Nigerian social media influencer who flaunted a lavish lifestyle of private jets and luxury cars has been sentenced to 11 years in prison over charges related to a multimillion-dollar scam that targeted companies in the United States and overseas.

Picture: Ramon Abbas aka Ray Hushpuppi


Ramon Abbas, known to his millions of Instagram followers as Ray Hushpuppi, pleaded guilty in April last year to conspiracy to engage in money laundering. In addition to the prison sentence handed down on Monday, United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II ordered him to pay $1.7 million in restitution to two fraud victims.


In June 2020, United Arab Emirates investigators swooped into Abbas’ apartment at the exclusive Palazzo Versace resort in Dubai, arrested him, and handed him over to FBI agents. He was officially named one of the world’s most prolific money launderers.


Investigators at the scene seized nearly $41 million, 13 luxury cars worth $6.8 million, a phone, and computer evidence including the email addresses of nearly 2 million possible victims, Dubai Police said in a statement.

Picture: Ramon Abbas arrested by the Dubai police


Abbas who loved to live an extravagant life consistently posted his wealth and cars on his social media platforms. These posts In a 2020 affidavit, is how authorities received details needed to confirm his identity. Several people including Imams have come forward to plead for leniency on his behalf but this did not faze the judge in his sentencing. 


In a handwritten letter to the judge in September – the only direct word from him since his arrest – Abbas detailed his two years in detention. “Since I have been incarcerated, I have had enough time to reflect on the past and I regret letting greed ruin the good name of my family, my blessing, and my name,” he wrote. He further referred to how his arrested has negatively affected his 3 children which he had with 3 different women.


He also wrote, “Your honour, I make no excuse for my actions and I take full responsibility for what I’ve done,” he wrote in his letter. “If I could turn back the hand of time, I would make an entirely different decision and be more careful in the choices and friends I make.”