Olalekan Ponle, also known as Woodberry, has been handed an eight-year and three-month prison term by a United States federal court for his involvement in a multimillion-dollar scam. Woodberry’s sentencing took place on July 11th before Judge Robert Gettleman of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.
The court proceedings revealed that Woodberry, along with his accomplice Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi, was arrested on June 10, 2020, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on charges related to global internet fraud. Woodberry’s conviction resulted from one count of fraud, while seven additional charges were dropped in April as part of a plea agreement.
As part of the sentencing, Woodberry, born in Nigeria, has been ordered to make restitution payments of nearly $8 million to seven victims. While Woodberry had the means to repay the full amount, the court waived all interest on the restitution sum.
Prosecutors had initially sought a 14-year prison term for Woodberry and requested permission to sell his 152 bitcoins, allowing a 30-day notice period for potential claimants to come forward. However, no legitimate claims were made during the sentencing process. The prosecutors further recommended that Woodberry forfeit several assets, including a Rolls-Royce, a Lamborghini Urus, a Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G55, four Rolex watches, a Patek Philippe watch, and three Audemars Piguet watches, which were held by the Dubai police.
Woodberry’s case bears resemblance to Hushpuppi’s, who received an 11-year prison sentence for computer fraud in the US in late 2022. Both individuals were known for flaunting their extravagant lifestyles on social media.