Recall that Olalekan Ponle Woodberry was arrested along with Hushpuppi and others on 10th June 2020 in Dubai.
One of the reasons Hush and Woodberry have been publicly named is the significant amount of evidence that had been gathered over time at least a year before their arrests.
The FBI on behalf of the United States of America names 29 year old Woodberry as chief BEC scammer posing as “Mark Kain” to defrauded companies in the USA of tens of millions of dollars between January 2019 until at least September of that same year.
While its not all the evidence, the FBI highlights main evidences of alleged scams Woodberry committed.
Evidence 1: Woodberry and Indiviual B defraud a Des Moines company
Around 16th January 2019, a business email compromise (BEC) scheme was used to target a Company B in Des Moines, Iowa. It resulted in a fraudulent wire of approximately $188,000 to a bank account in the name of a Company B’s supplier.
Tracing Ponle with their evidence, the FBI noted that on 7th January 2019, PONLE posing as someone called “Mark Kain”, gets in touch with an associate identified as Individual B and directs to open an account in the name Company B’s supplier.
Individual B complies, opens the account and shares the details with Ponle. By around 10th January Ponle confirms to individual B that $188k has been processed into the account after unknown subjects hacked and compromised Company B’s credentials.
By 17th January, the proceeds had been sent to Ponle’s bitcoin wallet. Impressed with Individual B’s performance, Ponle request the two should continue to work together.
Evidence 2: Woodberry, Individual B and A defraud Chicago company
Around 11th February 2019, Company A in Chicago was the subject of $2,300,000 wire transfer fraud under their subsidiary name.
Tracing Woodberry with evidence, around 8th February 2019, “Mark Kain” gets back in touch with Individual B to open another account, this time in Company A’s subsidiary name.
Individual B then directs his or her sibling, Individual A to open the account online, which they successfully did.
By 11th February, unknown subjects gained hacks Company A’s email account and send one its employees a request for $2,300,000 to be wire transferred to the unknowingly fake subsidiary account.
By 14th February the fake request had been honoured, Individual B then moves the funds into Ponle’s bitcoin wallet.
Evidence 3: Woodberry, Individual B and Co-conspirator A defraud Kansas company
Around 4th March 2019, unknown subjects gained entry and compromised Company H’s email account. Using the account, a request was made to one of H’s creditors for the sum of $415,000 to be wired to a PNC bank account in the name of H. Company H’s creditor sent the money.
Based on evidence, Individual B, directed by “Mark Kain” opened the account in the name of company H online.
Co-conspirator 1 then ensured the account was approved behind the scenes, with significant involvement in instructing the wire transfers of funds to that account.
Recall that Co-conspirator 1 worked closely with Hushpuppi and was arrested at a US airport as he attempted to fly out of the country.
This wire transfer was successful.
Evidence 4: Woodberry’s phone
Around 11th June 2019, Company M was the subject of BEC scheme.
A fake email was sent to M’s personnel instructing wire transfer of $19,292,690.30 for dividend payment. The personnel proceeded to sending the amount to the provided accounts, but was unsuccessful. Further attempts were made on a second bank account the personnel had received, again no luck.
FBI links this fraudulent activity against a screenshot evidence of the account used that was sent to WoodBerry’s phone.
Evidence 5: Woodberry, FBI undercover agent defrauds Michigan company
An FBI undercover agent, OCE-1, began communicating with PONLE using a messaging application handle that was previously used by Individual A.
Around 15th July 2019, Ponle directs OCE-1 to open an account in Company B’s name to which OCE-1 did.
Unknown persons then hacked into Company I email account and requested a wire transfer of $1,206,418.76 to Company B bank. A personnel at Company I deemed the transfer as fraudulent and sent no funds.
Evidence 6: Woodberry defraud two New York companies
Company D and J were involved in a real estate transaction. Around 9th September 2019, Company D sent J an email containing a loan payoff letter and wire transfer instructions.
Then unknown subjects sent an email from a fake email address to Victim J instructing them to wire transfer the payoff into Company B account created by OCE-1.
Personnels at Company I deemed the transfer as fraudulent and sent no funds.
Evidence 7: Woodberry defraud two USA companies
Ponle once again gets in touch with undercover agent, OCE-1, instructing to open another account in Company C’s name to which OCE-1 did.
Around September 2019, unknown subjects hacked into Company K email account and instructed K’s personnel to wire transfer of $5,000,000 to the escrow account of Company L.
The subjects then got in touch with L, directing them to send $4 million to Company C account, and remaining $1 million to two other separate bank accounts.
Personnel at Company L deemed the transfer as fraudulent and sent no funds.
Woodberry is said to have violated Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, and like Hushpuppi could face significant number of years in USA jail.