Hushpuppi arraigned in California
Suspected Nigerian fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi has been arraigned in a court in California, United States.
Faced with 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, the 37-year-old pleaded not guilty.
Hushpuppi was in July first arraigned in a court in the Northern District of Illinois, Chicago where he was denied bail before the case was transferred to Los Angeles, a city in California.
The Nigerian has been in the custody of the US Marshal in federal prison.
Hushpuppi made his first court appearance in California on August 17.
According to documents obtained by TheNigerian News, Hushpuppi went to trial with his lawyer Vicki Podberesky who would be assisted by Gal Pissetzky because he is not licensed to practice outside Chicago.
It is understood that the Nigerian pleaded to be prosecuted with complaints and not an indictment.
A complaint is the statement of the law enforcement agents containing essential facts of the offenses.
However, to obtain an indictment, a prosecutor must present proposed charges to a grand jury – a body of jurors that investigates crimes and decides whether charges should be filed.
Hushpuppi is to appear before District Judge Otis Wright II by 9 am on October 13 for the commencement of trial.
The suspect was arrested in June in the United Arab Emirates and extradited to the US alongside his associate Olalekan Ponle popularly known as Woodberry to face allegations of money laundering running into millions of dollars.