The Nigerian 37-year-old, who resides in Dubai, is known for posting photographs of luxury cars and five-star hotels on Instagram.
Abbas was arrested in UAE last month and then extradited to the US when FBI agents obtained custody of Abbas, who faces charges of conspiring to engage in money laundering that is alleged in a criminal complaint filed on June 25.
He made his initial court appearance in Chicago on Friday and is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles in the coming weeks.
In a statement released by the US Department of Justice, Ray Hushpuppi and others were accused of conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million (approximately $124 million) from an English Premier League soccer club.
The affidavit filed with the complaint states: “The FBI’s investigation has revealed that Abbas finances this opulent lifestyle through crime and that he is one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.”
United States Attorney Nick Hanna said: “BEC schemes are one of the most difficult cybercrimes we encounter as they typically involve a co-ordinated group of con artists scattered around the world who have experience with computer hacking and exploiting the international financial system.
“This case targets a key player in a large, transnational conspiracy who was living an opulent lifestyle in another country while allegedly providing safe havens for stolen money around the world.
“As this case demonstrates, my office will continue to hold such criminals accountable, no matter where they live.
If convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Hushpuppi would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
Football fans, however, took to Twitter, with many reacting with shock, wondering which of the English Premier League soccer clubs nearly became a victim of Hushpuppi’s fraudulent activities.
Read their tweets below