Two US lawyers representing Nigerian fraud suspect Ramon Abbas, better known as Hushpuppi, have applied to withdraw from the case.
Gal Pissetzky and Vicki Podberesky have both filed an application at the United States District Court in California stating their intent to withdraw from representing Hushpuppi.
The application was submitted on January 21 and the court will hear it on February 22.
The lawyers cited communication problems as the reason for the withdrawal and also that Hushpuppi has hired new lawyers to defend him.
Mr Gal Pissetzky said:
“Since Mr Abbas’ arrest and arrival in the Central District of California, I have received voluminous discovery from the government and have been diligently reviewing it and investigating the allegations in this matter. “My communications with Mr Abbas are by telephone given my inability to fly from Chicago to Los Angeles due to the pandemic.
“Ms. Podberesky, as local counsel, has made several visits to see Mr Abbas at the Santa Ana Jail and has also communicated with him by telephone. I, through Ms. Podberesky, have provided Mr Abbas with a copy of the discovery, reviewed it with him, and had numerous conferences with Mr Abbas telephonically, and Ms Podberesky has also met with him in-person to discuss the case.
“We discussed with Mr Abbas the potential theories that might be available to him at trial, pre-trial motions, the sentencing guidelines and the potential of a plea agreement. After months of discussions with Mr. Abbas and negotiations with the government, Mr Abbas now refuses to effectively communicate with me. I have made numerous attempts through family and jail staff to have Mr Abbas call me to discuss critical issues.
“Mr Abbas, however, has not communicated with me. Both family and jail staff have told me that they have conveyed my messages to Mr Abbas to call me. He informed me that he is retaining new counsel. I informed him that I and Ms. Podberesky were moving to withdraw given his refusal to communicate and cooperate with us.”