The three posed as consultants and bankers who could facilitate a loan to finance a planned school’s construction in Qatar.
Embattled Nigerian Instagram star Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, alias Hushpuppi, worked with a 28-year-old Kenyan – Abdulrahman Imraan Juma (Abdul) and a Nigerian Kelly Chibuzo Vincent to defraud a Qatari businessperson a total of Ksh100 million.
According to a court statement seen by Viral Tea from Acting U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison, the three posed as consultants and bankers who could facilitate a loan to finance a planned school’s construction in Qatar.
The documents read like a script from an episode of Netflix’s hit series Narcos, Juma allegedly posed as a facilitator and consultant for the illusory bank loans, while Hushpuppi masqueraded as “Malik,” a Wells Fargo banker in New York.
Nigerian Instagram star Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, alias Hushpuppi placed under arrest. /FILE
Vincent, in turn, is accused of providing support for the victim’s false narratives by among other things, creating bogus documents and arranging for the creation of a fake bank website and phone banking line.
In the latest development, Hushpuppi admitted to participating in the scheme to steal more than Ksh1.1 billion from a businessperson attempting to fund the construction of a school in Qatar.
“According to the indictment, Abbas allegedly conspired with Abdulrahman Imraan Juma, a.k.a. “Abdul,” 28, of Kenya, and Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, 40, of Nigeria, to defraud the Qatari businessperson by claiming to be consultants and bankers who could facilitate a loan to finance construction of the planned school.
“Juma allegedly posed as a facilitator and consultant for the illusory bank loans, while Abbas played the role of “Malik,” a Wells Fargo banker in New York, according to court documents. Vincent, in turn, allegedly provided support for the false narratives fed to the victim by, among other things, creating bogus documents and arranging for the creation of a fake bank website and phone banking line,” read the statement in part.
According to the documents released on Wednesday, July 28 the 37-year-old pleaded guilty on April 20, 2021.
Attorney Wilkison stated that Abbas and his co-conspirators falsified school finance by impersonating bank officials, creating a fraudulent website, and bribing a foreign official to keep the ruse continuing after the victim was tipped off.
According to Kristi K. Johnson, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, Abbas’ “celebrity status and ability to create contacts seeped into legitimate groups and led to multiple spin-off schemes in the United States and abroad.”
“Today’s news strikes at the heart of this global network, and hopefully serves as a warning to potential victims of this type of theft,” Johnson said.
Abbas was involved in frauds that cost victims a total of Ksh2.6 billion. The stolen monies from the school scheme were used to purchase a Richard Mille RM11-03 watch, which was physically delivered to Abbas in Dubai and later appeared in Hushpuppi’s social media posts.
Court documents further outline a dispute among members of the conspiracy, which allegedly prompted Vincent to contact the victim and claim that Abbas and Juma were engaged in fraud. After this contact, Abbas allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Abba Alhaji Kyari, 46, of Nigeria.
According to the affidavit, Kyari is a highly decorated deputy commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas’ behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest. Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.
Anifowoshe, Fashola and Agbabiaka were arrested in New York and New Jersey on Thursday, July 22, and they are expected to be arraigned in Los Angeles in August. All three are currently free on bond.
Hushpuppi flaunts his luxury riches. /FILE