Federal prosecutors on Thursday asked a judge to sentence internet fraudster Olalekan Jacob Ponle, aka Mr Woodberry, to 14 years’ imprisonment for defrauding several U.S. companies of $8 million by engaging in numerous business email compromises (BEC) between January and September 2019.
The sentencing recommendation filed by Morris Pasqual, the acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, also requested that Mr Woodberry, an ally of the jailed international scammer, Huspuppi, pay restitution of $8,038,214.99 to victims.
“The government recommends that this court sentence the defendant to 168 months’ imprisonment, which is sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply with the purposes set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a),” the prosecutors said. “The government further recommends that the court order restitution and forfeiture as described above and impose a special assessment of $100.”
The prosecutors described Mr Woodberry’s offence as “serious” and alleged that the Instagram celebrity “attempted to cause greater harm to victims.”
Mr Woodberry, in April, pleaded guilty to the eight-count charge against him and agreed to forfeit the proceeds of the numerous wire frauds, which he committed using the name ‘Mark Kain’, by recruiting at least four money mules while he resided in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The prosecutors also recommended that Mr Woodberry, Known for flaunting his flamboyant lifestyle on social media, forfeit items in the Dubai police custody, such as one Rolls Royce, Lamborghini Urus, Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G55, four Rolex watches, one Patek Philippe watch, and three Audemars Piguet watches.
Also, he is to forfeit three gold and diamond-studded rings, five gold bracelets and two gold bracelet keys, six gold neck chains, one gold and diamond-studded necklace, one small gold nugget, two bank cards, about $1,835 in Emirati dirhams, and approximately $15.45 in South African rands.
“In addition, the government recommends that the defendant be ordered to forfeit approximately 151.85713138 bitcoin, which constitutes and is derived from proceeds traceable to the offence, that transferred to the government on April 14, 2022,” the prosecutors said.
Mr Woodberry was arrested on June 10, 2020, alongside Hushpuppi, who was jailed for 11 years in the U.S. for internet fraud.