A Nigerian prophet, Samuel Effiong, has launched a cambio.org petition to stop American rapper Curtis James Jackson, also known as 50 Cent, from producing a series of films based on the life of convicted con man Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi.
On November 7, Hushpuppi was sentenced to more than 11 years in US Federal Prison for conspiring to launder tens of millions of dollars of online scams.
Shortly after his conviction, 50 Cent announced on Instagram that he was working on a film series based on the Hushpuppi story.
He wrote: “For my scammers, I have to do this. The Hushpuppi series is coming soon! GLG, Green Light Gang, I don’t get lost.”
However, a week later, Prophet Effiong, in his petition, said that he was disappointed by 50 Cent’s recent announcement about the planned film series.
According to him, the series will further damage Nigeria’s battered image and reinforce stereotypes.
“This proposed series will further tarnish Nigeria’s battered image by reinforcing stereotypes that all Nigerians are scammers.
“Furthermore, this plan would not only make Hushpuppi rich, since he would have to be paid for the rights, but would also encourage and glamorize cybercrime,” the petition says.
At press time, the petition hosted at cambio.org he was 64 signatures short of his goal of 200 signatures.
The BMF Example
If 50 Cent’s wish to make a movie about Hushpppi’s life comes to fruition, it would be the second time he has told a true-life crime story.
In 2019, 50 Cent announced that he had begun development on a television series revolving around The Black Mafia Family, a defunct drug trafficking and money laundering organization in the United States.
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It was titled Black Mafia Family (BMF); 50 Cent was executive producer of the series for the cable network company Starz.
The series premiered in September 2021, and Demetrius Flenory Jr. stars as his father, Demetrius “Meech” Flenory, the founder of the Black Mafia Family. The latter is currently serving a sentence in a US prison.
Hushpuppi was found guilty of laundering money from a school finance scam, commercial email compromise fraud and other cyber schemes.
United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II sentenced the 40-year-old man, ordering him to pay $1,732,841 in restitution to two fraud victims.
Until his arrest in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in June 2020, Hushpuppi flaunted his lifestyle on social media, primarily through his recently shutdown Instagram page. The US government said her opulent lifestyle was financed by crime.
In April 2021, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, a step that allowed him to reduce what could have been 20 years in prison to about 11 years in prison.
The trial court also ordered him to pay restitution in the total amount of approximately $1.7 million, which he had agreed to in his April 2021 plea agreement.