Fraud: Mr Woodberry Bags Eight Years In U.S. Prison

Fraud: Mr Woodberry Bags Eight Years In U.S. Prison

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Mr Jacob Olalekan Ponle popularly known as Mr Woodberry has been sentenced to eight years and three months in prison by a federal court in the United States over involvement in a multimillion-dollar fraud.

Fraud: Mr Woodberry Bags Eight Years In U.S. Prison
Mr Woodberry

According to court filings obtained by Peoples Gazette, Mr. Woodberry was sentenced on July 11 by Judge Robert Gettleman of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.

“The defendant is hereby committed to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for a total term of 100 months as to count,” Mr Gettleman said.

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Mr Ponle was sentenced after being convicted on one count of fraud. Seven other counts were dismissed following a plea bargain in April that was previously reported by The Gazette.

Mr Gettleman ordered Mr Ponle to submit himself to the U.S. Marshal Service for onward transfer to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, where his family members, especially his American fiancée, would be allowed to visit him.

Mr Ponle will also be “surrendered to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody for deportation immediately following his incarceration”, the judge said.

It would be recalled that Mr Woodberry was arrested on June 10, 2020, alongside Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas, who was jailed late last year for 11 years in the U.S. for internet fraud.

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The Nigerian-born fraudster will pay seven victims about $8 million in restitution, with the court finding that he has the capacity to make the full payment but waived all interests on the restitution value.

The court broke down the victims and their respective reimbursements as Stacy Marin, 2.3 million; Chris Wagner, $1 million; James Pray, $1.27 million; Jason Fortner, $350,000; Jayne Enterprise Group, $1.95 million; Rob Arnold, $118,000; and Ross Johnson, $1 million.

American prosecutors had on June 29 asked the judge to sentence Mr Woodberry to 14 years in prison for the fraud he committed between January and September 2019.

The prosecutors also sought court permission to sell the fraudster’s 152 bitcoins, but only after a 30 days’ notice had been issued to the public for anyone with interest in the assets to file claims. No one with legitimate interest appeared to have surfaced as of the time of Mr Woodberry’s sentencing.

The prosecutors also recommended that Mr Woodberry, known for flaunting his flamboyant lifestyle on social media, forfeit items in the Dubai police custody, such as one Rolls Royce, Lamborghini Urus, Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G55, four Rolex watches, one Patek Philippe watch, and three Audemars Piguet watches.

Also, he is to forfeit three gold and diamond-studded rings, five gold bracelets and two gold bracelet keys, six gold neck chains, one gold and diamond-studded necklace, one small gold nugget, two bank cards, about $1,835 in Emirati dirhams, and approximately $15.45 in South African rands.

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