Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Mr Woodberry changed in prison; studied money management, how to find jobs online, lawyer tells court

“While incarcerated, he has used his time well,” said the lawyer. “He has earned several certificates of completion from the MCC, including world government.”

• June 30, 2023

Michael B. Nash, the lawyer defending Olalekan Jacob Ponle, aka Mr Woodberry, says the socialite accused of $8 million wire fraud in the U.S. has repented during his time in prison.

Mr Nash, objecting to the presentence report and sentencing memorandum filed by Morris Pasqual, the acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, claimed his client has positively utilised the time spent in the prison by studying the rudiments of money management and locating job openings on the internet.

“While incarcerated, he has used his time well,” said the lawyer. “He has earned several certificates of completion from the MCC, including world government, managing credit wisely, and where to locate job openings.”

Federal prosecutors had asked a judge to jail the Instagram personality for 14 years and also pay restitution of $8,038,214.99 to his victims. Also, it was recommended that the defendant forfeit all assets procured with the proceeds of the wire fraud.

They accused Mr Woodberry and his co-conspirators of defrauding U.S. companies of $8 million in actual losses and $51.3 million in attempted losses after engaging in numerous business email compromises (BEC) between January and September 2019.

But Mr Nash said the defendant’s life “dramatically” changed in June 2020 after he was arrested by the police in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and has since maintained cordial relationships with his mother and siblings.

In his objections to the sentencing memorandum, the lawyer claimed Mr Woodberry “gave full confessions” and was “truthful” in his interview with federal agents investigating the matter, hence “At the very least, these facts offer over five million good reasons for the court to depart from the guidelines.”

In April, Mr Woodberry 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.

He was arrested on June 10, 2020, alongside Hushpuppi, who was jailed for 11 years in the U.S. for internet fraud.

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