Alleged international fraudster, Ramon Abbas aka Ray Hushpuppi, on Friday made his first court appearance in an American court where the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alleged that he attempted to dupe an English Premier League football club of £100m (N48.4bn).
The allegation is contained in an affidavit deposed to by FBI Special Agent, Andre Innocenti, who is assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office Hi-Tech Organised Crime Squad.
According to the FBI, the suspect is facing charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering among others.
The affidavit read in part, “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 (approximately $124 million) from an English Premier League soccer club.”
The FBI further stated that should Hushpuppi be convicted, he risked spending 20 years in jail.
“If convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Abbas would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison,” the FBI said.
The affidavit alleges that Hushpuppi and others committed a Business Email Comprise scam that defrauded a client of a New York-based law firm out of approximately $922,857 (N350.6m) in October 2019.
The suspect 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 Hushpuppi and the co-conspirators.
American authorities also alleged that Hushpuppi conspired to launder funds stolen in a $14.7m (N5.5bn) 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 €5m (N2.1bn) of the fraudulently obtained funds.