The United States Attorney’s office in the central district of California have come forward with information about the ongoing case of Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, to reveal that he confesses to have allegedly paid off a Deputy Commissioner of Police in Nigeria, Abba Kyari, to arrest and jail an estranged ‘co-conspirator,’ Chibuzo Vincent.
This information was contained in statement that was released on Wednesday by the court titled ‘Six Indicted in International Scheme to Defraud Qatari School Founder and then Launder over $1 Million in Illicit Proceeds’.
As of now, an official statement has not been provided by Abba Kyari on the allegations made against him by the American court.
In these allegations, the court maintains that Hushpuppi, who has pleaded guilty to counts of money laundering, wire fraud, and felony, to name some of his offences, had used the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team to jail Vincent his associate.
Hushpuppi allegedly had conspired with five other of his associates to defraud a businessperson in Qatar by claiming to be consultants and bankers who could facilitate a loan to finance the construction of a school. Vincent was among the co-conspirators.
All conspirators included in the fraud were 40-year-old Vincent from Nigeria; and 28-year-old Abdulrahman Juma from Kenya, Yusuf Anifowoshe, 26; Rukayat Fashola, 28; and Bolatito Agbabiaka, 34.
The court documents states that the fraud operation was carried out with Juma allegedly posed as a facilitator and consultant for the illusory bank loans, while Hushpuppi played the role of ‘Malik’, a Wells Fargo banker in New York.
“Vincent, in turn, allegedly provided support for the false narratives fed to the victim by, among other things, creating bogus documents and arranging for the creation of a fake bank website and phone banking line,”.
The victim was defrauded of more than $1.1m which were laundered in different ways, among which was to purchase luxury items by Hushpuppi and his associates. “Approximately $230,000 of the stolen funds allegedly were used to purchase a Richard Mille RM11-03 watch, which was hand-delivered to Abbas in Dubai and subsequently appeared in Hushpuppi’s social media posts.”
A dispute between Hushpuppi and Vincent was what spurred him to arrange for his detainment.
The court states “Court documents outline a dispute among members of the conspiracy, which allegedly prompted Vincent to contact the victim and claim that Abbas [Hushpuppi] and Juma were engaged in fraud. After this contact, Abbas allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Abba Alhaji Kyari, 46, of Nigeria.
“According to the affidavit, Kyari is a highly decorated deputy commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas’ behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest. Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.”
Kyari has not responded to efforts made to reach him as his phone line has been switched off and text messages sent to his phone line have not been responded to.
Meanwhile, Anifowoshe, Fashola and Agbabiaka, associates of Hushpuppi were arrested in New York and New Jersey on July 22, 2021, and are expected to be arraigned in Los Angeles in August 2021.
Hushpuppi pleaded guilty of all charges in a plea document signed by Hushpuppi; his lawyer, Loius Shapiro; and Acting United States Attorney, Tracy Wilkison, among others.
It stated in the document Hushpuppi risks “20 years’ imprisonment; a three-year period of supervised release; a fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offence.”
However, it did not mention the date of the plea hearing.
Hushpuppi known to had flaunted his extravagant luxury lifestyle with Private jets, expensive jewelry, flashy cars among other things on his social media handles was arrested in Dubia June 2020 along side 12 of his associates.
The Dubai Police revealed a discovery it had made that fraud amounting to the sum of 1.6 billion Dirham (N168 billion) had been committed by the gang.
Over 1,926,400 people from different parts of the world were said to have been victims of Hushpuppi and the fraudulent actions of his gang.
According to the Dubia police, properties recovered from his residence included 13 luxury cars estimated at 35 million Dirham (N3.7bn).
The Dubai Police later handed Hushpuppi and others over to the FBI in the US, where they had since been arraigned on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, among others.