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Hushpuppi Arraigned In California Court, Trial Set To Begin In October





Socialite, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as “Hushpuppi”, who is facing wire fraud charges, has been arraigned in California court as his trial begins on October 13.

Abbas pleaded not guilty to the 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.

He is alleged to be the leader of a group that facilitates computer intrusion, wire fraud, business email compromise (BEC) fraud and money laundering.

The agency said Hushpuppi’s targeted victims, majorly in the US, had been defrauded of over $168 billion, including one scheme to steal £100 million (approximately $124 million) from an English Premier League soccer club.

It would be recalled that in July, Hushpuppi was first arraigned in Chicago court, however, the case was transferred to Los Angeles, a city in California over lack of jurisdiction.

Since his transfer to California late July, he has been held in the custody of the US Marshal in a federal prison.

FBI who is the prosecutor kickstarted the process of arraignment by filling necessary documents and forms after his first appearance on August 17.

After the pre-trial services, Hushpuppi entered a plea, insisting that he is not guilty of the charges.

According to PremiumTimes, Hushpuppi agreed to go to trial with his lawyer, Vicki Podberesky, a top-rated lawyer in California.

Mrs Podberesky will be assisted by Gal Pissetzky, a Chicago-based lawyer appearing pro hac vice because he is not licensed to practise outside Chicago.

Hushpuppi has pleaded to be prosecuted with complaint and not indictment. This he did by filing a waiver of indictment accepted by the court.

A complaint is the statement of the law enforcement agents containing essential facts of the offenses.

On the other hand, 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 and his counsel, Mrs Podberesky are to appear before District Oct13

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