Alleged Fraud: US Court Dismisses Case Against Hushpuppi’s Co-Defendant, Woodberry

Hushpuppi INTERPOL OnoBello

A U.S court has granted dismissal of the fraud case against Olalekan Ponle, popularly known as Woodberry who was arrested alongside Instagram celebrity, Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas.

Recall that Prosecutors accused Woodberry of tricking a Chicago company into sending wire transfers totalling $15.2 million. Also victims of the fraud were other companies based in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New York and California.

On June 10, in an well-planned takedown, he was arrested in the United Arab Emirates by operatives of the Dubai crime unit, and subsequently extradited to the U.S. on July 2.

Though Woodberry was indicted by a grand jury on an eight-count charge of wire fraud, the United States government on Monday July 20th filed a motion through its attorney John R. Lausch, requesting that the case against him be dismissed without prejudice.

Lausch said, “Counsel for the government has spoken with counsel for the defendant and defendant’s counsel has no objection to this motion. Respectfully submitted.” He added that the request was made in pursuant with Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 48, which states that the government may, with leave of court, dismiss an indictment, information, or complaint.

A court order issued by Judge Robert W. Gettleman on Tuesday July 21, confirmed that the government’s motion to dismiss complaint without prejudice was granted. Gettleman noted that “Without objection the complaint against defendant Ponle is dismissed without prejudice. Motion presentment hearing set for 7/23/2020 is stricken.”

Since Woodberry’s case was dismissed without prejudice, it is temporal as the prosecutor can refile the case within a certain period of time. The probable causes of dismissal range from unavailability of sufficient evidence, an improper criminal complaint or charging document, to loss of evidence necessary to prove the defendant committed the crime.

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