The line between success and scam can sometimes become thin within the social media influencer community.
However, one Instagram influencer, known for his extravagant posts featuring Rolls Royces, private jets, and designer clothing, has allegedly leaped over that line and is now facing money laundering conspiracy charges in the United States, according to a report from CNN.
Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, a Nigerian national known as @hushpuppi on IG, appeared in federal court on Friday in connection with millions he allegedly scammed through international cyber schemes. Abbas was reportedly arrested last month in the United Arab Emirates, before being transferred to the US to face his day in court.
U.S. prosecutors claim that Abbas is just one of several leaders of a global conspiracy that uses “business email compromise” to trick companies into wiring them money.
"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," U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said in a statement.
Among the organization's alleged victims, Abbas reportedly attempted to steal $124 million from an unspecified English Premier League soccer club. It’s unclear if the attempt was successful.
On Instagram, where he has 2.4 million followers, Abbas portrays himself as a wealthy real estate developer living the high life. His criminal enterprise was interrupted when, according to Dubai Police, Abbas and 11 others were raided. Authorities reportedly seized “$41 million, 13 luxury cars worth $6.8 million and phone and computer evidence containing more than 100,000 fraud files and the addresses of nearly 2 million possible victims,” per CNN.
If convicted in the U.S., Abbas could face up to 20 years in federal prison.