Hushpuppi To Be Sentenced For Money Laundering On Valentine’s Day By A US Court
NewsReport gathered that Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, will be sentenced on February 14, 2022, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
According to BBC Pidgin, the court’s Director of Media Relations, Thom Mrozek, Hushpuppi’s sentencing has been scheduled for Valentine’s Day.
Mrozek, however, had yet to respond to The PUNCH’s email inquiry at the time of filing this report.
Hushpuppi pleaded guilty to various charges, including internet fraud and money laundering, according to a plea agreement document obtained by The PUNCH.
The document was signed by Hushpuppi; his lawyer, Loius Shapiro; Acting United States Attorney, Tracy Wilkison, amongst others.
It stated that Hushpuppi risks “20 years’ imprisonment; a 3-year period of supervised release; a fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offense”.
Also, the court had ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to arrest the suspended Head of the Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, for his alleged role in a $1m scam allegedly perpetrated by Hushpuppi and five others.
However, in December 2021, Mrozek declined comments on the warrant of arrest the court issued months earlier that the FBI should apprehend Kyari and other defendants in the case.
The Dubai Police in the United Arab Emirates had in June 2020 arrested Hushpuppi and his gang. They were later extradited to the US for prosecution by the FBI.
The FBI Special Agent, Andrew Innocenti, had alleged that Hushpuppi contracted the services of Kyari after a “co-conspirator,” Chibuzo Vincent, allegedly threatened to expose the alleged $1.1m fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.
Innocenti, who said he obtained voice calls and WhatsApp conversations between Kyari and Hushpuppi, had also alleged that the latter paid the police officer N8m or $20,600 for the arrest and detention of Vincent.
The police boss had on August 2, 2021, constituted the Special Investigation Panel headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Joseph Egbunike, to probe the allegations.
Egbunike on August 26, 2021, submitted the panel’s report, which he said: “is an outcome of a painstaking, transparent and exhaustive investigative process.”
He revealed that the report contained the case file of the probe, evidence, and findings as well as testimonies from Kyari and other persons and groups linked to the matter.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, had on September 14, 2021, during a television interview said the findings and recommendations on Kyari had been submitted to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), for “legal opinion” and thereafter for presentation to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), adding that the final decision would be taken by the PSC.
But months later, the PSC spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, told our correspondent that the commission had not received any disciplinary recommendations from the IG through the Force Disciplinary Committee almost four months after the Egbunike panel submitted its report to the police boss.
The recommendations of the FDC will inform the commission’s decision and also determine Kyari’s future in the force, but the matter is now inconclusive.