Photo and video sharing social networking service, Instagram, says that Ramon Abbas, a.k.a Hushpuppi, is free to continue using his social media account once he does not represent dangerous organisations or individuals.
Hushpuppi is currently being held in the United States for financial offences bordering on wire fraud to which he has pleaded guilty and faces a 20-year jail term if convicted.
The United States Attorney’s Office at the Central District of California says that Hushpuppi will be sentenced in late October 2021.
The court’s Director of Media Relations, Thom Mrozek, disclosed this to The PUNCH in an emailed enquiry recently.
The court also confirmed that it ordered the FBI to arrest Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari, for his alleged role in a $1m scam allegedly perpetrated by Hushpuppi and five others.
“A U.S. Magistrate Judge has issued arrest warrants for the defendants in the case, including Mr. Kyari. This is standard operating procedure in nearly all of the criminal cases filed by this office.
In a plea agreement document sighted by The PUNCH, Hushpuppi had pleaded guilty to money laundering and internet fraud-related charges.
The document was signed by Hushpuppi; his lawyer, Loius Shapiro; and Acting United States Attorney, Tracy Wilkison, among others.
As reported by the UAE-based The National, though Hushpuppi lived a life of luxury in Dubai based on the proceeds of crime, his crimes do not violate social media laws and, therefore, his Instagram account may not be closed.
The National quoted the social media service as saying that it had well-established processes with law enforcement and a policy on “inmate takedown requests” in place for prisoners active on social media.
And, though Abbas has not posted on Instagram to his 2.5 million followers since June 2020, his followers recently opted to mark his 39th birthday on September 4 — ahead of the October 11 date.
Instagram’s global team told The National that Hushpuppi would be free to continue to use hs social media handle “unless directed otherwise from law enforcement in the US, where he is awaiting sentencing.”