Hushpuppi dumps top Chicago lawyer
A prominent Nigerian Instagram celebrity charged with wire fraud in the United States, Ramoni Abbas (popularly called Hushpuppi), has decided for a government lawyer after they transferred his case to another district.
Mr. Abbas, 37, a resident in Dubai and known for flaunting extravagant lifestyle on social media,
arrested last month over money laundering allegations. Then extradited to the US on July 3.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation had earlier alleged that Mr. Abbas was part of a network
that made “hundreds of millions of dollars” from business email compromise frauds and other scams.
Also, the American government said Mr. Abbas funded his extravagant lifestyle with stolen money.
Wotzup.ng earlier reported how Mr. Abbas used a top lawyer in the U.S., Gal Pissetzky of the Pissetzky & Berliner law firm as his attorney.
Mr. Pissetzky, renowned for handling criminal cases in Chicago, had argued that his client sourced
his money from promoting designer products on social media and a real estate investment.
A Chicago court, on Monday, denied him bail and ruled that he remains in detention till his next trial date later in the year.
However, documents obtained by PREMIUM TIMES showed that Mr. Abbas’s case
has been transferred to the Central District of California for prosecution.
During the detention hearing on Monday, the government orally renewed its motion for removal
in custody and the government’s oral motion was granted.
“Accordingly, Defendant is ordered removed to the Central District of California in the custody of the U.S. Marshal forthwith.
As provided by 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f), we remand Defendant to the custody of the U.S. Marshal
and shall remain in custody until further order of the Court,” Justice Gilbert ruled.
Transfer documents signed by Thomas G. Bruton, the Clerk of the U.S Court in Chicago, showed that they moved Mr. Abbas on Tuesday.
Moreover, in the commitment letter sent to California, Mr. Abbas refused to keep Mr. Pissetzky as his attorney.
Rather, he appealed that a court-appointed counsel be assigned to him.
If convicted, Mr. Abbas would get a minimum sentence of 20 years in the U.S. federal prison.
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