The lawyer representing Olalekan Ponle a.k.a Woodberry has revealed why the fraud case against his client was dismissed by a US court.
It can be recalled that Woodberry, was arrested on the 10th of June alongside Ramon Abbas (Hushpuppi) in the United Arab Emirate and charged for multiple fraud after a simultaneous raid by operatives of the Dubai crime unit. After their arrest by the Dubai Police, they were then extradited to the U.S. on July 2.
The 29-year-old was facing charges bordering on wire fraud conspiracy at a United States District Court in Illinois. According to the complaint against Mr Ponle, an unnamed Chicago company was tricked into sending wire transfers totaling $15.2 million. Companies based in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New York and California also were victims of the fraud, prosecutors say.
The United States government on Monday filed a motion through its attorney, John R. Lausch, requesting that the case against Mr Ponle should be dismissed without prejudice.
A court order issued by Judge Robert W. Gettleman on Tuesday, said the government’s motion to dismiss complaint without prejudice was granted.
Michael Nash, the Chicago lawyer representing Woodberry told Premium Times that the case was dismissed because the government charged his client with a slightly different crime. He said;
“The government dismissed the case because it charged him with a slightly different crime. In the long run, no difference.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Joseph D. Fitzpatrick who spoke on behalf of the plaintiff also told the publication that although the complaint is dismissed, the grand jury’s indictment is still active. Fitzpatrick said;
“We dismissed the complaint, but the indictment (charging 8 counts of wire fraud) is still active. We cannot comment on the dismissal of the complaint, but I wanted to make sure you knew the indictment is still active.
“Mr Ponle has now been charged by indictment, instead of being charged by the complaint by FBI”.