U.S Court Dismisses Fraud Case Against Nigerian Big Boy, Woodberry

July 24, 2020
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A United States court has dismissed the multi-million dollar fraud case against a Nigerian big boy, Olalekan Ponle, popularly known as Mr Woodberry.

KanyiDaily had reported that Mr Woodberry was arrested alongside Hushpuppi in the United Arab Emirate, Dubai on June 10, 2020, for defrauding over 1.9 million victims to the tune of $435.6 million (N168 billion).

Upon their extradited to the U.S on July 2, 2020, Woodberry was accused of tricking an unnamed Chicago-based company of transferring about $15.3million to him.

Companies based in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New York and California also were victims of the fraud, prosecutors say.

The 29-year-old was arraigned on charges bordering on wire fraud conspiracy at a US District Court in Illinois. The jury summed up the allegations against him to an eight-count charge of wire fraud, which violates section 1343 of the United States Codes.

However, the Attorney to the US government, John Lausch had on Monday, July 20, filed a motion seeking the dismissal of the case against Woodberry without prejudice.

“Counsel for the government has spoken with counsel for the defendant and defendant’s counsel has no objection to this motion. Respectfully submitted,” Mr Lausch said.

He said it is in pursuant with Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 48, which states that the government may, with leave of court, dismiss an indictment, information, or complaint.

Consequently, a court order issued by Judge Robert W. Gettleman on Tuesday, granted the dismissal of the case against Woodberry.

“Without objection, the complaint against defendant Ponle is dismissed without prejudice. Motion presentment hearing set for 7/23/2020 is stricken,” Justice Gettleman ruled.

Woodberry’s dismissal which is without prejudice is described as temporary because the prosecutor can refile the case within a certain period of time.

The probable causes of dismissal range from unavailability of sufficient evidence, an improper criminal complaint or charging document, to loss of evidence necessary to prove the defendant committed the crime.

This is coming just one week after Hushpuppi was taken to a Chicago court, where he was denied bail, before the case was transferred to California.

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