Nigeria’s Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abbas, aka “Hushpuppi”, has been arraigned in an American court in California and his trial is set to begin on October 13,2020
Hushpuppi pleaded not guilty to the four-count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering conspiracies, international money laundering, and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.
In June, the 37-year-old known for flaunting his wealthy lifestyle on social media was arrested in Dubai by special operatives of the Emirati police and American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In July, Hushpuppi together with Olalekan Ponle, famously known as Woodberry, was extradited to Chicago in the United States where he was first arraigned.
Nevertheless, because the U.S. Court in Illinois does not have jurisdiction over the case, he was transferred to Los Angeles, a city in California. Since his transfer to California in late July, he has been held in the custody of the U.S. Marshal in a federal prison.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor kickstarted the process of arraignment by filing necessary documents and forms after his first appearance on August 17.
After the pretrial services, Hushpuppi entered a plea, insisting that he is not guilty of the charges. Hushpuppi consented to go to trial with his lawyer, Vicki Podberesky, a top-rated lawyer in California, per a document according to reports.
Mrs. Podberesky will be assisted by Gal Pissetzky, a Chicago-based lawyer appearing pro hac vice because he is not licensed to practise outside Chicago.
Although, he has pleaded that he should be prosecuted with a complaint and not an indictment. This he did by filing a waiver of indictment accepted by the court.
Mr. Abbas and his counsel, Mrs. Podberesky, are to appear before District Judge Otis D. Wright II by 9a.m on October 13.
If convicted, the one-time Instagram sensation may spend the next 20 years in the U.S federal prison.