Hushpuppi’s ally, Woodberry bags 8 years in US

Olalekan Ponle,popularly known as Woodberry, has been sentence to eight years and three months in prison by a United States district court.

Woodberry, a close associate of Ramon Abbas, AKA Hushpuppi, was apprehended alongside him on June 10, 2020, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Hushpuppi pleaded guilty in 2022 and received 11-year prison term.

Woodberry, who was accused of defrauding a US companies tens of millions of dollars, in April entered a guilty plea to a single count of wire fraud.

Robert Gettleman, the judge, ordered Woodberry’s immediate surrender to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody for deportation once his prison term concludes.

He is also expected to make restitution payments totaling around $8 million (about N6bn in today’s value) to seven of his victims.

Hushpuppi and Woodberry
Ramon Abbas and Olalekan Ponle, widely known as Hushpuppi and Woodberry respectively, were extradited to the US after their arrest in the United Arab Emirate on June 10, 2020 for multiple fraud charges.

The Dubai police had released a video detailing how the arrest was effected.

It was revealed in the video that Hushpuppi had defrauded thousands of victims of about N168 billion. The police also stated that they recovered 150 million dirhams cash (about N16 billion).

Hushpuppi, with over 2m followers on instagram, joined a list of high-profile Nigerians arrested in 2020, including Obinwanne Okeke and Ismaila Mompha, who were detained in August and October 2019 respectively, due to their alleged involvement in distinct transnational fraudulent activities.

Renowned for his flamboyant exhibition of opulence on social media, Hushpuppi’s extravagant lifestyle has captivated a substantial online audience. However, his online persona has now been overshadowed by the serious allegations brought against him, marking a significant downfall for the ostentatious influencer.

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