Olalekan Ponle better known as Woodberry has pleaded not guilty before Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cummings of the United States District Court in Illinois.
Woodberry was arrested, alongside Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi in Dubai on June 10 for multiple fraud charges and extradited to the US on July 2.
Mr. Ponle was charged with scamming U.S. companies in Iowa, Michigan, Kansas, California and New York amounting to millions of dollars.
The U.S. court dismissed the fraud case against Woodberry but the grand jury arraignment which amounted his offenses to eight counts charge remains active.
Mr. Ponle accepted the receipt of his indictment and pleaded not guilty to all the eight counts when he appeared in court on Saturday.
Media documents (known to Noble Reporters Media) read,
“Defendant appears in response to his arrest on 7/2/20. Attorney, Michael Nash, appears on behalf of the defendant. Defendant informed of the charges against him as well as of the possible sentence fine if convicted of those charges.”
“Arraignment proceedings held, Defendant acknowledges receipt of the Indictment, waives formal reading, and enters a plea of not guilty to each count in which he is named,”
Woodberryi is currently being held by United States Marshals Service and may be jailed for 20 years if guilty of the crimes.
Michael Nash, the Chicago lawyer representing Woodberry, has said that the dismissal of the fraud allegation against his client makes no difference.
Woodberry was arrested alongside Hushpuppi and extradited to the US where he’s being tried for fraud.
“The government dismissed the case because it charged him with a slightly different crime. In the long run, no difference”, he said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Joseph D. Fitzpatrick in reaction to the news disclosed that Woodperry still has an eight-count charge of wire fraud against him.
He 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.
A United States court has dismissed the case against Hushpuppi’s associate, Olalekan Ponle also known as Woodberry, a Nigerian accused of multi-million dollar wire fraud.
Mr Ponle, popularly known as Woodberry, was arrested, alongside Ramon Abbas (Hushpuppi) in the United Arab Emirate on June 10 for multiple fraud charges after a raid by operatives of the Dubai crime unit.
The duo were extradited to the U.S. on July 2. 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.
Raymond Igbalode Abbas (Hushpuppi) and Olalekan Jacon Ponle (Woodberry) have been extradited to the United States.
Dubai Police revealed in a statement that the Nigerian fraudsters, Huspuppi and Woodberry have been extradited to the United States after they were arrested in Dubai for allegedly committing multiple money-laundering and cyber crimes.
FBI’s Director, Christopher Wray thanked the Dubai Police for their cooperation.
Statement by the Dubai Police reads;
The Director of the Federatal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Christopher Wray has praised the exceptional efforts exerted by the United Arab Emirate, represented bu the Dubai Police General HQ, in combating transnational organised cybercrime including the rrecent arrest of Raymod Igbalode Abbas, known as “Hushpuppi” and Olalekan Jacon Ponle aka “Woodberry” who were taken down in opetation “Fox Hunt 2”.
Mr Wray also extended his appreciations to Dubai Police for their cooperation in extraditing the wanted criminals, who committed money-laundering and multiple-cybercrimes, to the United States.