Breaking News-Hushpuppi commits $400k fraud from inside US prison.
Infamous Nigerian fraudster, Ramon Abbas popularly known as Hushpuppi, has received fresh charges as US prosecutors submitted court documents showing that he committed fraud and laundered over $400,000 while in prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation through its agent, Andrew John Innocenti, presented documents before the United States District Court of California on Wednesday with fresh evidence indicting HushPuppi of committing fraud and money laundering in the U.S. Federal correctional facility.
According to the court documents, Hushpuppi defrauded his victim through Economic Impact Payments debit cards fraudulently obtained from stolen data of U.S citizens and residents.
Economic Impact Payments which are also known as Stimulus Checks are financial support offered by the US government to U.S residents according to the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. One of the ways eligible US residents receive their Economic Impact Payments is by debit cards.
The document read in part, “Ramon Olorunwa Abbas is a Nigerian national previously living in the United Arab Emirates (the ‘U.A.E.’) but currently incarcerated in the US Federal correctional facility, Central District of California, on charges of money laundering.
“The FBI’s investigation has revealed that Abbas, while in a US Federal correctional facility, participated in the purchase of Economic Impact Payment debit cards fraudulently obtained from compromised data of US citizens.
“Economic Impact Payments —commonly referred to as “stimulus checks” or “recovery rebates”— are a key provision of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act legislation that Congress passed to help reduce the financial burden on citizens and residents across the United States. Economic Impact Payments are non-taxable income that does not need to be paid back. Economic Impact Payments debit cards are a means of disbursement of payments. Economic Impact Payments debit cards, commonly called EIP cards, are issued on the VISA network by Meta Bank, South Dakota, US.
“This affidavit presents new information involving Abbas which supports Affidavit 1 of Case No 2:20-mj-02992. Recorded internet activities (reviewed pursuant to a federal search warrant issued in this District) of Abbas in the US Federal correctional facility, Central District of California, reflect that Abbas purchased Economic Impact Payments debit cards and laundered the proceeds totalling over $400,000.
“Payments debit cards daily for the period we recorded him. He purchased a total of 58 Economic Impact Payments debit cards in this period, with a total value of $429,800.
“19 Of the 58 Economic Impact Payments debit cards, Abbas chose the virtual card option for 36 EIP cards and he selected the plastic physical card option for 22 EIP cards.”
The documents noted that Hushpuppi was able to perpetrate the fraud through his partner identified simply as AJ.
“Abbas was in constant communication with one AJ. Abbas sent all the cards he bought from stimuluscard.com to AJ. Abbas gave instructions to AJ on what to shop online. He gave instructions on what to do with the purchased items. Abbas also gave instructions on cash withdrawal from ATMs with the plastic cards,” the statement read.