U.S. court sentences Mr. Woodberry to eight years in jail and deportation to Nigeria
Jacob Olalekan Ponle, also known as Mr. Woodberry, was given an eight years andthree months in prison sentence by a federal judge in the United States for orchestrating a multimillion-dollar fraud.
According to court documents obtained by Peoples Gazette, Mr. Ponle 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 declared.
Following his conviction on one count of fraud, Mr. Ponle received his sentence. Following a plea agreement in April, which was previously reported by The Gazette, seven further counts were dropped.
In order to be transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, where his family members, particularly his American fiancée, would be permitted to visit him, Mr. Gettleman ordered Mr. Ponle to present himself to the U.S. Marshal Service.
The judge also stated that Mr. Ponle will be "surrendered to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody for deportation immediately following his incarceration".
The court determined that the Nigerian-born fraudster had the financial ability to repay the full payment but waived all interest on the restitution value. He will now pay seven victims a total of nearly $8 million in restitution.
On June 29, American prosecutors requested that Mr. Woodberry get a 14-year prison term for the fraud he perpetrated between January and September of this year.
The prosecutors also asked the court for permission to sell the fraudster's 152 bitcoins, but only after giving the public 30 days' notice so that anyone with a claim might file one. When Mr. Woodberry was sentenced, it appeared that no one with a legitimate stake had come forward.
Additionally, the prosecutors suggested that Mr. Woodberry, who is well-known for flaunting his extravagant lifestyle on social media, 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.
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.
Along with Ramon 'Hushpuppi' Abbas, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for computer fraud in the US late last year, Mr. Woodberry was taken into custody on June 10, 2020.