A Nigerian man has been sentenced to US federal prison for 11 years for committing various cybercrimes and using the proceeds to fund a luxurious lifestyle — one documented in detail on his popular Instagram account with the handle "Ray Hushpuppi."
The Department of Justice said in a statement the man, whose government name is Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, stole money through an array of cybercrimes, including online bank robberies and business email compromise (BEC). Abbas was also found guilty of running a huge money-laundering operation. In just one 18-month period, Abbas admitted to laundering more than $300 million, the DOJ noted.
"Ramon Abbas, a.k.a. 'Hushpuppi,' targeted both American and international victims, becoming one of the most prolific money launderers in the world," Don Alway, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office said in the DOJ announcement. "Abbas leveraged his social media platforms — where he amassed a considerable following — to gain notoriety and to brag about the immense wealth he acquired by conducting business email compromise scams, online bank heists and other cyber-enabled fraud that financially ruined scores of victims and provided assistance to the North Korean regime."
One notable ostentatious purchase that made frequent appearances on the now abandoned Hushpuppi Instagram account was a Richard Mille RM11-03 watch, which Abbas had paid $230,000 for with funds he scammed from an unsuspecting business owner.