Man Who Flaunted His Extreme Wealth On Instagram Gets 11 Years Behind Bars

Bloomberg Quicktake: Originals

Not everything you see on social media is real. Some of it is photoshopped. Some of it is staged. Some of it may be real, but only a glimpse at the seemingly perfect part of someone’s life, hardly telling the whole story, definitely not showing the messy moments.

Many people turn to social media platforms like Instagram in hopes of getting likes, comments and general affirmation that they are wonderful and their life is wonderful. Sometimes they’re simply showing off.

Ramon Abbas was born in Nigeria, and after amassing massive wealth, he moved to Dubai. He flaunted his wealth on Instagram using the name Hushpuppi. His followers watched him literally throw around money, and saw all of the luxury brands and products he owned.

Abbas claimed that he was a real estate developer, but that turned out not to be at all true. In fact, he was a player in a larger scam, and his wealth came from that scam.

In June 2020, Abbas was arrested in Dubai. Leading up to his arrest, police were able to locate him and verify his identity by looking at his social media posts.

In April 2021, Abbas pled guilty to money laundering. He could have faced up to 20 years in prison, but this past Monday, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison. He was also ordered to pay $1.7 million to two of his fraud victims.

Abbas’s victims were all businesses with lots of money. In the elaborate scheme, Abbas and his co-conspirators would use email spoofing, where they pretend an email was sent from a legitimate email, in order to trick companies into wiring money to a bank account they controlled instead of sending it to the correct bank account. The businesses they targeted include a British soccer club, a U.S. law firm and a foreign bank, just to name a few.

Before his sentencing, Abbas wrote a letter to the judge in September. He told the judge, “Your honor, I make no excuse for my actions and I take full responsibility for what I’ve done. If I could turn back the hand of time, I would make an entirely different decision and be more careful in the choices and friends I make.”

Watch the video below to learn more about how Abbas became  the “Billionaire Gucci Master,” as he referred to himself on SnapChat, and how his social media presence led to his arrest.