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Hushpuppi changes defence counsel, appoints ex-govt lawyer

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Alleged internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, has dumped his two defence lawyers, Gal Pissetzky and Vicki Podberesky, and appointed a top-rated criminal defence lawyer, Louis Shapiro to take over his defence.

He is facing trial in the United States for business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams has engaged a top-rated criminal defence lawyer Loius Shapiro as his attorney.

The court order on February 25 approved Mr Shapiro as the new defence counsel.

Shapiro was once a deputy public defender in Los Angeles County.

Hushpuppi was recently linked  by the FBI to North Korean hackers, said to be the biggest bank robbers in the world.

The Justice Department in a detailed statement said Abbas took part in a “North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist from a Maltese bank in February 2019.”

His role was as a collaborator with a North Korean money launderer, Ghaleb Alaumary, based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

Hushpuppi was arrested in June 2020 in the United Arab Emirates and extradited to the US alongside his associate Olalekan Ponle popularly known as Woodberry to face allegations of money laundering running into millions of dollars.

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