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FACT CHECK: No, Woodberry has not been released from prison

A social media post has claimed that Olalekan Ponle, better known as Woodberry, has been released from prison.

The post has so far garnered over 14,000 views, 213 likes and 83 repost on X.

WHO IS WOODBERRY?

Woodberry is a Nigeria internet celebrity and an ally of Ramon Abbas, best known as Hushpuppi, another Nigerian who was jailed for internet fraud in November 2022.

On June 10, 2020, the duo were arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for extensive international online fraud.

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They were then transported to the United States for separate trials.

Woodberry, who was accused of defrauding a US company to the tune of $188,000, pleaded not guilty to the charges for over two years.

However, he backtracked and pleaded guilty to a one-count-charge of wire fraud at a change of plea hearing in April 2023, at the US District Court for Northern Illinois.

Robert Gettleman, the presiding judge, admitted his change of plea in a ruling delivered on April 6, and convicted him on an 8-count charge.

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On July 11 2023, Woodberry was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment and was ordered to pay back about $8 million in restitution to seven of his victims.

VERIFYING THE CLAIM

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To verify the claim and ascertain Woodberry’s whereabouts, TheCable searched through the inmate register of The Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The register shows the name, register number, age, release date and present location of the inmate.

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The search revealed that Woodberry’s present location is the Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution and his release date is October 2027, two years before Huspuppi’s release date.

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VERDICT

The claim that Woodberry has been released is false.

Based on records from the US Federal Bureau of Prisons, the internet celebrity is still in custody, serving his 8-year jail term.



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