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ENTERTAINMENT

Hushpuppi’s right-hand-man Woodberry pleads guilty, forfeits $8m, luxury Dubai assets

Olalekan Jacob Ponle, also known as Woodberry, has admitted guilt to American law enforcement.

Woodberry initially entered a not guilty plea to the eight-count fraud charge brought against him for participating in a scheme known as business email compromise (BEC), which led to his arrest in Dubai along with his close friend Hushpuppi.

But according to a plea declaration delivered on April 6 to the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division of the United States District Court, Mr. Woodberry had a change of heart and is now pleading guilty to count one of the indictments.

He consented to turn over $8 million in wire fraud proceeds.

“Defendant understands that by pleading guilty, he will subject to forfeiture to the United States all right, title, and interest that he has in any property constituting or derived from proceeds obtained, directly or indirectly, as a result of the offence,” stated the document containing Mr Ponle’s signed plea declaration.

Mr. Ponle was also asked to waive his rights to the luxury cars, and designer watches he had stashed in Dubai.

The high-end automobiles include Rolls Royce Cullinan with vehicle no J9153, Lamborghini Urus (N4973), and Mercedes-Benz G-class (G68816).

Other items seized are four Rolex watches, one Patek Philippe watch, three Audemars Piguet watches, three gold and diamond-studded earrings, and six gold neck chains.

Last year, he had forfeited 151.8 Bitcoin, roughly $6 million, to the American government, determined to recover all stolen monies from the Nigerian fraudster.

Mr. Ponle was arrested in Dubai on June 10, 2020, alongside Ramon Hushpuppi Abbas, currently serving an 11-year sentence for a similar fraud charge.

Before his arrest in 2020, Mr. Woodberry was known for rocking expensive designer wear and showing off his ill-gotten wealth to his massive Instagram followers, the majority of whom had no inkling his luxury lifestyle was funded by cybercrime.

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