Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, 37, a.k.a. “Hushpuppi arrived in Chicago Thursday evening to face criminal charges alleging he conspired to launder 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.
He made his initial U.S. court appearance this morning in Chicago, and he is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles in the coming weeks.
“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), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to the affidavit.
The affidavit alleges that Abbas and others committed a BEC scheme that defrauded a client of a New York-based law firm out of approximately $922,857 in October 2019.
Abbas and co-conspirators allegedly tricked one of the law firm’s paralegals into wiring money intended for the client’s real estate refinancing to a bank account that was controlled by Abbas and the co-conspirators.
The affidavit also alleges that Abbas conspired to launder funds stolen in a $14.7 million cyber-heist from a foreign financial institution in February 2019, in which the stolen money was sent to bank accounts around the world.
Abbas allegedly provided a co-conspirator with two bank accounts in Europe that Abbas anticipated each would receive €5 million of the fraudulently obtained funds.
Abbas and others further conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million from an English Premier League soccer club, the complaint alleges.