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Instagram.com

Ramon Abbas, an Instagram influencer from Nigeria, has pleaded guilty to defraud victims out of at least $24 million using email "phishing" scams.

Abbas, 37, was arrested in June in Dubai and extradited to Chicago to face money laundering and wire fraud charges.

Video shows a stunned Abbas in police custody inside his luxury 2-story Versace penthouse with its own pool and jacuzzi in Dubai. A childhood friend visiting him from Nigeria was briefly detained and released by special operations forces and Emerati police officers in June.

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Instagram

Abbas now faces up to 20 years in prison in the US, after being extradited to Chicago then California last year.

Abbas and his crew hacked into computer systems after unsuspecting victims clicked on phishing links in emails. They then monitored the victims' emails looking for invoices or sales statements.

Abbas and his crew changed the banking info in the invoices, then siphoned the money into their own accounts. Victims included individuals and banks. The thieves stole $1 million meant for a children's hospital in Qatar.

Abbas cultivated an Internet persona that made him an Instagram star around the globe. He often wore expensive designer clothing, shoes and backpacks. His fleet of luxury automobiles worth $3 million were seized by police.

His lawyers told a judge that Abbas is the father of five children, including a child who lives with his mother in Virginia. But the judge ordered Abbas detained until his trial. Abbas was not allowed to stay with a girlfriend's uncle in Homewood, Illinois, because he was considered a flight risk.

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The federal prosecutor said Abbas "never visited" the girlfriend or their child in the United States and there is no evidence that he has ever even met this 'uncle.'

Abbas' lawyer said his client is a social media influencer who earned his millions legally by promoting high end luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Fendi on Instagram.
 


 

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Actor Drake Bell pleaded guilty to one count of attempted child endangerment involving a minor girl in Ohio.

The former child actor and singer appeared via Zoom at the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas in Cleveland on Wednesday.

Fox 8 News previously reported that the victim, now 15, accused Bell of inappropriate conduct that took place in Cleveland on Dec. 1, 2017. The victim filed a police report in December 2018.

Fox 8 Cleveland reports that Bell engaged the minor girl in an inappropriate chat that "at times, was sexual in nature."

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Bell, real name Jared Drake Bell, pleaded guilty to one count of disseminating material harmful to juveniles, a 4th degree felony. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 6 to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Judge Timothy McCormick informed Bell that prison time is not mandatory but if he is sentenced to prison time he'd be subjected to three years of probation.

The Nickelodeon star was arrested on June 3 in Cleveland. He posted a $2,500 bond and was released from the Cuyahoga County Jail.

"All facts will be revealed in a courtroom," Bell's attorney Ian Friedman said on June 4 -- which likely explains why Bell copped a plea to avoid a trial.

Child molestation victims took to social media to complain that Bell was being handled with kid gloves (no pun intended) because he is a celebrity.

Bell's sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 12.

Bell, left, is pictured with actor/comedian Josh Peck, right, at Nickelodeon's 18th Annual Kids Choice Awards in 2005.

Nikki Nelson / WENN


 

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the victim was a boy.

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Bryshere Gray, who played Lucious Lyon's prodigal son Hakeem Lyon on Fox TV's "Empire", will do jail time for beating his girlfriend nearly unconscious.

Gray entered a guilty plea in his domestic violence case - and the plea deal includes jail time.

According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Gray pled guilty to felony aggravated assault stemming from a violent incident at his Arizona home in July 2020.

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As part of his plea agreement, he will serve 10 days in the county jail alongside murderers, purse snatchers, and other hoodlums. After he is released, he will serve three years on probation.

Gray was also ordered to pay restitution to his ex-girlfriend. He must also enroll in a domestic violence offender treatment program.

PG / Splash News

During his probation, Gray won't be allowed to touch liquor or illegal drugs and he'll also submit to drug and alcohol testing.

The 27-year-old Sagittarius and his sister grew up in West Philadelphia with a single mother.

AR Photo/Splash News

The aspiring rapper worked three jobs to help his mother pay the bills. He was fired from a job at Pizza Hut after he was caught writing rap lyrics while on the clock.

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One of two girls charged with killing Uber Eats driver Mohammad Anwar in Washington, DC, took a plea deal this week, according to published reports.

The 15-year-old carjacker pleaded guilty to the murder of 66-year-old Anwar, an Uber Eats delivery driver, who was thrown from his car and killed during an attempted carjacking on March 23.

In return for pleading guilty to murder, prosecutors agreed to drop other charges - armed carjacking, robbery and aggravated reckless driving, DailyMail.com reported.

She will be sentenced on June 4 and, as part of the plea deal, will serve a maximum of six years in a juvenile detention center, until she is 21.

Court proceedings for minors are closed to the public and their criminal records are sealed for life.

A 13-year-old accomplice was also charged as a juvenile in the crime.

The girls targeted the father-of-three as he delivered food for Uber Eats in the southeast section of D.C.

Chilling cell phone video shows Anwar leaning halfway out of his car, telling a bystander "they're kids", as the oldest girl sped off -- with Anwar still holding on to the steering wheel.

Seconds later, the car lost control, overturned and crashed, throwing Anwar from the vehicle. He died from severe head injuries.

As the victim lay dying, one of the teens is overheard saying her cell phone was still in the car.
 

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A former U.S. postal service employee plead guilty to stealing gift cards and cash from U.S. mail letters.

