A suspected Nigerian internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi, is spending his fifth day at the Metropolitan Correction Centre in Chicago.
Mr Abbas, 37, who was resident in Dubai, was known for living an extravagant lifestyle and flaunting it on social media.
He made his first appearance in a U.S court, Friday morning, in Chicago, according to a press release from the U.S Department of Justice.
Below is a diary of what has transpired in court so far as obtained by PREMIUM TIMES
03/07/20: Hushpuppi had his initial court appearance and removal proceedings before Honourable Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert.
He appeared in response to his arrest and deportation from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on July 2. By agreement and consent of all the parties and pursuant to the CARES Act, all parties appear by telephone conference.
During the proceeding, Hushpuppi was informed of his rights, the nature of the charges and the maximum penalties. Santino Coleman of the Federal Defender Panel was assigned as counsel for him for these initial appearance and removal proceedings. Hushpuppi waived an identity hearing.
The Court finds that Hushpuppi is the person named in the arrest warrant issued in the Central District of California. The defendant was informed of his rights under Rule 20 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Government orally moved for removal in custody based on 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f) (2)(A).
In accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f)(2)(A), a continued removal and detention hearing was set for July 8 at 11:00 a.m. via telephone conference. The court’s call-in number and access code were provided.
03/07/2020: RULE 5(c)(3) Affidavit in Removal Proceedings concerning Hushpuppi was signed by Judge Honorable Jeffrey T. Gilbert.
03/07/2020: As provided by 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f), the defendant (Hushpuppi) was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal. It was ordered that the defendant shall remain confined in the Metropolitan Correction Centre or an alternative facility designated by the U.S. Marshal, but held separate, to the extent practicable, from persons awaiting or serving sentences or being held in custody pending appeal. It was further ordered that the defendant shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity for private consultation with his counsel while in custody. The court requested that during this time, Hushpuppi be given access to a telephone to speak with his lawyer and family in Chicago to prepare for the hearing.
06/07/2020: Attorney appearance for the defendant was filed by Gal Pissetzky of the Pissetzky & Berliner law firm based in Chicago.
07/07/2020: At Hushpuppi”s request, and without objection from the U.S. Government, the continued telephonic removal proceeding set for July 8 was suspended and rescheduled for July 13.
Hushpuppi remained detained at the Metropolitan Correction Centre in Chicago.
Authorities say he would be transferred to Los Angeles in the coming days.
An affidavit, alongside a criminal complaint filed in court by the U.S. authorities alleges that Mr Abbas and others used the internet to steal millions of dollars from people and companies.
The American government said Mr Abbas funded his extravagant lifestyle with stolen money.