Showing posts with label fraud. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fraud. Show all posts

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Court orders EFCC to return Mompha’s International passport, wristwatches , iPhone



A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered anti-graft agency, EFCC to release all items seized from BDC operator, Ismaila Mustapha aka Mompha.

These items include five luxury wristwatches, an apple iPod, an iPhone 8 device and a pair of sunglasses, which were among other items found on him on his arrest last October 19, in Abuja. Justice Liman made the order while ruling on a July 6 application filed by Mompha’s counsel, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN). 

Friday, 24 July 2020

“Woodberry’s fraud case was dismissed because the US government charged him with a slightly different crime” – Lawyer reveals



The Chicago lawyer representing alleged fraudster, Olalekan Ponle AKA Mr Woodberry, Michael Nash has revealed why the fraud case against his client was dismissed by a US court. It was earlier reported that the United States government on Monday July 20th filed a motion through its attorney John R. Lausch, requesting that the case against Woodberry be dismissed without prejudice, even though he was indicted by a grand jury on an eight-count charge of wire fraud. However, commenting on the development, Nash told Premium Times that the case was dismissed because the government charged his client with a slightly different crime. He said,

US court reveals why Hushpuppi was denied bail



A United States Court sitting in Illinois, Chicago has given its reason for denying embattled Nigerian socialite, Ramon Abbas a.k.a Hushpuppi bail.

It should be recalled that the Instagram celebrity who was apprehended in Dubai early in June for alleged wire fraud and was extradited to the U.S on July 3, was accused of being part of a network that made “hundreds of millions of dollars” from business email compromise frauds and other scams.

U.S. court dismisses fraud case against Woodberry



A United States court has dismissed the case against Olalekan Ponle, a Nigerian accused of multi-million dollar wire fraud.

Mr Ponle, popularly known as Woodberry, was arrested, alongside Ramon Abbas (Hushpuppi) in the United Arab Emirate on June 10 for multiple fraud charges after a raid by operatives of the Dubai crime unit.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Hushpuppi not released yet, says US lawyer



Gal Pissetzky, the legal representative of suspected Internet fraudster, Ramon Abass, aka Hushpuppi, has said the suspect is on his way to California, United States of America, for trial.

He told Newsmen on Wednesday night that Hushpuppi had not been released as being speculated in some quarters.

UAE orders Nigerians with expired visas to leave on or before August 17



The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has ordered Nigerians with expired visas to leave the country on or before August 17. This development comes weeks after some Nigerians including Abass Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi, were arrested by the Dubai Police for fraud.

In a statement released today July 22, the Nigerian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE, announced that the UAE government has given waivers on fines and penalties to Nigerian nationalities whose visas expired before March 1 and expect the affected Nigerians to leave the UAE on or before August 17.

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Grand jury indicts Woodberry of fraud, faces 20 years in prison



Olalekan Ponle, a Nigerian held in the United States for alleged multi-million-dollar fraud, has been indicted by the grand jury, a group of lawyers empowered to conduct legal proceedings and investigate potential criminal conduct.

Mr Ponle, popularly known as Woodberry, alongside Ramoni Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, was arrested in the United Arab Emirate on June 10 for multiple fraud charges after a raid by operatives of the Dubai crime unit. According to the complaint, an unnamed Chicago company was defrauded into sending wire transfers totalling $15.2 million.

Saturday, 18 July 2020

The case is just getting better - Hushpuppi's lawyer, Gal Pissetzky reacts



The case is just getting better - Hushpuppi's lawyer, Gal Pissetzky reacts to report that he dumped the alleged fraudster

Gal Pissetzky, a top Chicago lawyer who is representing suspected Internet fraudster, Ramon Abass, aka Hushpuppi, has said that his case is getting better though he was denied bail and transferred to California.

Hushpuppi Dumps Top Chicago Lawyer As Court Transfers His Trial To California



Hushpuppi, a Nigerian Instagram personality, who is facing cyberfraud allegations in the United States, has disengaged Gal Pissetzky, his lawyer in Chicago, after his trial was transferred to California.

The self-acclaimed influencer, whose real name is Ramon Igbalode, had been arraigned in Chicago on money laundering charges following his arrest in Dubai and subsequent extradition to the US.

