FBI SEIZES $6M DOLLARS FROM WOODBERRY’S BITCOIN ACCOUNT
The US government through the Federal Bureau of Investigation has seized 151.8 Bitcoin ($6m) from the wallet of Mr. Woodberry, also known as Olalekan Jacob Ponle.
US authorities sought confiscation of any property derived from Mr. Ponle’s criminal operation, according to court documents filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
“Through the violation of 18 USC 1343 as alleged in Counts One through Eight of the indictment, the United States seeks forfeiture of any property involved in or traceable to the defendant’s violation, including, but not limited to, 151.885720427 Bitcoin Cryptocurrency pursuant to the provisions of 18 USC 981(a)(1)(C) and 28 USC 2461(c),” according to court documents.
The forfeiture filing was filed on April 29, 2022, at a price of $39,457 for Bitcoin, bringing the total worth of the haul to $6 million.
The FBI filed a criminal complaint against Mr. Ponle in 2020, alleging that he used Bitcoin to hide stolen monies from his suspected illegal operations online. Mr. Ponle had been using the same address (16AtGJbaxL2kmzx4mW5ocpT2ysTWxmacWn) since 2014, according to the bureau.
Mr. Ponle and his associates engaged in a scheme known as business email compromise (BEC) and conned American corporations of tens of millions of dollars while turning $6.5 million into 1,500 BTC, according to the intelligence agency.
According to the paper, “preliminary blockchain analysis reveals that PONLE acquired at least 1,494.71506296 bitcoin related to these BEC scams, valued at roughly $6,599,499.98 at the time he received the proceeds.”
Mr. Ponle, also known as ‘Mr. Woodbery’ and ‘Mark Kain,’ was arrested in Chicago last July on a separate accusation.
He was arrested in Dubai alongside Hushpuppi and charged with conspiracy to conduct wire fraud in a U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Mr. Ponle’s property obtained from the proceeds of his crimes will be forfeited to the US government if the jury’s eight-count allegation of wire fraud is upheld.