Olalekan Ponle, a suspected Nigerian fraudster popularly known as Woodberry, was arrested, alongside his accomplice Ramon Abbas (Hushpuppi) in the United Arab Emirates on June 10 for multiple fraud charges after a raid by operatives of the Dubai crime unit.
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 have also been victims of the fraud, prosecutors say.
We reported how the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) nabbed Mr. Ponle through details accessed from his WhatsApp, iPhone, and Bitcoin transactions. He was extradited to the United States on July 2.
The 29-year-old was facing charges bordering on wire fraud and conspiracy at a United States District Court in Illinois.
In fact, a report of the grand jury, a group of lawyers empowered to conduct legal proceedings and investigate potential criminal conduct, indicted him.
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.
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.
“Counsel for the government has spoken with counsel for the defendant and the defendant’s counsel has no objection to this motion. Respectfully submitted,” Mr. Lausch stated.
He said it is in pursuant to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 48, which states that the government may, with leave of court, dismiss an indictment, information, or complaint.
Also, the government may not dismiss the prosecution during the trial without the defendant’s consent.
A court order issued by Judge Robert W. Gettleman said the government’s motion to dismiss complaint without prejudice was granted.
“Without objection, the complaint against defendant Ponle is dismissed without prejudice. Motion presentment hearing set for 7/23/2020 is stricken,” Mr Gettleman ruled.
When a case is dismissed with prejudice, it is over and done with, once and for all, and can’t be brought back to court.
However, when it is dismissed without prejudice, like in the case of Mr. Ponle, the dismissal is temporary as the prosecutor can refile the case within a certain period of time.He is yet to be released from detention at the time of this report.