The United States’ government has accused Nigerian Instagram Influencer, Ramon Olorunwa Abass also known as Hushpuppi of involvement in a North Korean conspiracy leading to a multi-billion dollar cyber fraud.
According to the United State of America’s Department of Justice, Hushpuppi, who is currently facing money laundering and wire fraud charges in the country allegedly took part in a “North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist from a Maltese bank” in February 2019.
Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles made the latest discovery known in a case against one 37-year-old Ghaleb Alaumary, for his role as a money launderer for the North Korean conspiracy, among other criminal schemes.
It was stated that Mr Alaumary, who agreed to plead guilty to the charge, roped in Mr Abass in the alleged crime.
The document reads in part, “Alaumary was a prolific money launderer for hackers engaged in ATM cash-out schemes, cyber-enabled bank heists, business email compromise (BEC) schemes, and other online fraud schemes. Alaumary is also being prosecuted for his involvement in a separate BEC scheme by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.
“With respect to the North Korean co-conspirators’ activities, Alaumary organised teams of co-conspirators in the United States and Canada to launder millions of dollars obtained through ATM cash-out operations, including from BankIslami and a bank in India in 2018.
“Alaumary also conspired with Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, aka ‘Ray Hushpuppi’, and others to launder funds from a North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist from a Maltese bank in February 2019.
“Last summer, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles charged Abbas in a separate case, alleging that he conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from BEC frauds and other scams.”
In June 2020, Hushuppi was arrested in Dubai by special operatives, including the Emerati police and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He was said to have been involved in crimes spanning money laundering, hacking, impersonation, scamming, banking fraud, and identity theft.
In July, he was extradited to Chicago in the U.S. where he was first arraigned.
Hushpuppi could get as much as 20 years in a US prison from laundering hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams, including schemes targeting a U.S. law firm, a foreign bank, and an English Premier League soccer club.