Olalekan Jacob Ponle, also known as Mr Woodberry, a suspected internet fraudster, has agreed to a plea deal with the US, agreeing to surrender $8 million in wire fraud proceeds.
According to the Peoples Gazette, he also agreed to hand over his luxury cars and watches to the foreign government.
Following his arrest in the United Arab Emirates in June 2020 and subsequent extradition to the United States, the Instagram influencer who loves to flaunt his wealth was charged with wire fraud conspiracy.
He was accused of duping American companies into sending millions of dollars in wire transfers. According to prosecutors, Woodberry allegedly targeted businesses in California, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, and New York.
The socialite, an associate of notorious fraudster Hushpuppi, had pleaded not guilty to the eight-count charge brought against him the year before his arrest.
He was accused of participating in a scheme known as business email compromise. (BEC)
However, a plea declaration filed on April 6 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division revealed that Woodberry had a change of heart and changed his plea to guilty to count one of the indictments.
Ponle was required to repay the $8 million he fraudulently received from the seven companies that were victims under the plea agreement he signed.
“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.
The court also requested that Mr. Woodberry waive his rights to the luxury cars and expensive wristwatches he purchased and kept in Dubai, UAE.
Rolls-Royce Cullinan (J9153), Lamborghini Urus (N4973), and Mercedes-Benz G-class are among the exotic vehicles to be forfeited. (G68816).
Four Rolex timepieces, three Audemars Piguet timepieces, and one Patek Philippe timepiece were seized. Three gold and diamond-studded earrings and six gold neck chains are also included.
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