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ENTERTAINMENT

Mr Woodberry sentenced to eight years imprisonment in US, to be deported to Nigeria

A United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, has sentenced Olalekan Jacob Ponle, a.ka. Mr Woodberry, to eight years and three months in prison for multimillion-dollar fraud.

A federal judge, Robert Gettleman convicted Ponle on July 11, and he is to be deported to Nigeria after serving his jail term, according to court documents.

“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,” Gettleman said.

Mr Woodberry sentenced to eight years imprisonment in US, to be deported to Nigeria

Mr Woodberry was sentenced after being found guilty of one count of fraud. Seven other counts were dismissed following a plea bargain in April this year.

The judge ordered the convict to submit himself to the U.S. Marshal Service for onward transfer to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, where he would be allowed visit from family members, especially his American fiancée.

Gettlemen also ordered that Ponle be “surrendered to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody for deportation immediately following his incarceration”.

It may be recalled that Ponle settled for a plea deal with the United States, agreeing to surrender $8 million in proceeds of wire fraud.

He also agreed to forfeit his luxury cars and watches to the foreign government. The Instagram big boy was charged with wire fraud conspiracy following his arrest in the United Arab Emirates in June 2020 and subsequent extradition to the US.

Woodberry was accused of tricking American companies into sending wire transfers worth millions of dollars. Woodberry allegedly targeted firms in California, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan and New York, according to prosecutors.

The socialite, who is an associate of notorious fraudster, Hushpuppi, had in the year of his arrest pleaded not guilty to the eight-count charge brought against him.

“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,” read the document containing Ponle’s signed plea declaration.

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