Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi, now incarcerated in California as he awaits trial for cyber fraud has been linked by the FBI to North Korean hackers, said to be the biggest bank robbers in the world.
According to a statement released by the Justice Department, Abbas took part in a “North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist from a Maltese bank in February 2019.”
His role was as a collaborator with a North Korean money launderer, Ghaleb Alaumary, based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
The 37 year-old Alaumary was one of the people charged Friday by the FBI for many criminal schemes. The others are three North Koreans.
“Alaumary agreed to plead guilty to the charge, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Nov. 17, 2020”, according to the statement.
“Alaumary was a prolific money launderer for hackers engaged in ATM cash-out schemes, cyber-enabled bank heists, business email compromise (BEC) schemes, and other online fraud schemes. Alaumary is also being prosecuted for his involvement in a separate BEC scheme by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.
“With respect to the North Korean co-conspirators’ activities, Alaumary organized teams of co-conspirators in the United States and Canada to launder millions of dollars obtained through ATM cash-out operations, including from BankIslami and a bank in India in 2018.
“Alaumary also conspired with Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, aka “Ray Hushpuppi,” and others to launder funds from a North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist from a Maltese bank in February 2019”.
Abbas, 38, a popular Instagram influencer who wowed the internet with pictures of his clothes, cars, money and lifestyle between 2012 and 2020, already has a case of his own.
In July last year, Abbas was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles with conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from “business email compromise” (BEC) frauds and other scams.
His trial was to have commenced late last year, but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.