Hushpuppi who was arrested in a dramatic operation by Dubai Police “did not take part in any scam or fraud,” a legal representative has said.
Gal Pissetzky of Pissetzky & Berliner, told Forbes that his client is “Absolutely not guilty of [the] charges they are accusing him of,” adding, “Abbas was running a legitimate business and a very legitimate Instagram account and did not take part in any scam or fraud.”
when Asked how Abbas paid for his lifestyle, Pissetzky tells Forbes, “He’s an entrepreneur. He has real estate involvement … he’s an Instagram personality. He was promoting brands and that’s how he was very legitimately making his money.”
Dubai-based Nigerian Ramon Olorunwa Abbas a.k.a. Ray Hushpuppi lived a flashy lifestyle on Instagram.
Abbas is facing multiple criminal charges in the United States alongside Olalekan Jacob Ponle, who goes by the name “mrwoodbery” on Instagram.
Mr Abbas and Mr Ponle were both extradited to the US and charged in a Chicago court with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and laundering hundreds of millions of dollars obtained from cybercrimes.
Police in the emirate say they recovered $40m (£32m) in cash, 13 luxury cars worth $6.8m, 21 computers, 47 smartphones and the addresses of nearly two million victims during a late-night hunt.
The two have not yet been asked to plead and are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Abbas would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison if found guilty.