Hushpuppi: FBI reveal new evidence of how he laundered unemployment benefits

Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has provided fresh evidence showing how Ramon Abbas, popularly called Hushpuppi, was involved in laundering unemployment benefits meant for citizens of the United States.

Hushpuppi, was arrested in UAE over money laundering and cyber fraud allegations, and also now facing charges in the U.S.

The FBI has accused him of facilitating computer intrusion, Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud and money laundering and has since arraigned him in a US court in California. Trial on the case is slated for October 13.

In the preliminary sittings, he had pleaded not guilty to the four counts of “conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering conspiracies, international money laundering and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity”, Premium Times reports.

In one of the affidavit deposed on September 14, with the United States District Court, Central District of California, Andrew John Innocenti, an FBI cybercrime expert indicted Mr Abbas in the outcome of his investigation.

Mr Innocenti said he found out how Hushpuppi, was using his email address, registered on a website whizzlog.com (“Whizzlog”) which is a marketplace for buying US Bank Logs and money laundering.

He said although, based on his training, sophisticated cybercriminals do not use their personal email address in registering on such websites but Hushpuppi did.

For easier payment, the bank logs are available for purchase instantly and payment is made using Bitcoin.

“Cyber criminals who purchase the bank logs can launder the money off through various means. The favorite means on Whizz Log is to buy Bitcoins with the balance in the bank log Whizz Log specifies if a bank log is “BTC Compatible” or not.

“Based on my training and experience, a bank account is “BTC Compatible” if you can buy Bitcoins from within the bank log. Some banks allow clients to directly purchase Bitcoins from their online bank account. Such banks are “BTC Compatible”. A buyer of a “BTC Compatible” bank log would login to the account, navigate to services provided by the bank and select to buy Bitcoins. He can use the whole balance in the account to buy Bitcoins. The Bitcoins will be sent to the criminal within minutes.”

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