Latest: US court hands Hushpuppi’s ally, Woodberry 8-year prison sentence, orders deportation
A US district court on Tuesday, sentenced Olalekan Ponle, better known as Woodberry, to eight years in jail over fraud.
Woodberry is an ally of Ramon Abbas, who is as popular as Hushpuppi, another Nigerian who was imprisoned for Internet fraud in November 2022.
Hushpuppi and Woodberry were transported to the US for separate trials, after they were arrested in Dubai, UAE.
Although Hushpuppi initially denied all charges, he later changed his plea and was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment.
Also, Woodberry, who was accused of defrauding a US company of about $188,000, insisted on his innocence for over two years.
However, he reversed course and entered a guilty plea to one count of wire fraud at a change of plea hearing in April, at the US District Court for Northern Illinois.
The judge, Robert Gettleman, accepted the defendant’s change of plea in a ruling delivered on April 6.
“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.
The judge also said Woodberry would be “surrendered to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody for deportation immediately following his incarceration”.
Woodberry is expected to pay about $8 million in restitution to seven of his victims