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Alleged internet fraudster, Hushpuppi, not Dead in US’ custody

Claim: Multiple reports claim that suspected fraudster, Ramon Abbas, alias Hushpuppi, is dead.

There are no official reports of Hushpuppi’s death by credible news media, United States Department of Justice or any other US agency.

Full Text

Popular Instagram influencer and suspected internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, better known as Hushpuppi, has been reported dead. The reports, widely shared by blogs and social media users, claims he died in US custody. 

Hushpuppi is currently standing trial in the US for cyber fraud, money laundering and other related crimes, following his arrest in 2020 along with associates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Hushpuppi is believed to have defrauded his victims, including a Qatari businessman and English football club, to the tune of $24 million. He pleaded guilty to charges and is awaiting sentencing.

Reports of his death, which surfaced on the internet in late February 2022, have been attributed to self-acclaimed investigative journalist, Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo.

“Sad news coming in from the camp of Mrs. Kemi Olunloyo who is an award-winning Nigerian investigative journalist asserts that convicted Nigerian internet fraudster Hushpuppi has reportedly died in the US,” one of the blogs posted.

“As stated by Mrs Kemi Olunloyo who intentionally addressed Hushpuppi as “The Boy,” the socialite died whilst still in police custody abroad.”

Snapshot from one of the newspapers that reported Hushpuppi’s death

Reportedly, one of the earliest sources that announced the arrest of the ‘Gucci master,’ Kemi Olunloyo, has been sharing updates on Hushpuppi’s arrest and court proceedings on her twitter handle and via other channels, including an interview on Arise TV.

Screenshot of one of the reports on Twitter

Verification

DUBAWA found that the purported death of Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, was not published by any credible news agency; this raises a red flag, given that it is a significant update on a case which has been widely reported by local and international media.

Similarly, there has been no updates on Hushpuppi’s death from the US Department of State, the Federal Bureau of Intelligence, Department of Justice or any other US agency.

Kemi Olunloyo, who is credited by the viral blogs as the source of the news of Huspuppi’s death, recently denied the claim.

“Kemi Olunloyo did not announce that Hushpuppi is DEAD in the US. Stop spreading #Fakenews. Avoid those blogs,” she tweeted on her verified twitter handle.

She said in another tweet: “May God deal with the stupid bloggers who attributed Hushpuppi’s death to me and moving it around WhatsApp. I’m an investigative journalist and there was nowhere I said that. Always check on my pages for authentic news. I should stop giving you Hushpuppi updates.”

One of Kemi’s rebuttals on her verified Twitter handle

The last update on Hushpuppi’s case came in February with the postponement of his sentencing by the US Attorney’s Office in Central California. The court had initially scheduled the sentencing for February 14, but its Director of Media Relations, Thom Mrozek, says it will now be held on July 11.

If convicted, the suspect could face “20 years imprisonment; a 3-year period of supervised release; a fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offence.”

Conclusion

The viral posts reporting the death of celebrity influencer and suspected scammer, Ramon Abass aka Hushpuppi, are false. The death has not been reported by any credible news agency nor are there any available reports on the incident from the Department of Justice or any other US agencies.

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