Friday, 17 July 2020

EFCC arrests 22-year-old boy, mother and girlfriend for suspected internet fraud



A 22-year-old Computer Science undergraduate of the University of Port Harcourt identified as Kenneth Gift alongside his girl friend, Dandy Spice and mother, Dorah Aninah have been arrested.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Former EFCC boss, Magu released after 10 days detention



Suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has been released from police custody after 10 days in detention. Premium Times and other frontline national dailies have reported that Magu was released earlier today, Wednesday July 15, 2020.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Woodberry hires veteran Chicago lawyer, Michael Nash who has over 55 years experience at the bar.



Olalekan Ponle, popularly known as Woodberry, who was arrested alongside Hushpuppi, has hired the services of a top rated Chicago lawyer, Michael Nash, to defend him in court, Premium Times reports

Woodberry, 29, who is currently being held in the United States, was arrested in the United Arab Emirate on June 10 for multiple fraud charges after a raid by operatives of the Dubai crime unit.

EFCC urges court to deny popular Instagram socialite, Adeherself bail



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has urged an Ikeja Special Offences Court to deny popular Instagram socialite, Adedamola “Adeherself” Adewale bail.

Hushpuppi Denied Bail in the USA



Suspected Nigerian fraudster Ramon Abbas a.k.a Hushpuppi has been denied bail in the United States in spite of his lawyer, Gal Pissetzky insisting that his job as an Instagram celebrity paid for the $10,000 monthly rent on his luxury Dubai flat.

His lawyers had applied for him to leave jail with an electronic tag and live with the uncle of a woman with whom he has a child with, but US prosecutors opposed the bail application. UAE's The National reported that prosecutors said he could commit crimes with just a smartphone and an internet connection, and that he posed too much of a flight risk.

Reacting to prosecutors' argument, Pissetzky said his client had too much to lose if he flees from the United States.

He told a judge in Chicago by videolink;

“He is loved and respected. He is a celebrity. I don’t see the reason why he would want to ruin his credibility in the world and his status rather than stay here and face this allegation.

Anywhere he goes, people will know. Having grown up very poor in Nigeria, Mr Abbas is now paid to pose with high-priced items such as Louis Vuitton bags that people would buy after seeing his posts on Instagram. He is an influencer. That’s a job today, as much as it is hard to imagine. That’s a full-time job.”

Judge Jeffrey Gilbert who watched the proceedings from a prison video link, denied Hushpuppi bail on grounds of him being a flight risk. Gilbert ordered that the suspected Nigerian fraudster be remanded in custody until he is taken to a court in California.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

How we tracked ‘Woodberry’ via iPhone, WhatsApp, Bitcoin transactions – FBI




Olalekan Jacob Ponle, popularly known as Woodberry, was nabbed through details accessed from his WhatsApp, iPhone and Bitcoin transactions, court documents obtained by PREMIUM TIMES reveal.

Mr Ponle, alongside Ramoni Igbalode, also known as Hushpuppi, was arrested in the United Arab Emirate on June 10 for multiple fraud charges after a raid by operatives of the Dubai crime unit.

The duo were then extradited to the United States on July 2.

Mr Ponle, 29, is currently facing charges bordering on wire fraud conspiracy at a United States District Court sitting in Illinois.

The court had since June 25 issued an arrest warrant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding Mr Ponle’s case after a criminal complaint was filed.

His first appearance in court was on July 3, after which the preliminary hearing was set for July 16 before Judge Jeffrey T Gilbert.

However, as provided by a section of the U.S. laws on the release or detention of a defendant pending trial, Mr Ponle will be remanded in custody until a further order of the court.

If found guilty, he is liable to a jail term ranging from 20 to 30 years.

Page Pate, a U.S. law firm, stated on its website that penalties for wire fraud include a prison sentence of up to 20 years (30 years if the case involves federal disaster relief funds or a financial institution), restitution to any victims and a fine set by the judge.

How he was tracked

Ali Sadiq, a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), chronicled how the bureau tracked down through his online activities.

He said this in a criminal complaint document filed at the court and obtained by PREMIUM TIMES.

He stated that Mr Ponle, who often adopted a pseudonym Mark Kain, has defrauded several United States-based companies through Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes.

This scheme compromises legitimate business email accounts through computer intrusion techniques or social engineering and uses those accounts to cause the unauthorised transfer of funds.

