American rap star 50 Cent has hinted that he is set to make a television series on the life and crimes of notorious Nigerian fraudster Hushpuppi.
The chart-topping artist, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, shared his plans with his 28 million followers on Instagram.
Instagram influencer Ramon Abbas, widely known as Hushpuppi, was jailed for more than 11 years by a US court last week for committing fraud and money laundering on a global scale.
He was ordered to pay more than $1.7 million in restitution to two fraud victims.
“For my scammers I gotta do this one,” wrote 50 Cent on his verified Instagram account.
“Hushpuppy (sic) series coming soon.”
Abbas, 40, was arrested in Dubai in June 2020 when police raided the five-star Versace hotel residence where he lived. He was extradited to the US.
He had cultivated a following of 2.3 million on Instagram, where he showed off a penchant for Versace bathrobes and luxury cars. His account was shut down by the social media company last week ― after growing by 500,000 since his arrest.
Abbas admitted to attempting to steal more than $1.1m from a person who wanted to fund a new school in Qatar.
He further admitted to “several other cyber and business email compromise schemes that cumulatively caused more than $24 million in losses”, the US Justice Department said.
It is not clear if 50 Cent intends to take on the starring role himself or will be involved in financing the project.
The rapper, 47, has taken on a number of film and television roles over the years, in addition to his successful musical career.
From poverty to party life and prison
A series on Hushpuppi could examine his rise and fall, from an impoverished background to living a life of luxury on the back of ill-gotten gains.
A BBC Africa investigation found that Abbas originally came from a poor area north of Lagos, with a mother who worked in a market and a taxi driver father.
It reported that he started out his fraudulent lifestyle as a “Yahoo Boy”, a Nigerian term for a hustler who spams web users with spurious requests for loans, cash transfers and even romance.
Abbas's later scams, using a technique known as business email compromise, were startlingly simple.
It begins with the fraudulent party identifying a company that has just ordered goods.
They send an email to that company posing as the supplier, from an email address that is almost exactly the same as the real supplier's, with only a single letter or number different.
Typically, the fraudster says the supplier has just changed their business bank account and lists the new account, claiming this is where the payment for the goods should be sent.