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As the saying goes, “What comes easy won’t last. What lasts won’t come easy.”. Well, you might be knowing “Ray Hushpuppi” as an Instagram influencer or “the Woodberry’s money laundering case”.! It has now yet taken a new twist.
- Hushpuppi (Raymond Abbas Igbalode) and partner Woodberry (Olalekan Jacob Ponle) have been charged in the US court for committing wire fraud.
- He defrauded two companies in the US, converted into Bitcoins, and transferred to the virtual wallet he operated.
- FBI reveals that the amount stolen by Woodberry may not be retrieved as they are converted into Bitcoins.
- Ray Hushpuppi was once a legit music producer and once sold second-hand clothes In Lagos
- FBI Says funds victims may not retrieve the money sent to Bitcoin wallet, adding that the Bitcoin blockchain system is too sophisticated and unhackable,
$50 Million Woodberry Case- In Brief
The 29 yr old Woodberry alongside his friend Hushpuppi was detained by Dubai police in June. They were extradited to the US and then produced in Chicago’s District court on July 3, 2020, to face a charge of conspiracy.
Hushpuppi committed a series of financial crimes and wire frauds. Similarly, his bestie Ponle or Woodberry is reportedly a name behind a fraud scheme worth more than $50 million and unnamed Chicago based company duped in sending $15 million whereas another company lost $2.3 million.
Crypto scam has been making headlines following the surge of bitcoin and the interest of the people across the world. However, in this case, according to the FBI, they used to gain access to the company’s account through phishing attacks, and then an email would be sent to all the employees claiming to be from the company’s top officials.
As prosecutors note that ‘the fraudulent email looks almost identical to a prior legitimate email’. His scheme has had agents or rightly described as ‘smurfers or money mules’ who used to work as per his instruction to set up bank accounts to receive wired funds.
Consequently, Woodberry would instruct ‘money mules’ to get the funds on their bank accounts. They would then send funds to Woodberry’s digital wallet, ideally ‘bitcoin wallet”. While Woodberry continued these cybercrimes, he once unknowingly talked to and directed an undercover FBI agent. Woodberry asked this agent to assist him to open a US bank account, enabling him to move millions of dollars to his bitcoin wallet.
Some of the companies that Ponle looted include a US law firm, a foreign bank, and an unnamed English Premier League football club.
Latest Development in the Case
Ponle always preferred to transfer funds to a virtual wallet by converting them into Bitcoins. As per the reports by some blockchain analysis, Ponle received a total of 1,494.71506296 BTC in his wallet.
Bitcoin blockchain system is too sophisticated and unhackable
The latest development in the case states the money stolen by Ponle may not be recovered. The FBI states that the wallet was owned and operated by Ponle himself. Noticeably, the fact is that these funds cannot be accessed easily as blockchain technology is very secure. However, with access to private keys of the blockchain wallet, one can still make it. But, in case of loss of these private keys – the funds stored in these wallets are lost.
Therefore, the money defrauded, amounting to approximately $15 million may not be retrieved unless Woodberry provides access to it. FBI Says victims may not retrieve the money sent to Bitcoin wallet because the Bitcoin blockchain system is too sophisticated and unhackable,
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Bitcoins- Is this the new way for a cyber scam!
Cases like these are on a rise, mainly because the identity behind the bitcoin transactions are anonymous and unhackable. That being said, Government authorities aren’t resting though. Authorities and regulators across the world are determining the laws that help prevent incidents like these types. Let us know what’s your take on $50 Million Woodberry Case?