By Abiola Olawale
Ramon Abass, an Instagram celebrity, popularly known as Hushuppi, has hired Louis Shapiro, a highly rated criminal defence attorney, to represent him at the ongoing court trial on his alleged money laundering.
Hushpuppi was arrested in Dubai on June 10, 2020. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accused him of involving in scamming several individuals and businesses, accounting to over hundreds of millions of dollars.
Hushpuppi, initially hired Gal Pissetzky, who represented him in Chicago, United States. However, Pissetzky could no longer represent him in court following the transfer of court proceedings to Los Angeles in California.
Following the development, Vicki Podberesky was hired as a local counsel, by Hushpuppi to partner with Pissetzky in the case.
However, Hushpuppi has hired a new lawyer, Shapiro, after Pissetzky and Podberesky withdrew from the case.
Pissetzky stated that he has received several reports from the government regarding the allegations against Hushpuppi. He also noted that he hasn’t been able to communicate with Hushpuppi.
In his words, “Since Mr Abbas’ arrest and arrival in the Central District of California, I have received voluminous discovery from the government and have been diligently reviewing it and investigating the allegations in this matter. My communications with Mr Abbas are by telephone given my inability to fly from Chicago to Los Angeles due to the pandemic. Ms Podberesky, as local counsel, has made several visits to see Mr Abbas at the Santa Ana Jail and has also communicated with him by telephone.”
Their application to withdraw from the cases was then granted on February 22.
Following the withdrawal, an order on request for substitution was granted by the court, and Shapiro, who was once a deputy public defender in Los Angeles, was approved as the new defence counsel.
Shapiro, is regarded as a top criminal defence attorney in Los Angeles.
He holds a law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He began his career with the New York State Attorney General, Elliot Spitzer.
He is also a certified criminal law specialist by the State Bar of California, and currently serving as a Criminal Justice Act Federal Trial Panel Attorney for the Central District of California.