Markeyta McAllister, 30, pleaded guilty on Dec. 17 to Obstruction of United States Mail for stealing thousands of dollars in cash and gift cards between July 7, 2014 to December 3, 2019.

"While most U.S. Postal Service employees serve Americans with integrity and honesty – McAllister did not," said U.S. Attorney Byung J. 'BJay' Pak. "By opening peoples' mail to steal money and gift cards, McAllister betrayed both the citizens she supposedly served and the reputation of her fellow employees."

Pak says McAllister, of Jefferson, Georgia, opened mailed letters to steal prepaid Visa gift cards and cash from letters addressed to residents in Duluth, Georgia, where she worked at a U.S. mail facility.

McAllister later used the stolen gift cards at stores such as Kroger and Walmart.

After pleading guilty, McAllister confirmed that she "fully underst[ood] that it is a crime, punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, to knowingly or willfully obstruct or delay the mail, or to steal or attempt to steal mail of any kind."

Stock photo: All-In-Media / BACKGRID

A Georgia woman pleaded guilty to fraudulently collecting disability payments while working at a DeKalb County strip club.

Valencia D. Williams, 31, worked nights stripping for money under the name "Chrissy the Doll," federal prosecutors say.

The Lithonia resident told the Social Security Administration she was bedridden due to severe anxiety and depression and she was unable to work.

Williams pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud after it was determined she collected over $60,000 in disability benefits that she was not entitled to, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Williams applied for benefits in July 2010, citing major depression and a panic disorder that prevented her from working or even leaving her home, prosecutors said.

After her benefits began rolling in, Williams applied for an adult entertainment permit in 2014 and took a job dancing at Strokers Adult Entertainment Club in Clarkston, Ga.

Authorities say she danced until 4 a.m., taking home thousands of dollars in tips per week. A search of county public records shows she obtained adult entertainment permits each year through 2018.

"The Social Security Administration's (Supplemental Security Income) program is intended for individuals whose income is below the federal poverty guidelines, who are truly disabled, and cannot engage in work activity," U.S. Attorney Byung J. "BJay" Pak said, according to the AJC.

"Williams was able to work and therefore she was not disabled. Moreover, the income she received by working would have likely rendered her ineligible for SSI. By getting SSI when she did not qualify, she stole money from the most needy members of our communities: the poor and the disabled."

Williams sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 26.

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Kellen Winslow II pleaded guilty to 2 felony counts of rape and waived his right to a retrial before opening statements were set to begin on Monday, Nov. 4.

The former NY Jets tight end was set to be retried on Monday after a jury was hopelessly deadlocked on multiple counts of felony rape in the first trial in June.

Winslow pleaded guilty to the rape of a 17-year-old girl when he was 19. Winslow hesitated to plead guilty several times in court. "I'm not pressuring you," said the judge. "You don't have to plead guilty and we can proceed with your trial."

Winslow ultimately pleaded guilty to count 6 and count 9 in exchange for a sentence of 12-18 years in prison.

"Your honor, I pray to God that you give me 12 [years] and I can go home to my family as soon as possible, your honor," said Winslow.

"You could get 18 years... do you understand that?" the judge responded.

Winslow will be held without bail pending sentencing in February 2020. The jury, who waited all day for the trial to begin, was called into the courtroom to be told the defendant pleaded guilty.

Winslow, 36, was previously convicted of raping a middle aged woman in Encinitas, California. He was also accused of 2 additional rapes and exposing himself to two other women.

The courtroom decorum was disrupted during a recess when Winslow's dad, NFL Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow Sr., 61, yelled at the prosecutor for looking at him.

"Do not look over here!" Winslow Sr. shouted in the court room. Winslow Sr. was chastised for yelling and he was not present in court when his son pleaded guilty.

Winslow was convicted in June of forcible rape and misdemeanor indecent exposure and lewd conduct. But the jurors deadlocked on other charges related to the alleged rape of a 54-year-old hitchhiker in Encinitas.

Jane Doe #5 accepted a ride from Winslow, who took her behind a shopping center and allegedly raped her. The woman initially identified Winslow's attorney, who is also mixed race, as the man who raped her.

Winslow also allegedly raped a 17-year-old girl -- Jane Doe 4 -- in 2003 at a Scripps Ranch house party, according to ABC affiliate 10 News in San Diego.

Winslow, who is a married father of one, was acquitted of masturbating in front of Jane Doe 5 - a 77-year-old woman - at a Carlsbad, Calif. gym in February.

In his closing argument during the first trial, Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens told the jury that Winslow "took from these women what he wanted. Kellen Winslow took from these women again and again and again. This man took what he wanted from them and threw them away like trash because that's what he thought of them."
 

Tiger Woods & Erica Herman

Golfer Tiger Woods plead guilty to reckless driving during a 10-minute hearing in a Palm Beach County, Florida courthouse on Friday.

His guilty plea stems from a DUI arrest near his home in Jupiter in May. Woods was accompanied to court by his lawyer, his current girlfriend, Erica Herman, and 2 bodyguards.

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Apollo Nida mugshot

According to my trusted court source, Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Apollo Nida pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud. Nida is heading back to prison.

Last month, a federal judge sentenced Nida’s female accomplice, Gayla St. Julien, to 5 years and 1 month in a federal prison.

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