The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has recovered 151.8 Bitcoin from the wallet of arrested Internet fraudster, Olalekan Jacob Ponle, also known as ‘Mr Woodberry’.
Peoples Gazette reports that court documents from the United States District Court for the Northern District Of Illinois, shows that U.S. prosecutors sought forfeiture of any property derived from the proceeds of Mr Ponle’s criminal enterprise.
The documents said: “Through the violation of 18 U.S.C. § 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 U.S.C. § 981(a)(1)(C) and 28 U.S.C. § 2461(c).”
It was gathered that the prosecutors had filed for the forfeiture on April 29, 2022, when Bitcoin was trading at $39,457, bringing the value of the haul to $6 million.
The FBI had in 2020 filed a complaint against Woodberry over his criminal activities.
They also accused Ponle of using Bitcoin to conceal stolen funds from his alleged criminal activities online. The bureau noted that Mr Ponle had been using the same address (16AtGJbaxL2kmzx4mW5ocpT2ysTWxmacWn) since 2014.
According to the FBI, Woodberry and his associates engaged in a scheme known as business email compromise (BEC) and subsequently defrauded American companies of tens of millions of dollars while converting $6.5 million into 1,500 BTC.
“Preliminary blockchain analysis indicates that PONLE received at least 1,494.71506296 bitcoin related to these BEC schemes, valued at approximately $6,599,499.98 at the time he received the proceeds,” the document added.