- PoliticsThe Wrap
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain announced Thursday that he has been hospitalized due to symptoms of COVID-19. But in an unusually on-the-nose development, the announcement came only hours after he denounced measures to stem the spread of the illness on Twitter in a show of political support for Donald Trump.Early Thursday afternoon, Cain’s representatives said in a statement, posted on Cain’s Twitter account, that he was informed June 29 that he tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and that by Wednesday his symptoms were severe enough that he “required hospitalization.” According to the statement, Cain was taken to an Atlanta-area facility Wednesday night, and while his symptoms are “serious,” he “did not require a respirator.”Left out of Cain’s statement is a notable event that took place between his diagnosis on Monday and his hospitalization Wednesday night. On Wednesday afternoon, Cain tweeted a link to a Western Journal article about South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who bragged that social distancing will not be required at a July 4th Trump rally at Mt. Rushmore. In his tweet, Cain added: “Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!”Also Read: Trump Says He Would Wear a Mask Around a Large Group of People -- Though He Hasn't (Video)Cain’s reps said in the statement that “there is no way of knowing” where Cain was infected with the coronavirus. While that may indeed be true, it’s possible to piece together a potential timeline. COVID-19 has an incubation period of anywhere between 2 and 14 days. And nine days before Cain was diagnosed, he attended Trump’s under-attended political rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.That event — notable for requiring attendees to sign a waiver promising they won’t sue if they contract coronavirus — has been associated with multiple coronavirus infections among people surrounding Trump. Several advance staffers tested positive on the day of the event, with more testing positive after, including two secret service agents. And dozens of agents present at the rally were subsequently ordered to self-quarantine due to possible exposure.Cain, who survived a stage IV cancer diagnosis in 2006, tweeted a photo from inside the venue, where he didn’t wear a mask or practice social distancing. Here’s what that looked like:Here’s just a few of the BlackVoicesForTrump at tonight’s rally! Having a fantastic time!TulsaRally2020 Trumptulsa TulsaTrumprally MAGA Trump2020 Trump2020Landslide pic.twitter.com/27mUzkg7kL— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) June 20, 2020By this weekend, 130,000 people in the United States will have died from COVID-19. So for anyone “FED UP” with wearing a mask or simply not wearing one to begin with, cases are still rising, and health officials are urging everyone to wear masks. You may not just save someone else’s life; you could save your own.See Cain’s tweet denouncing masks, and the announcement less than a day later that he’d been hospitalized, below:Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!https://t.co/Oykdz4xThD— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) July 1, 2020We are sorry to announce that Herman Cain has tested positive for COVID-19, and is currently receiving treatment in an Atlanta-area hospital. Please keep him, and all who are battling this virus, in your prayers.Our full statement appears below. Updates to follow. pic.twitter.com/lDRW7Rla4e— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) July 2, 2020Read original story Herman Cain Hospitalized for COVID-19 Hours After Tweeting ‘People Are Fed Up’ With Masks At TheWrap
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Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, who went by the name Ray Hushpuppi, made no secret of his extraordinary wealth. On an Instagram account with 2.3 million followers, he posted photos of himself dripping in high-end watches, wearing robes with his name emblazoned on the back, and driving a $300,000 Mercedes or a white Rolls Royce Cullinan with the hashtag AllMine.He took private jets to Paris, shopped at Gucci and Louis Vuitton, and indulged in cakes depicting himself surrounded by Fendi bags. His address was 1706 Palazzo Versace in Dubai.On Snapchat, under the username “hushpuppi5,” he called himself “The Billionaire Gucci Master!!!”Abbas claimed to be a real estate developer. But his wealth was instead the result of running elaborate email scams and hacking schemes, U.S. federal prosecutors argue—a rare example of a Nigerian email scam that actually fooled major companies into handing over millions. “The FBI’s investigation has revealed that Abbas finances this opulent lifestyle through crime,” FBI Special Agent Andrew Innocenti wrote in a lengthy arrest affidavit, filed in the District Court for the Central District of California on Thursday.Abbas, 37, was arrested when he arrived in Chicago from Dubai on Thursday night. He faces criminal charges for being the leader of a transnational network that allegedly conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars through email scams and other schemes, some of which targeted a New York law firm, a foreign bank and an English Premier League soccer club.Abbas and a small group of co-conspirators allegedly had a network of “money mules” that they used to carry out the email scams and then launder money through a slew of foreign bank accounts. The group would usually hack into a business’ email account and either block or redirect emails, according to the FBI. They would then use the hacked email account to trick a victim or a company into sending money to them, often changing bank transfer information by just one or two numbers.However, when one member was arrested in October, 2019, shortly after a New York law firm was duped into wiring almost $1 million, investigators obtained a search warrant to go through his iPhone and found messages that blew open the inner workings of the group.Abbas had allegedly tricked one of the law firm’s paralegals into wiring $922,857, intended for a client’s real estate refinancing, to a Chase Bank account controlled by Abbas. The paralegal emailed a Citizens Bank email address to verify instructions for the wire transfer but it was a spoof email address set up by Abbas. About half the amount was instantly wired to a Canadian bank account and images of the wire transfer were shared between the group. “Did the big hit?” one group member texted, according to excerpts in the affidavit. “Yessir,” another replied. In another instance, a foreign bank was defrauded $14.7 million in Feb. 2019 when the group gained access to the bank’s computer network and sent fake SWIFT messages—utilizing software used by financial institutions to sends payment orders to each other. One co-conspirator texted Abbas to ask if he had any bank accounts that could take large amounts of the stolen money. Abbas responded with the details for Romanian, Bulgarian and U.S. bank accounts.In one text message, the co-conspirator wrote: “my guy also deleted history logs at the bank so they won’t even c the transaction.”But the following day, the cyber-heist hit the news and the transfers didn’t reach Abbas’ Romanian account.“Today they noticed and pressed a recall on it , it might show and block or never show,” the co-conspirator texted Abbas. “Look it hit the news.” Abbas replied: “damn.”The pair appeared undeterred. “Next one is in few weeks will let U know when it’s ready. to bad they caught on or it would been a nice payout,” he wrote to Abbas.In March, the group discussed how they could launder £100 million (about $124 million) from an unnamed English Premier League Club but it’s not clear what happened to the money.At one point, the group were making $1 million to $5 million through a scam once or twice a week.“This was a challenging case, one that spanned international boundaries, traditional financial systems and the digital sphere,” said Jesse Baker, a Secret Service agent in the Los Angles Field Office.Abbas was expelled from the United Arab Emirates, for reasons that were unclear, and is expected to be transferred from Chicago to Los Angeles in the coming weeks. He did not yet have a lawyer appointed.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.