US Court Sentences Woodberry To Eight Years In Prison

Woodberry, Nigerian Fraudster and Hushpuppi Ally, Receives 8-Year Prison Sentence for Multimillion-Dollar Fraud

A United States district court has sentenced Olalekan Ponle, better known as Woodberry, to eight years and three months in prison.

US Court Sentences Woodberry To Eight Years In Prison

Woodberry, a close associate of Ramon Abbas, famously known as Hushpuppi, was found guilty of orchestrating a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme.

The notorious duo, Hushpuppi, and Woodberry, were arrested on June 10, 2020, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, following an extensive investigation into their international online fraud activities. Subsequently, they were extradited to the United States to stand trial individually.

While Hushpuppi initially denied all charges, he later changed his plea, leading to an 11-year prison sentence in November 2022.

Woodberry, on the other hand, spent over two years adamantly maintaining his innocence against accusations of defrauding a US-based company out of approximately $188,000.

However, during a change of plea hearing in April at the US District Court for Northern Illinois, he reversed course and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Acknowledging Woodberry’s change of plea, Judge Robert Gettleman delivered a ruling on April 6 accepting the defendant’s admission of guilt. As a result, Woodberry was convicted on one count out of the initial eight charges brought against him, as part of a plea bargain.

To determine an appropriate sentence, Judge Gettleman referred the case to the probation department for a comprehensive pre-sentence investigation and report.

On Tuesday, during the sentencing hearing, Judge Gettleman announced Woodberry’s imprisonment for a total of 100 months.

In his ruling, the judge stated, “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.” This decision marked a significant outcome for the prosecution in their pursuit of justice.

Additionally, Judge Gettleman ordered Woodberry to present himself to the U.S. Marshal Service for transfer to the federal correctional institution in Danbury, Connecticut. Notably, Woodberry’s American fiancée and family members will be permitted to visit him during his incarceration.

Furthermore, the judge instructed that Woodberry be surrendered to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody immediately following the completion of his prison term for deportation.

In a bid to provide restitution to the victims affected by his fraudulent activities, Woodberry is expected to pay approximately $8 million in restitution to seven of his victims.

Woodberry’s sentencing serves as a stark reminder of the consequences individuals face when engaging in fraudulent schemes. The case has also shed light on the ongoing efforts of law enforcement agencies to combat international cybercrime and protect innocent individuals from falling prey to such scams.

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