A Nigerian prophet, Samuel Effiong, has launched a change.org petition to stop American rapper Curtis James Jackson, aka 50 Cent, from producing a movie series based on the life of convicted fraudster Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi.
On the 7th of November, Hushpuppi was sentenced to over 11 years in a US Federal Prison for conspiring to launder tens of millions of dollars from online scams.
Shortly after his conviction, 50 Cent announced on Instagram that he was working on a movie series based on Hushpuppi’s story.
He wrote, “For my scammers, I gotta do this one. The Hushpuppi series is coming soon! GLG, Green Light Gang, I don’t miss.”
However, a week after, Prophet Effiong, in his petition, said that he was disappointed by 50 Cent’s recent announcement about the planned movie series.
According to him, the series will further damage Nigeria’s battered image and reinforce stereotypes.
“This proposed series will further tank Nigeria’s battered image as it will reinforce stereotypes about all Nigerians being scammers.
“Furthermore, this plan would not only make Hushpuppi rich, as he would have to be paid for rights, but it would also encourage and glamourise cybercrime,” the petition reads.
As of press time, the petition hosted on change.org was 64 signatures short of its target of 200 signatures.
If 50 Cent’s wish to do a movie on Hushpppi’s life materialises, it would be the second time he will tell a real-life crime story.
In 2019, 50 Cent announced that he had begun developing a television series revolving around The Black Mafia Family, a defunct drug trafficking and money laundering organisation in the United States.
It was titled Black Mafia Family (BMF); 50 Cent executive produced the series for cable network company Starz.
The series premiered in September 2021, and Demetrius Flenory Jr. plays his father, Demetrius “Meech” Flenory, the founder of the Black Mafia Family. The latter is currently serving time in a U.S. prison.
Hushpuppi was found guilty of laundering proceeds from a school financing scam, business email compromise fraud and other cyber schemes.
The 40-year-old was sentenced by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II, who ordered him to pay $1,732,841 in restitution to two fraud victims.
Until his arrest in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, in June 2020, Hushpuppi flaunted his lifestyle on social media, primarily via his Instagram page, which was recently shut down. The US government said his opulent lifestyle was crime-funded.
In April 2021, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, a step that got him a reduction of what could have been 20 years’ imprisonment to about 11 years of jail time.
The trial court also ordered him to pay restitution in the total amount of about $1.7 million, which he had agreed to in his plea agreement in April 2021.