Embattled Nigerian socialite, Raymond Abbas, popularly known as Ray Hushpuppi, has pleaded guilty to money laundering charge against him.
Hushpuppi, who is known for his luxury lifestyle, was arrested in the UAE in June 2020 alongside 11 of his associates over allegations bordering on hacking, impersonation, scamming, banking fraud, and identity theft.
The social media figure’s extradition to the US had followed after the UAE police detailed his arrest in a special operation dubbed ‘Fox Hunt 2’ where he was accused of defrauding 1.9 million victims to the tune of N168 billion.
Hushpuppi, whose real name is Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, was arraigned and detained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Chicago ahead of his trial.
A partly redacted plea agreement document in the cyber fraud case against him surfaced online on Wednesday.
In the court file signed by Loius Shapiro, Hushpuppi’s lawyer, on behalf of the defendant, Hushpuppi agreed to give up the right to indictment by a grand jury and plead guilty to count two of the trial “Case No. 2:20-CR-00322-ODW.”
The referenced court case, it is understood, charges Hushpuppi with “conspiracy to engage in money laundering.”
For a person to be deemed guilty of the crime, the document read, “there was an agreement between two or more persons to conduct a financial transaction involving property that represented the proceeds of wire fraud.”
It also added that the defendant must have known that the funds were “proceeds of some form of unlawful activity” and the transaction was designed “to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the proceeds.”
Hushpuppi risks a statutory maximum of 20 years imprisonment on agreeing to violate the USC, Section 1956 (h).
“The defendant understands that the statutory maximum sentence that the Court can impose for a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h), as charged in the Information, is: 20 years imprisonment,” the file read.
“…a 3-year period of supervised release; a fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the
offense, whichever is greatest; and a mandatory special assessment of $100.
“Defendant understands that defendant will be required to pay full restitution to the victim(s) of the offense to which defendant is pleading guilty.
“Defendant agrees that the court may order restitution to persons other than the victim(s) of the offenses to which defendant is pleading guilty and in amounts greater than those alleged in the count.”