Fraud: Lawyer withdraw from Hushpuppi trial

Fraud: Lawyer withdraw from Hushpuppi trial

The lawyers representing Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, in his trial for fraud and money laundering in the United States, have applied to withdraw from his case.

Gal Pissetzky and Vicki Podberesky said Mr Abbass stopped communicating with them and has now retained new lawyers to defend him in the case.

The lawyers announced their decision after months of negotiations with the U.S. government, court documents obtained by PREMIUM TIMES showed.

Earlier last June, the 37-year-old Nigerian , known for flaunting his opulent lifestyle on social media, was arrested in Dubai by special operatives, including Emerati police officers and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operatives.

The FBI, according to an affidavit obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, said Mr Abbas financed his extravagant lifestyle with proceeds of crime.

He is alleged to be the leader of a mafia behind computer intrusion, business email compromise (BEC) fraud and money laundering. He duped his victims, who are majorly in the U.S, of hundreds of millions of dollars, the FBI said.

In July, Mr Abbas with Olalekan Ponle, popularly known as Woodberry, was extradited to Chicago in the United States where he was first arraigned.

However, because the U.S Court in Illinois does not have jurisdiction over the case, he was transferred to Los Angeles, a city in California, where his trial will begin in May.

At the pretrial services, Mr Abbass pleaded not guilty to the four counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering conspiracies, international money laundering and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.

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