The United States is set to sell 152 bitcoins seized from notorious internet fraudster, Olalekan Jacob Ponle, popularly known as Mr Woodberry, Peoples Gazette reports.
The planned sale follows Ponle’s guilty plea to $8 million wire fraud, according to a document filed Friday, July 8 at the U.S District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
The U.S. Marshal Service will now take custody of the seized crypto assets for disposition per Mr Woodberry’s forfeiture order.
The internet big boy was said to have agreed to forfeit all proceeds of the wire fraud, which he committed using the name ‘Mark Kain’. His mode of operation involved recruiting at least four money mules while he resided in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
He was arrested in Dubai on June 10, 2020, alongside his friend and associate, Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas after which they were handed over to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2020. Woodberry is currently at a correctional facility in Chicago, Illinois where he has been standing trial.
The federal authorities called on interested persons to file a claim for the property within 30 days and register with valid documents, saying they would “provide written notice to any person known to have alleged an interest in the property that is the subject of the preliminary order of forfeiture.”
The Gazette reports that American prosecutors said if nobody comes forward to claim ownership of the seized assets, they would proceed to advertise their sale.
“The United States shall publish notice of this order and of its intent to dispose of the property,” the federal authorities said in the motion filed by Morris Pasqual, an acting U.S. attorney overseeing the case.
It added; “The United States requests that the terms and conditions of this preliminary order of forfeiture entered by this court be made part of the sentence imposed against defendant Olalekan Jacob Ponle and included in any judgment and commitment order entered in this case against him.”