A video is trending about how the FBI tracked down and arrested Hushpuppi via his outlandish posts on social media platform, Instagram.
This is coming after his infamous arrest in Dubai.
The international business email compromise scammer was arrested in Dubai on 5 June, along with another Nigerian Olalekan Ponle and 10 other suspects.
In Dubai, Hushpuppi lived at the exclusive Palazzo Versace, while him a global network that used computer intrusions, business email compromise schemes and money laundering to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from companies. He even targeted an English Premier League club.
KikioTolu News recalls that investigators seized nearly $41 million, 13 luxury cars worth $6.8 million, and phone and computer evidence, Dubai Police said in a statement.
They also uncovered email addresses of nearly 2 million possible victims on phones, computers and hard drives, Dubai authorities said.
On 2 July, he was extradited to the United States.
He is now being held in Los Angeles, California, where he will be tried for scams worth $1.5 billion.
An FBI affidavit details how the Bureau initially discovered Abbas and his social media handle through two co-conspirators. One of these accomplices, a non-Nigerian manager of the criminal organization’s money mules, had a UAE number saved as “Hush” tied to the Snapchat username “hushpuppi5.”
The FBI similarly found and reviewed Hushpuppi’s Instagram account—where he also mentions the same Snapchat username and styles himself as a real estate developer—and matched his posts to photos from Abbas’s passports and other identification documents. The account gave the detectives insight into their target’s lifestyle of “substantial wealth.”
Snap Inc., Instagram and Apple provided records for the investigation that helped the FBI to make connections between chat histories, phone contacts and email addresses, which allowed investigators to confirm Abbas’s correspondences and his Dubai residence at the Palazzo Versace.
According to the FBI, Abbas was a “key player” in a large conspiracy that purportedly provided “safe havens for stolen money around the world.”
Born in Lagos, Abbas had reportedly been a second-hand clothes street trader before he started his ostentatious lifestyle presumably through his alleged fraudulent activity.
The Hushpuppi case is reminiscent of last year’s FBI arrest of Obinwanne Okeke, a more refined fraudster who, posing as a successful entrepreneur, was featured on the Forbes 30-under-30 magazine cover, spoke at the London School of Economics Africa Summit and was lauded by the BBC as a “rising star.” Two weeks before Abbas appeared in court in Chicago, Okeke pled guilty to an $11 million fraud scheme.