Gal Pissetzky, the lawyer representing suspected fraudster, Ramon Abbas, better known as Hushpuppi, has said that his client is into real estate and not fraud.

Mr Pissetzky told Forbes that Hushpuppi has legitimate businesses and was paid for promoting brands on social media.

He said his client is “absolutely not guilty of (the) charges they are accusing him of,” adding that “(Hushpuppi) was running a legitimate business and a very legitimate Instagram account and did not take part in any scam or fraud.”

On how Hushpuppi paid for his lifestyle, Pissetzky said: “He’s an entrepreneur. He has real estate involvement … (he’s) an Instagram personality.

He was promoting brands and that’s how he was very legitimately making his money.”

Hushpuppi, 37, was arrested by the police in Dubai in June.

He was arrested alongside 11 persons which included another Nigerian – Olalekan Ponle – also known as Woodberry.

The police said they discovered that the gang had defrauded about 1.9 million victims from different parts of the world of up to 1.6 billion Dirham (N168 billion).

Hushpuppi has since been extradited to the United States and arraigned on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, among others.