Instagram star 'Hushpuppi' charged with trying to steal £100 million from Premier League club

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A social media star who boasts millions of followers on Instagram has appeared in a US court charged with running a global scam allegedly targeting a Premier League club.

Nigerian Ramon Abbas, known as ‘Ray Hushpuppi’, was arrested in Dubai last month following a lengthy investigation led by the FBI.

He appeared in court in Chicago after being extradited to the United States.

Dubai police produced a dramatic video in which officers are seen breaking into Hushpuppi’s home while he slept.

The raid was dubbed “Operation Fox Hunt 2”, and investigators say they were able to track the 37-year-old’s movements by following his Instagram account.

Abbas regularly flaunted his lavish lifestyle to his 2.4 million followers on the site.

He can be seen posing with luxury cars including Bentleys, Rolls-Royces and a Lamborghini, as well as a private jet.

Abbas faces charges of conspiring to engage in money laundering and was apparently involved in a scheme to steal £100 million from an unnamed Premier League club.

Other alleged co-conspirators were also arrested in a series of coordinated raids.

Per Sky Sports, the affidavit filed with the complaint states: "The FBI's investigation has revealed that Abbas finances this opulent lifestyle through crime, and that he is one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars."

United States Attorney Nick Hanna said: "BEC schemes are one of the most difficult cybercrimes we encounter as they typically involve a co-ordinated group of con artists scattered around the world who have experience with computer hacking and exploiting the international financial system.

"This case targets a key player in a large, transnational conspiracy who was living an opulent lifestyle in another country while allegedly providing safe havens for stolen money around the world.

"As this case demonstrates, my office will continue to hold such criminals accountable, no matter where they live."

Abbas would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison if convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering.

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