Monday, 6 July 2020

EFCC Docks ‘Adeherself’ For Alleged Possession Of Fraudulent Documents



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arraigned a self-acclaimed social media influencer, Adedamola Adewale Rukayat (a.k.a Adeherself) before Justice Sherifat Solebo of the Special Offence Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

The defendant was arrested following intelligence received by the Commission on the activities of some young men allegedly involved in internet fraud in the Lekki axis of Lagos State.

The count read: “That you, Adewale Adedamola Rukayat, on or about the 15th day of June, 2020 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, had in your possession documents titled “WhatsAPP”, which representations you knew or ought to have known, was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 (8) (b) and 1 (3) (d) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006.

She pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In view of her plea, prosecution counsel, S.O. Daji, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed that she be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCS.

The defence counsel informed the court of a bail application for his client and also prayed for a short date to enable its hearing.

Justice Solebo adjourned the matter to July 13, 2020 for hearing of the bail application and also ordered the defendant to be remanded in the EFCC custody.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, distances self from Hushpuppi



Former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has denied having any affiliation with embattled alleged fraudster, Hushpuppi.

Recently, ruling party, APC released a statement in which it urged the EFCC and other security agencies to investigate the links between Hushpuppi and some PDP chieftains.

The party in its statement stated that Hushpuppi has been photographed with Atiku and some other PDP stalwarts like Bukola Saraki, Dino Melaye, and Yakubu Dogara and so they should be investigated to determine if they have any link with the socialite. Reacting to the statement by the ruling party, Paul Ibe, media aide to the former Vice President, said the photo of Atiku and Hushpuppi making the rounds was a mere photo-op and not at any meeting as is being speculated. Read the statement from Ibe below,

It is curious that the All Progressives Congress is mischievously trying to link Atiku Abubakar to the alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, AKA Hushpuppi, simply because he was photographed with Atiku at an event where many Nigerians had gathered.

For the avoidance of doubt, it was a mere photo-op and not at any meeting as being ingloriously speculated. We would advise the APC and Mr. Nabena to be very mindful of such senseless statements in the future especially as the case under reference is a subject of litigation in another country.

Had they been more sensitive, they would have come to terms with the reality that the case is a national embarrassment – not something to cheer about for any political blackmail.”


Saturday, 4 July 2020

Bukola Saraki distances himself from Hushpuppi



Bukola Saraki distances himself from Hushpuppi following APC's call for an investigation into his alleged link with the suspected fraudster

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has distanced himself from Hushpuppi after the ruling All Progressives Congress APC called for an investigation into his alleged links with the suspected fraudster who was recently arrested in the United Arab Emirates and extradited to the United States.

APC in a statement released by its National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena today July 4, called on the relevant security agencies to investigate the links Hushpuppi had with some PDP stalwarts.

The party said the investigation is necessary considering the fact that many of PDP chieftains had several meetings in Dubai ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The statement read in part;

''That the PDP leadership turned Dubai into their “Strategic” meeting place ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria and “Hushpuppi’s” affinity with the PDP leadership is not mere coincidence.

At different times, “Hushpuppi” was been photographed in Dubai meeting with the PDP’s 2019 presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Senator Dino Melaye among other PDP stalwarts.

While relevant authorities investigate the nature of their relationship and business partnership, we also challenge the PDP leadership to do same by opening up on the nature of the relationship, particularly the kind of services the arrested “Hushpuppi” provided them.'' APC's statement read

In a swift reaction, Saraki in a statement released by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, described as irresponsible and cheap politics the statement from APC in which it tried to link him with Hushpuppi.

Saraki in the statement said he has no form of association with the said suspect, Ramon Abbas otherwise known as Hushpuppi and neither does he know him in any way.

“The statement credited to the APC, the ruling party in our country, is one of the ways by which our anti-graft agencies are weakened and why the fight against corruption in the country is often viewed with 

suspicion by the international community. This is because when these cyber-crime suspects were operating freely and openly displaying wealth, the APC saw nothing bad in their activities. Also, the party at that time did not deem it necessary to call on the anti-graft agencies to investigate their activities.

Also, since the arrest of those cyber crime suspects and the subsequent damage to the image and the economy of Nigeria as well as the crisis it created for Nigerians engaged in lawful businesses across the world, the ruling party had been muted. The only time the APC deemed it necessary to make a statement was when it thought it should play dirty, cheap and irresponsible politics.

