‘BEC) schemes. Between approximately August 2015 and December 2018, I was assigned to a cyber-crime squad in the Chicago Field Office, where I investigated cyber-related crimes, including BEC cases. During my career as an FBI Special Agent, I have participated in numerous computercrime investigations. In addition, I have received both formal and informal training from the FBI and other institutions regarding computer-related investigations, computer technology, and white-collar fraud.
“This affidavit is made in support of a criminal complaint against, and arrest warrant for, RAMON OLORUNWA ABBAS, also known as (‘aka’) ‘Ray Hushpuppi,’ aka’ Hush’ (‘ABBAS’), for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) (Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering).
“The facts set forth in this affidavit are based upon my personal involvement in this investigation, my review of reports and other documents related to this investigation, my training and experience, and information obtained from other agents, law enforcement officers, and witnesses. This affidavit is intended to show merely that there is sufficient probable cause for the requested complaint and arrest warrant, and does not purport to set forth all of my knowledge of the government’s investigation into this matter. Unless specifically indicated otherwise, all conversations and statements described in this affidavit are related in substance and in part only. Unless specifically indicated otherwise, all dates set forth below are ‘on or about’ the dates indicated, and all amounts or sums are approximate.”
In the Summary of Probable Cause, Innocenti said: “RAMON OLORUNWA ABBAS is a Nigerian national living in the United Arab Emirates (the U.A.E.), whose social media accounts frequently show him in designer clothes, wearing expensive watches, and posing in or with luxury cars and charter jets. The FBI’s investigation has revealed that ABBAS finances this opulent lifestyle through crime, and that he is one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), 1 and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars. ABBAS participated in these fraudulent schemes and money laundering in coordination with multiple coconspirators, including the persons referred to herein as Coconspirator 1 and Coconspirator 2.
“This affidavit discusses several fraudulent schemes involving ABBAS. First, messages found on the iPhone of Coconspirator 1 (reviewed pursuant to a federal search warrant issued in this District) reflect that ABBAS, Coconspirator 1, and Coconspirator 2, with others, committed a BEC scheme that defrauded a victim in the United States of approximately $922,857.76, including 1 BEC fraud schemes often involve a computer hacker gaining unauthorized access to a business-email account, blocking or redirecting communications to and/or from that email account, and then using the compromised email account or a separate fraudulent email account (sometimes called a “spoofed” email account) to communicate with personnel from a victim company and to attempt to trick them into making an unauthorized wire transfer. The fraudster will direct the unsuspecting personnel of the victim company to wire funds to the bank account of a third party (sometimes referred to as a ‘money mule’), which is often a bank account owned, controlled, and/or used by individuals involved in the scheme based in the United States. The money may then be laundered by wiring or transferring it through numerous bank accounts to launder the money, or by quickly withdrawing it as cash, by check, or by cashier’s check….
“Second, ABBAS and Coconspirator 1 conspired to launder funds intended to be stolen through fraudulent wire transfers from a foreign financial institution (the ‘Foreign Financial Institution’), in which fraudulent wire transfers, totaling approximately €13 million (approximately USD $14.7 million), were sent to bank accounts around the world in February 2019. Coconspirator 1 conspired with the persons who initiated the fraudulent wire transfers, and also conspired with a number of others, including ABBAS, to launder the funds that were intended to be stolen. ABBAS, specifically, provided Coconspirator 1 with two bank accounts in Europe that ABBAS anticipated would each receive €5 million of the fraudulently obtained funds.
“Other communications between ABBAS and Coconspirator 1 indicate that, in addition to these schemes, ABBAS and Coconspirator 1 conspired to launder tens, and at times hundreds, of millions of dollars that were proceeds of other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including a fraudulent scheme to steal … an English Premier League football club.”
Below is the full court paper.