The case of Celebrity ‘internet fraudster’ Hushpuppi has taking a new turn as one of Nigeria’s most celebrated police officer and crime buster, Abba Kyari has been draged into the case.
A federal grand jury indictment unsealed this week alleges an elaborate scheme to steal more than $1.1 million from a business person attempting to finance the construction of a school for children in Qatar and the subsequent laundering of illicit proceeds through bank accounts around the world.
The three-count indictment returned on April 29 and unsealed Monday charges three U.S.-based defendants who were arrested last week as well as three defendants believed to be in Africa with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.
The criminal complaint that initiated the prosecution in February was also unsealed Monday, revealing that Ramon Olorunwa Abbas also known by his social media handle of “Ray Hushpuppi” was initially charged in this case. Court documents ordered unsealed today show that Abbas, a 37-year-old Nigerian national, pleaded guilty on April 20.
A version of Abbas’ plea agreement filed late Tuesday outlines his role in the school-finance scheme, as well as several other cyber and business email compromise schemes that cumulatively caused more than $24 million in losses.
Court documents outline a dispute among members of the conspiracy, which allegedly prompted Vincent to contact the victim and claim that Abbas and Juma were engaged in fraud. After this contact, Abbas allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Abba Alhaji Kyari, 46, of Nigeria.
According to the affidavit, Kyari is a highly decorated deputy commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas’ behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest.
Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.