Dr. Saraki was the only political leader who has publicly made a statement through an Op-Ed article published in the Daily Trust newspaper of July 1, 2020 titled “Cyber Criminals: Confronting The Few Who Dent Many” and this opinion article had been widely circulated online and on other platforms. In that article, he strongly condemned the activities of these cyber criminals and called on the law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to make decisive interventions to checkmate their activities. He has also got a research institution, the Politeia Institute, whose board he chairs to commence a research on the best ways to tackle the menace.

Such a noble intervention in tackling a menace is what Dr. Saraki believes in, not mudslinging and playing politics at the expense of the nation’s image. At this point, we call on the APC leadership to rein in the so-called Yekini Nabena and compel him to desist from making and circulating such malicious, odious and offensive claims”, the statement concluded.

Friday, 3 July 2020

US Federal prosecutors officially charge Hushpuppi for fraud. Faces 20 years in US prison



Ramon Olorunwa Abbas a.k.a. “Ray Hushpuppi” now faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in a US federal prison after being extradited from Dubai to the United States.
In a statement released by the US Department of Justice, the suspected Nigerian fraudster was accused of conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams, including schemes targeting a U.S. law firm, a foreign bank and an English Premier League soccer club.
Hushpuppi made his initial U.S. court appearance this morning in Chicago, and he is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles in coming weeks.
Federal prosecutors who filed a criminal complaint filed on June 25, alleged that the suspected Nigerian fraudster is "one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars".

It was also alleged that Hushpuppi finances his opulent lifestyle of designer clothes, wearing expensive watches, posing in or with luxury cars and charter jets through crime.

The statement partly read;

"BEC schemes as often involving a computer hacker gaining unauthorized access to a business’ email account, blocking or redirecting communications to and/or from that email account, and then using the compromised email account or a separate fraudulent email account to communicate with personnel from a victim company and to attempt to trick them into making an unauthorized wire transfer.

“BEC schemes are one of the most difficult cybercrimes we encounter as they typically involve a coordinated group of con artists scattered around the world who have experience with computer hacking and exploiting the international financial system,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “This case targets a key player in a large, transnational conspiracy who was living an opulent lifestyle in another country while allegedly providing safe havens for stolen money around the world. As this case demonstrates, my office will continue to hold such criminals accountable, no matter where they live.

“In 2019 alone, the FBI recorded $1.7 billion in losses by companies and individuals victimized through business email compromise scams, the type of scheme Mr. Abbas is charged with conducting from abroad.

"Technology has essentially erased geographic boundaries leaving trans-national criminal syndicates to believe that they are beyond the reach of law enforcement. The success in this case was the direct result of our trusted partnerships between the Department of Justice and our federal law enforcement colleagues. These partnerships helped dismantle a sophisticated organized crime group who preyed upon unsuspecting businesses. It is thanks to these partnerships that the American people can feel a bit more secure today.”
Hushpuppi and his suspected co-conspirators were accused of spearheading a BEC scheme that defrauded a client of a New York-based law firm out of approximately $922,857 in October 2019. Abbas and co-conspirators allegedly tricked one of the law firm’s paralegals into wiring money intended for the client’s real estate refinancing to a bank account that was controlled by them.

He was also accused of conspiring to launder funds stolen in a $14.7 million cyber-heist from a foreign financial institution in February 2019, in which the stolen money was sent to bank accounts around the world. Abbas allegedly provided a co-conspirator with two bank accounts in Europe which he expected to receive €5 million (about $5.6 million) in each.
The suspected Nigerian fraudster also allegedly conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million (approximately $124 million) from an English Premier League soccer club, the complaint alleges.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anil J. Antony and Joseph B. Woodring of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section. If convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Abbas would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Internet fraudsters should be arrested alongside their girlfriends — Actress Etinosa



Controversial Nollywood actress and comedian, Etinosa Idemudia has shared her two cents about the arrest of Dubai-based Nigerian big boy, Hushpuppi by FBI and Interpol. Etinosa, in her reaction to the infamous arrest, hinted that the girlfriends of these internet fraudsters should also be arrested. She shared a video on her page where she can be heard saying ; There’s one nonsense thing Police does that i do not like.

When they successfully arrest an internet fraudster, they will not arrest the girlfriend, it is not fair. They are supposed to arrest the both of them because if they don’t do that, the girl might go on to meet another boy after she must her enjoyed the money of the former boyfriend.
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