Jacob Olalekan Ponle, also known as Woodberry, has been sentenced by a federal judge in the United States to eight years and three months in jail for masterminding a fraud scheme worth millions of dollars.
According to court documents obtained by Peoples Gazette, Judge Robert Gettleman of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago handed down the sentence on July 11.
Judge Gettleman ordered Ponle to be transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, where he can receive visits from his family members and American fiancée.
Furthermore, the judge ruled that Ponle will be immediately deported by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after serving his sentence.
The court found that the Nigerian-born fraudster had the means to fully repay the defrauded amount, and he is now obligated to pay nearly $8 million in restitution to seven victims. However, the court waived any interest on the restitution value.
In a separate request on June 29, prosecutors sought a 14-year prison term for Ponle, also known as Woodberry, for his fraudulent activities carried out from January to September of the previous year.
Prosecutors also requested permission to sell Ponle’s 152 bitcoins, providing a 30-day notice to allow potential claimants to come forward. However, no legitimate claim was made at the time of his sentencing.
The prosecutors additionally proposed that Ponle forfeit various luxury assets, including a Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini Urus, Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G55, four Rolex watches, a Patek Philippe watch, and three Audemars Piguet watches, which were reportedly held by the Dubai police.
Furthermore, Ponle must surrender two bank cards, approximately $1,835 in Emirati dirhams, and around $15.45 in South African rands. Additionally, he is required to relinquish five gold bracelets, two gold bracelet keys, six gold neck chains, one gold and diamond-studded necklace, and one small gold nugget.
Ponle, also known as Woodberry, was arrested on June 10, 2020, along with Ramon “Hushpuppi” Abbas, who was previously sentenced to 11 years in prison for computer fraud in the United States.