Fraud charges: Nothing has changed for Woodberry, says Lawyer

Fraud charges: Nothing has changed for Woodberry, says Lawyer

Friday, July 24, 2020 3:47 pm

Ramon Olorunwa Abbas (Ray Hushpuppi, left) and Olalekan Jacob Ponle, (‘Woodberry’). Photo:

Contrary to speculations in the social media, nothing much has changed for Olalekan Ponle aka Woodberry, regarding charges of wire fraud and conspiracy levelled against him at the United States.

He was arrested alongside Ramon Abbas, aka Huspuppi at the United Arab Emirates on 10 June and extradited to US where he was arraigned at District Court sitting in Illinois on charges bordering on wire fraud and conspiracy.

The US alleged in the complaint that Mr. Ponle, through wire fraud stole $15.2 million from an unnamed company.

There were reports on Thursday that the eight-count charge of wire fraud levelled against Woodberry have been dismissed while he has also been freed.

But Michael Nash, the Chicago lawyer representing him said the case was dismissed because the government charged him with a slightly different crime.

“The government dismissed the case because it charged him with a slightly different crime. In the long run, no difference,” The Nation newspaper quoted him as saying.

The newspaper, however, said the lawyer failed to provide clarifications to what he meant by a ‘slightly different crime’.

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Joseph D. Fitzpatrick also said on Thursday evening that though the complaint against Woodberry 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 added that Ponle has now been charged by indictment, instead of being charged by the complaint by FBI.”

Woodberry is still being detained by the U.S. Marshal as of the time of reporting.


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