As the alleged fraud case against Ramon Abbas proceeds to Los Angeles in California, Gal Pissetzky, his attorney, will be supported by another top rated lawyer, Vicki Podberesky, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
Mrs Podberesky of Andrues/Podberesky law firm based in Los Angeles, specialises in representing individuals in both state and federal criminal matters, as well as companies and individuals in administrative and in-house investigations.
Mr Abbas, popularly addressed as Hushpuppi, is a Dubai-based Nigerian Instagram celebrity facing wire fraud charges in the United States.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation accused him of being part of a network that made “hundreds of millions of dollars” from business email compromise frauds and other scams.
The 37-year-old was formerly held in the Metropolitan Correction Centre in Chicago, United States but now, has been transported to Los Angeles by the U.S. Marshals Service, following a court ruling in the Northern District of Illinois.
This newspaper gathered that Mr Pitsetssky, a top criminal defence lawyer, who is only licensed to practice in Chicago, has applied to appear Pro hac vice on behalf of the alleged fraudster in California.
Pro hac vice refers to apractice whereby a lawyer who has not been admitted to practice in a certain jurisdiction is allowed to participate in a particular case in that jurisdiction.
The out-of-jurisdiction attorney is required to provide the court with a statement from his local bar association indicating that he is a member in good standing.
In most jurisdictions, the attorney appearing pro hac vice must continue to associate with a locally licenced attorney, also referred to as “local counsel. However, the degree to which the local counsel is required or expected to participate in the matter varies.
Documents obtained by this newspaper showed that Mr Pitsetssky applied for Pro hac vice on July 22 with an attestation letter from the Attorney Registration and the Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court in Illinois.
More so, Mrs Podberesky has been hired as the local counsel to work with Mr Pitsetssky.
The order for Mr Pissetzky to appear pro hac vice with Mrs Podberesky was granted by a judge, Pedro V Castillo, of the U.S court in California on Friday.
The notice of appearance was also filed on the same date.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday evening, Mr Pitsetssky noted that the case is far from being set to go to trial as the U.S. government is yet to turn over all the evidence.
He said the date for the next appearance has not been released yet.
Mr Abbas, who is currently in detention, might spend the next twenty years in prison if convicted of the crime.
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