Top Chicago lawyer, Gal Pissetzky, a senior partner at Chicago law firm Pissetzky & Berliner, hired by Hushpuppi, to help extricate him from multi-million dollar fraud charges levelled against him by American authorities, says his client is not guilty of the allegations levelled against him.
Naija News recalls that Dubai Police authorities released a video of how Hushpuppi and Olalekan Jacob Ponle popularly known as Mr Woodbery were arrested for fraud. The Dubai based Nigerian big boy was arrested for an alleged $35 million by Interpol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
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.
Dubai Police said 13 luxury cars, estimated at 35 million Dirham (N3.7 billion) were recovered from the house where they were arrested. The police later handed Hushpuppi over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States where he had since been arraigned on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, among others.
The FBI amongst other charges alleged that Hushpuppi attempted to dupe an English Premier League football club of £100m (N48.4bn). FBI’s allegation is contained in an affidavit deposed to by Andre Innocenti, FBI Special Agent, who is assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office Hi-Tech Organised Crime Squad.
The affidavit read in part, “Abbas and others further conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million (approximately $124 million) from an English Premier League soccer club.”
The FBI further stated that should the cybercrime suspect be convicted, he risks spending 20 years in jail.
Reacting to the allegations of fraud against the cybercrime suspect during an interview with Forbes, Hushpuppi’s legal representative said his client is “Absolutely not guilty of (the) charges they are accusing him of,” adding, “(he) was running a legitimate business and a very legitimate Instagram account and did not take part in any scam or fraud.”
Asked how Hushpuppi paid for his lifestyle, the top Chicago lawyer said, “He’s an entrepreneur. He has real estate involvement … (he’s) an Instagram personality. He was promoting brands and that’s how he was very legitimately making his money.”