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The cybercrime/internet fraud complaint brought against Olalekan Jacob Ponle aka Woodberry in the United States has been dismissed without prejudice.

Woodberry was arrested alongside his associate Hushpuppi who has already been released on bail on June 10 by the Dubai Crime Unit. The two suspects were extradited to the US on July 2 and are accused of defrauding millions of unsuspecting victim.

In the complaint against Woodberry, an unnamed Chicago company was tricked into sending wire transfers totalling $15.2 million.

Premium times reports that companies based in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New York and California were also listed as victims of the alleged fraud, prosecutors say.

A report of the grand jury Premium Times continued revealed that “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.”

Now, the charges against Woodberry has been dismissed without prejudice based on the court order issued by Judge Robert W. Gettleman. This was done as a result of the government’s motion.

“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 cannot be brought back to court but when it is dismissed “without prejudice”, like in the case of Mr Ponle, the dismissal is temporary and can be revisited.

Throwing more light on the Woodberry case dismissal, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, told Premium Times that although the complaint is dismissed, the grand jury indictment is still active.

“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.”

He said Mr Ponle “has now been charged by indictment, instead of being charged by the complaint by FBI”.

Woodberry remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshal bail.

Musa Suleiman
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