Fresh charges have been slammed on infamous internet fraudster Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas by United States prosecutors, accusing him of committing fraud and laundering over $400,000 while in prison.
On Wednesday, US prosecutors presented documents before the U.S. District Court of California with fresh evidence indicating Mr Abbas committed fraud and money laundering at the U.S Federal correctional facility.
The documents said Mr Abass was involved in the purchase and laundering of Economic Impact Payment debit cards obtained from stolen data of U.S. citizens and residents.
According to prosecutors, inmates are allowed access to phone calls, video calls, the internet, exempt from being monitored to protect their rights to privacy. However, between January 28 and March 4, security officers at the correctional facility observed that Mr Abbas had gone beyond allowed internet use.
In light of the internet-based crimes Mr Abbas was tried for, a warrant to record his activities was obtained and his activities were recorded for a week.
It was found that Mr Abbas had purchased 58 EIP debit cards from an underground cybercriminal marketplace StimulusCard, worth $429,800.
The Economic Impact Payments are financial support offered by the U.S. government to U.S residents according to the CARES Act.
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Mr Abass, whose sentencing was postponed to July, pleaded guilty to multimillion-dollar fraud charges as part of a plea bargain he entered with the U.S. authorities.
The 37-year-old had been arrested in Dubai in June 2020 and extradited to the U.S. where he has been facing charges of corruption in Central California.