Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abass, popularly known as Hushpuppi has finally agreed to plead guilty to the multi-million-dollar fraud charges filed against him by the United States government.
Recall that Hushpuppi was arrested in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE) in June 2020, and subsequently extradited to the U.S. where most of the victims of his alleged fraudulent activities are based, and has spent the last one year in custody maintaining his innocence.
However, with the commencement of his trial around the corner, Mr Abass has now made a U-turn entering into a plea bargain agreement with the U.S. government in the hope of getting a lighter punishment.
He will now be pleading guilty to Count Two which is “Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering,” an offence that attracts a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment among other punishments including full restitution, his plea agreement with the U.S. government states in part.
PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday obtained a copy of the plea bargain agreement between him and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California (USAO).
Signed by Hushpuppi, his lawyer, Louis Shapiro, and the Assistant United States Attorney, Anil Antony, on July 4, the plea agreement was filed at a U.S. Central District Court of California on Tuesday.
A date is to be fixed for Mr Abass to change his previous “not guilty” plea to “guilty” and will be followed by a sentencing hearing for the judge to determine how long he will spend in jail.
Mr Abass is also expected to pay full restitution to the victims of his crime despite pleading guilty.
“Defendant understands that defendant will be required to pay full restitution to the victim(s) of the offence to which defendant is pleading guilty.
“Defendant agrees that, in return for the USAO’s compliance with its obligations under this agreement, the court may order restitution to persons other than the victim(s) of the offenses to which defendant is pleading guilty and in amounts greater than those alleged in the count to which defendant is pleading guilty,” the plea agreement also read.