US Court Sentences Woodberry, Hushpuppi’s Ally, To 8 Years In Prison, Orders Deportation

By Ebenezer Ishola

A United States district court has sentenced Olalekan Ponle, better known as Woodberry, to eight years and three months in prison for multimillion-dollar fraud.

Woodberry is an ally of Ramon Abbas, best known as Hushpuppi, another Nigerian who was jailed for internet fraud in November 2022.

On June 10, 2020, Hushpuppi and Woodberry were arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for extensive international online fraud.

They were then transported to the US for separate trials.

Although Hushpuppi initially denied all charges, he later changed his plea and was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment.

Similarly, Woodberry, accused of defrauding a US company of about $188,000, maintained 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.

Robert Gettleman, the judge, accepted the defendant’s change of plea in a ruling delivered on April 6.

Consequently, the defendant was convicted on one out of eight counts following his plea bargain.

The judge referred the case to the probation department for a pre-sentence investigation and report, which would guide his decision on the appropriate sentence to impose.


At the sentencing on Tuesday, the judge ordered Woodberry’s imprisonment for 100 months.

“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.

Gettleman ordered Woodberry to submit himself to the U.S. Marshal Service for onward transfer to the federal correctional institution in Danbury, Connecticut, where his family members, especially his American fiancée, would be allowed to visit him.

The judge also said Woodberry would be “surrendered to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody for deportation immediately following his incarceration”.

The convict is expected to pay about $8 million in restitution to seven of his victims.

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