September 28, 2022

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The United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Los Angeles, has confirmed that Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, will be sentenced on September 21, 2022.

Thom Mrozek, the court’s Director of Media Relations, confirmed this on Friday in response to an email inquiry from Channels Television.

Hushpuppi’s sentence date has been moved at least three times since his conviction last year for alleged $1.1 million fraud. Hushpuppi’s sentencing was originally scheduled for February 14, but it was moved to July 11 before being rescheduled for September 21 this year.

When asked when Hushpuppi, 39, would be sentenced, Mrozek said the suspect had long pleaded guilty last year and would be sentenced later this year.
“Mr. Abbas is currently scheduled to be sentenced by a federal judge in Los Angeles on September 21,” he said “Hushpuppi had entered a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to charges including money laundering, wire fraud, amongst others brought against him by the court. According to court documents, he risks “20 years’ imprisonment; a 3-year period of supervised release; a fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offence”.

In June 2020, he was arrested in Dubai alongside 12 others and extradited to the United States for prosecution.

Extradition of Kyari

Mrozek, on the other hand, remained silent on the possible extradition of DCP Abba Kyari, the suspended Head of Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team, who was indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the Hushpuppi case.

“I am unable to offer any comment on the state of Mr. Kyari,” the court official said.

FBI Special Agent, Andrew Innocenti, had alleged that Hushpuppi engaged Kyari’s services after a “co-conspirator,” Chibuzo Vincent, allegedly threatened to expose the alleged $1.1m fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.

Innocenti also claimed to have received voice calls and WhatsApp conversations between Kyari and Hushpuppi, and that the police officer was paid $20,600 for Vincent’s arrest and detention.

Kyari initially denied the allegations on Facebook in July 2021, but he later deleted the post.

Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, stated on Channels Television’s Politics Today that the US and Nigerian governments were discussing Kyari’s case and that reasonable grounds for suspicion had been established against Kyari.

“There are a lot of issues that are ongoing inclusive of the possibility of consideration for extradition. That is where the collaboration element of it comes into play,” the AGF had said on the possible extradition of Kyari.

Kyari was later arrested by the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency in February for alleged drug-related offences and has since arraigned the suspended deputy police commissioner.

Kyari and his co-defendants are being held at the Kuje prison in Abuja and hope to be granted bail before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja on August 30, 2022.

 

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