How Hushpuppi’s bestie, Woodberry, chatted with an FBI agent without knowing


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Olalekan Jacob Ponle, 29, aka Woodberry, who allegedly orchestrated an international cyber fraud scheme targeting several U.S.-based companies has been charged in U.S. District Court in Chicago with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
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The schemes resulted in attempted or actual losses to victim companies in the tens of millions of dollars, including a Chicago-based company that was defrauded into sending wire transfers totaling $15.2 million, the complaint states.
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Ponle made an initial court appearance this morning in Chicago.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert set a detention hearing for July 9, 2020, at 4:00 p.m.
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The complaint describes several instances in which one or more unknown subjects gained unauthorized access to a U.S.-based company’s email account and sent messages to unwitting employees claiming to be from the company or a known business contact.
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The emails were nearly identical to prior legitimate emails sent over the company’s email account, but the fraudulent emails instructed victims to wire funds to a bank account that was set up by money mules at the direction of Ponle, the complaint states.
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Ponle then instructed the mules to convert the fraud proceeds to Bitcoin and send them to a virtual wallet that Ponle owned and operated, the complaint states.
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In addition to the Chicago-based companies, other victims included companies based in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New York, and California, the complaint states.
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Conspiracy to commit wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

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