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FACT CHECK: Has Hushpuppi been released from prison?

FACT CHECK: Has Hushpuppi been released from prison?
December 06
14:00 2023

A video making the rounds on social media claims that Ramon Abbas, better known as Hushpuppi, has been released from prison.

The video has so far garnered over 1.9m views, 2,400 retweets, 957 comments and over 7,000 likes on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The caption of the video shared by @praiseoghre reads: “Hushpuppi’s been released from jail, let’s hope he has learnt from his mistakes.”

In the video, Hushpuppi could be seen being received and greeted at the airport by what appears to be his associates, while he was holding onto a bag.

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Several persons in the video were also seen filming him with their smartphones as he walked out of the airport.

 

The video has also been shared on several pages on Facebook, with claims that Hushpuppi is out of prison.

WHO IS HUSHPUPPI?

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Huspuppi is a Nigerian internet celebrity serving an 11-year jail term in the United States of America for “extensive international online fraud”.

He was said to have committed crimes bordering on money laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, impersonation, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft worth Dh1.6 billion (an estimated N168 billion).

In June 2020, he was tracked and arrested through his Google account in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), by operatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Otis D. Wright II, a US district judge, sentenced the internet celebrity after he was extradited to the USA in July 2020.

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Wright ordered him to pay $1,732,841 in restitution to two fraud victims, after he pleaded guilty to a one-count charge of conspiracy to engage in money laundering in April 2021.

He is currently serving his jail term at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Fort Dix, New Jersey.

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VERIFYING THE CLAIM

A keyword search showed that the video was first uploaded on YouTube in 2018 by iLiteTV, during Hushpuppi’s birthday in Cyprus.

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The video resurfaced on YouTube in 2020 after his arrest, insinuating that the internet celebrity had been released from prison.

To further ascertain Huspuppi’s present whereabouts, TheCable scoured through the inmate register of the US Federal Bureau of Prisons.

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The register contains the details of inmates including name, age, location and release date.

Hushpuppi is still an inmate at Fort Dix

Hushpuppi is still an inmate at Fort Dix

The search results revealed that Hushpuppi’s present location is the Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution and his release date is listed as April 2029.

VERDICT

Claims of Hushpuppi’s release are false. The viral clip insinuating that he’s been released is an old video from 2018.

Based on records from the US Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Internet celebrity is still in custody serving his 11-year jail term.



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