Olalekan Jacob Ponle, alias Mr. Woodberry, committed many business email compromises (BEC) between January and September 2019 to defraud several U.S. corporations out of $8 million, according to federal prosecutors, who urged a judge to sentence him to 14 years in prison on Thursday.
In addition, Mr. Woodberry, a supporter of the imprisoned international con artist Huspuppi, was asked to make restitution payments to victims totaling $8,038,214.99 as part of the sentencing recommendation made by Morris Pasqual, the acting US attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
The prosecutors stated, “The government recommends that this court sentence the defendant to 168 months’ imprisonment, which is adequate but not excessive to comply with the goals stated in 18 U.S.C. 3553(a).” The government further urges the court to impose a special assessment of $100 and order the restitution and forfeiture outlined above.
According to the authorities, Mr. Woodberry committed a “serious” offense and “attempted to cause greater harm to victims.”
In April, Mr. Woodberry entered a guilty plea to the eight-count allegation leveled against him and consented to forfeit the money gained from the various wire frauds he committed while living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, under the alias “Mark Kain,” by hiring at least four money mules.
The prosecutors also suggested that Mr. Woodberry forfeit items held by the Dubai police, 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. Mr. Woodberry is well known for flaunting his extravagant lifestyle on social media.
In addition, he must surrender two bank cards, roughly $1,835 in Emirati dirhams, and around $15.45 in South African rands, along with five gold bracelets, two gold bracelet keys, six gold neck chains, one gold and diamond-studded necklace, and one small gold nugget.
Additionally, the prosecution proposes that the defendant be compelled to forfeit about 151.85713138 bitcoin, which the government claims was transmitted to it on April 14 and is derived from proceeds linked to the crime.
On June 10, 2020, Mr. Woodberry was detained along with Hushpuppi, who had previously served 11 years in prison for computer fraud.