Soon after Nigerian Instagram star Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas pleaded guilty in a California court to charges of money laundering and undertaking other fraudulent schemes, city lawyer Donald Kipkorir has spoken on his encounter with Hushpuppi’s alleged 28-year old Kenyan associate named in court documents, Abdulrahman ‘Abdul’ Imraan Juma.
Hushpuppi alongside his co-conspirators Abdul and Nigerian national Kelly Chibuzo Vincent were charged with attempting to “steal more than $1.1 million from a businessperson attempting to finance the construction of a school for children in Qatar–and the subsequent laundering of illicit proceeds through bank accounts around the world.”
They are said to have posed as consultants and bankers to defraud a Qatari businessperson on the premise that they could facilitate a loan for the construction of a school in Qatar. U.S prosecutors described Hushpuppi, known for the extravagant luxury lifestyle he documented on Instagram, as “one of the most high-profile money launderers in the world”.
Court documents ordered unsealed on Wednesday, July 28 showed that Hushpuppi pleaded guilty to the charges on July 20.
According to Kipkorir, a high-powered corporate lawyer, he was approached by Hushpuppi’s Kenyan associate Abdulrahman Juma to assist in laundering the cash.
Juma reached Kipkorir through influential Mombasa businessman and community figure Fauz Khalid.
“Sometimes back, Abulrahman aka Abdul asked my friend Fauz Khalid in Mombasa to introduce him to me”
“Abdul came to see me & wanted me to keep money from Hushpuppi. I told him I only deal with corporate clients. If I loved money or was corrupt, I would’ve been indicted in US!” Kipkorir wrote on Friday, July 30 noting that he likely escaped an international trial.
US authorities believe that Hushpuppi’s scams around the world saw him defraud various individuals and businesses of tens of millions of dollars. The guilty plea marked a u-turn from vehement denial of all allegations by his legal representatives when he was first arrested by police in Dubai in June 2020.
In the scam involving Abdul Juma and Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, they are alleged to have played different roles.
Hushpuppi posed as “Malik”, a Wells Fargo banker in New York while Abdul was a consultant and facilitator for the loan.
Chibuzo provided technical support to back up the ruse – cooking up fake documents, e-mails, websites and phone lines.