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Scammer sentenced to 8 years in prison following expulsion to US

A Nigerian resident in the United Arab Emirates was handed to US authorities after leading an $8 million fraud scheme.

user icon Liam Garman
Tue, 18 Jul 2023
Scammer sentenced to 8 years in prison following expulsion to US
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The US Attorney’s Office has confirmed that Olalekan Jacob Ponle, a Nigerian national residing in the United Arab Emirates, has been sentenced to eight years and four months in a federal prison for leading a fraud scheme directed at US companies.

Ponle was arrested by the UAE in 2020 and handed into the custody of the FBI.

The convicted fraudster was found to have collaborated with others employing phishing links that enabled access to email addresses, where they then convinced employees to transfer money to accounts linked to Ponle.


The social engineering emails appeared to be from companies and individuals known to victims.

The US government outlined that funds were then collected by mules, converted to bitcoin and sent to Ponle.

The Attorney’s Office assessed that damages equalled $8.03 million in actual losses and more than $51.3 million in intended losses.

Ponle pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge and was ordered to pay more than $8.03 million in restitution to victim companies.

The US government also explained that the convicted fraudster would have to forfeit luxury items linked with the stolen money, which includes a Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Lamborghini Urus, Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G55, and Rolex and Patek Philippe watches.

He has also been confirmed to have forfeited 151 bitcoin.

Liam Garman

Liam Garman

Liam Garman is the editor of leading Australian security and defence publications Cyber Daily and Defence Connect. 

Liam began his career as a speech writer at New South Wales Parliament before working for world leading campaigns and research agencies in Sydney and Auckland. Throughout his career, Liam has managed and executed a range of international media and communications campaigns spanning politics, business, industrial relations and infrastructure. He’s since shifted his attention to researching and writing extensively on geopolitics and defence, specifically in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Strategy and Security from UNSW Canberra, with a thesis on postmodernism and disinformation operations. 

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