11-year-old Instagram star gets $300m BEC deal • The Register | Tech Reddy

11-year-old Instagram star gets 0m BEC deal • The Register

 | Tech Reddy


An internet and Instagram star who conspired to launder more than $300 million over 18 months was arrested this week — and must pay more than $1.7 million to his victims.

Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, 40, born in Nigeria, known as Ray Hushpuppi, pleaded guilty to the charge and spent 11 years and three months behind bars in the United States for his role in among many online scams.

Abbas and his associates used business email attacks (BEC) to steal money from several companies around the world, as well as individuals, including an unnamed English Premier League football club.

There are many types of BEC attacks. They usually involve hijacking legitimate email accounts, hacking legitimate accounts, sending fake numbers and fake credentials to send money to scammers. Recipients are usually (but not always) the financial staff at companies, and the senders are in the form of staff leaders (such as the CEO or CFO) and suppliers who want to pay. In fact, victims are making money calls to fraudsters.

BEC can also be used to obtain sensitive data – such as employment records from HR departments – that can be purchased online. According to the FBI, BEC scams are on the rise because of the high payout – just 19,954 victims were handed over $2.4 billion last year, apparently.

Abbas is an active user of social media and regularly posts photos of his lifestyle to his 2.3 million followers. Photos of Abbas taken from his accounts show him living off his ill-gotten gains: relaxing on airplanes, standing next to luxury cars, and more. Abbas was arrested at his home in Dubai in June 2020 and extradited to the United States, where he served his sentence.

Ramon Olorunwa Abbas

Al Capwned … Living happy times for Ramon Olorunwa Abbas

Abbas bankrolled his gambling world through a series of cybercrime schemes, such as a 2019 double-deal in which he and another cybercriminal conspired to launder $14.7 million (£12.6m) at a bank in Malta, and the aforementioned fraud. an English Premier League team and another UK company.

Abbas was also involved in stealing nearly $992,857 (£851,022) from a New York law firm in 2019, and admitted in his plea agreement that he conspired to defraud a Qatari national who seeking funding of $15m to build a school.

Friends in prison

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In particular, Abbas was picked up by the Feds for planning to launder more than $300 million, and as prosecutors have shown, much of it was planned. “His willingness and ability to engage in large-scale money laundering shows the seriousness of his crimes,” the Justice Department said.

Abbas pleaded guilty to one count of alleged involvement in money laundering in April last year. The restitution he was ordered to pay, as part of his sentence, includes the return of money stolen from a New York law firm of up to $809,983 (£691,901) to a man from Qatar.

Prosecutors also believe Abbas offered his money-laundering services to the North Korean government, which U.S. officials said was responsible for the money laundering in Malta in 2019. The money was stolen by militants. of the North is the same amount that Abbas agreed to consider cleaning up. ®


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