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Hushpuppi Drops Top US Criminal Defence Attorney


The alleged cybercriminal, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Ray Hushpuppi, has dropped his Chicago lawyer, Gal Pissetzky after he was transferred to California.

Following his arrest in Dubai, UAE, and extradition to the US, Hushpuppi was arraigned in Chicago.

He had hired Pissetzky, a top criminal defence attorney, to defend him in court but the Chicago lawyer could not secure bail for Abbas.

Pissetzky who had vowed to prove his client’s innocence, applied for him to leave jail with an electronic tag and live with the uncle of a woman with whom he has a child, but US prosecutors opposed the bail application and the judge refused him bail, saying he might commit more fraud.

The judge ruled that Hushpuppi would remain detained until his trial later this year.

According to Premium Times, documents showed that Igbalode case has been transferred to the central district of California for prosecution.

It was gathered that the transfer had come after the US government orally renewed its motion for removal in custody and the motion was granted during the detention hearing on Monday.

“Accordingly, Defendant is ordered removed to the Central District of California in the custody of the U.S. Marshal forthwith,” the court ruled after which the defendant was moved on Tuesday.

“As provided by 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f), the defendant is remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal and shall remain in custody until further order of the Court.”

It is also understood from the commitment letter sent to California that Hushpuppi had refused to retain Pissetzky as his attorney, requesting that a court-appointed counsel be assigned to him.

Naija News reports that Hushpuppi was arrested alongside Olalekan Jacob Ponle also known as Woodberry in the United Arab Emirate on June 10 for multiple fraud charges after a raid by operatives of the Dubai crime unit.

The Dubai Police authorities had released a video of how Hushpuppi and Woodberry were arrested for fraud. The Dubai based Nigerian big boys were arrested for an alleged $35 million by Interpol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

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

Two weeks after their arrest, Dubai Police confirmed the arrest of the Dubai based Nigerian internet fraudster. The Dubai Media Office said two Nigerians and 10 others were arrested in an operation tagged “Fox Hunt 2”. The Dubai Police said the raid resulted in the seizure of incriminating documents pertaining to a well-planned international fraud worth Dh1.6 billion (N168,823,414,720.00).

Hushpuppi and his gang of fraudsters were accused of leading an “international” online fraud network that was committing crimes outside the UAE, including money-laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, criminal impersonating, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft.

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