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 U. S. court postpones sentencing of Influencer, Hushpuppi

The U. S. Central District Court in California has again postponed the sentencing of a Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abass, popularly known as Hushpuppi, for the multi-million-dollar fraud charges he has pleaded guilty to.

Arrested in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE) in June 2020, and subsequently flown to the U.S., Hushpuppi pleaded guilty to the charges in July 2021 and was ordered to remain in custody pending sentencing which was initially moved from February 14 to July 11, and has now been moved to September at the counsel’s request.

Judge Otis Wright has fixed September 21 as the new sentencing date.

“At the request of counsel, the Sentencing is CONTINUED to 9/21/2022 at 1:30 PM before Judge Otis D. Wright II, as to Defendant Ramon Olorunwa Abbas,” the court’s announcement read.

Mr Abass has been in custody since his arrest in Dubai and rendition to the U. S. in June 2020.

In July 2021 he pleaded guilty to the multi-million-dollar fraud charges filed against him by the United States government, in the hope of getting a lighter punishment.

The exact sentence to be imposed on Mr Abass remains unknown. However, provided Mr Abass “demonstrates an acceptance of responsibility for the offence up to and including the time of sentencing,” the prosecution said it recommends “a two-level reduction in the applicable Sentencing Guidelines offence level”.

“If necessary,” the prosecution adds, it may “move for an additional one-level reduction if available under that section.”

Not being an American citizen, he will be deported after completing his jail term and paying up the amount to be restituted.

The maximum penalty for the offence which Mr Abass hopes will be reduced at his sentencing include: “20 years’ imprisonment; a 3-year period of supervised release; a fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greatest; and a mandatory special assessment of $100.”

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