Olalekan Jacob Ponle, also known as Mr. Woodberry, has been sentenced to eight years and three months in prison by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. He has been convicted of engaging in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme.
Federal judge Robert Gettleman handed down the conviction on July 11, and after serving his prison term, Ponle will be deported to Nigeria as stated in the court documents.
“The defendant is hereby ordered to be placed in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons for a total term of 100 months for the count,” stated Judge Gettleman.
Mr Woodberry’s sentencing comes after being found guilty of one count of fraud. As part of a plea bargain reached in April this year, seven other counts were dismissed.
The judge directed Ponle to present himself to the U.S. Marshal Service for transfer to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, where he will have visitation privileges from family members, including his American fiancée.
Gettleman also issued an order for Ponle to be surrendered to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for immediate deportation upon completion of his prison term.
It should be noted that Ponle entered into a plea deal with the United States, agreeing to forfeit $8 million obtained through wire fraud. He also agreed to surrender his luxury cars and watches to the foreign government. The Instagram personality was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud following his arrest in the United Arab Emirates in June 2020 and subsequent extradition to the United States.
Woodberry was accused of deceiving American companies into sending millions of dollars through wire transfers. Prosecutors claimed that he targeted businesses in California, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, and New York.
At the time of his arrest, the socialite, who is associated with notorious fraudster Hushpuppi, pleaded not guilty to the eight-count charge brought against him.