Early Thursday, a report emerged that the notorious fraudster, Ramon Olorunwa Abass alias Hushpuppi, had committed $400,000 fraud in a jail cell in the United States.
The report went viral on social media, with major news websites picking up the story.
However, in the interests of accountability, POLITICS NIGERIA decided to investigate the report further knowing full well that American inmates do not have much internet access.
CLAIM: A report of NEWSWIRENGR, published Thursday morning with the title; “Hushpuppi commits $400,000 fraud from inside US prison,” appeared on social media. The story was quickly syndicated across multiple media platforms and social media handles on Twitter and Facebook.
The report claimed Abass, who is incarcerated, laundered more than $400,000 using credit cards.
“U.S. prosecutors presented documents in United States District Court in California on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 with new evidence charging HushPuppi with committing fraud and money laundering at a U.S. federal correctional facility.”
“Between January 28 and March 4, 2022, US Federal Correctional Institution security officers observed increased Internet use by Hushpuppi. Knowing that Hushpuppi was arrested for Internet-related crimes, they obtained a warrant to record Hushpuppi’s activities A dedicated system was set up for him and his activities were recorded for 7 days.
“Hushpuppi was discovered to be actively purchasing EIP debit cards from an underground cybercriminal marketplace called StimulusCard (“https://stimuluscard.com/”). During his registration, Hushpuppi purchased a total of 58 EIP debit cards from ‘ worth a total of $429,800 on the site and laundered the money through an AJ.
MADE: Speaking to the BBC, Director of Media Relations, United States Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, Mrozek Thom said the report was FALSE.
“After glancing at the document in recent media accounts, the US Attorney’s office in Los Angeles, which filed the case against Mr. Abbas, has not filed any such document.
“We have verified with the FBI agent who is believed to be the author of the document, and it has been confirmed to be a forgery.”
Also cybersecurity expert; Gary Warner, revealed that the document was “fake”. Warner is Director of Research in Computer Forensics at the University of Alabama. He tweeted on Thursday; “People ask me if it’s true that #Hushpuppi laundered $400,000 in #Stimulus cards in jail.”
“The document they show is an edit of a June 2020 affidavit. The new version is fake, intended to trick people into visiting a fraudulent EIP website.
The document they show is an edit of a June 2020 affidavit. The new version is fake, meant to trick people into visiting a fraudulent EIP website.https://t.co/4IyG0G3wm4 https://t.co/92cSWHiEpg pic.twitter.com/PrvpBddUhO
— GarWarner (@GarWarner) March 17, 2022
VERDICT: The report that Hushpuppi perpetrated $400,000 fraud from prison is FALSE.