A Nigerian Instagram influencer known as “Hushpuppi” has admitted to playing a role in a conspiracy to steal more than $1.1 million from a Qatari businessman, according to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed Wednesday. The Justice Department said in a statement that alleged money launderer Ramon Abbas, who has amassed 2.5 million Instagram followers while flaunting his wealth, faked a school’s financing by pretending to be a bank official and creating a bogus website to convince a Qatari businessman to hand over his money.
Part of the money was used to purchase a luxury watch, which was hand delivered to Abbas in Dubai and later peppered his social media posts, prosecutors said. Abbas allegedly also used a portion of the stolen funds to acquire citizenship in St. Christopher and Nevis and for a passport, the Justice Department said. Abbas also admitted to “several other cyber and business email compromise schemes that cumulatively caused more than $24 million in losses,” federal prosecutors said.