Looks like Mr Woodberry is going home free as a US court has dismissed the fraud case against the suspected cyber criminal.
Olalekan Joseph Ponle aka Woodberry was arrested alongside Ramon Abass in Dubai during an operation tagged ‘Fox Hunt 2, on June 10, 2020 and was extradited to the US on July 2.
Woodberry was accused of tricking a Chicago company into sending wire transfers totalling $15.2 million. Prosecutors disclosed that companies based in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New York and California were also victims of the fraud.
He was earlier indicted by a grand jury on an eight-count charge of wire fraud, however, 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.
A statement John R. Lausch revealed the motion for dismissal was in line with Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 48, which allows the government with leave of court, dismiss an indictment, information or complaint.
“Counsel for the government has spoken with counsel for the defendant and defendant’s counsel has no objection to this motion. Respectfully submitted”, Lausch said.
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.
Mr Gentleman said; “Without objection the complaint against defendant Ponle is dismissed without prejudice. Motion presentment hearing set for 7/23/2020 is stricken”.
The dismissal might have come about due to a number of reasons e.g. loss of evidence, improper criminal complaint or charging, insufficient evidence, loss of evidence to show proof of crime, etc.
Woodberry’s freedom can however be rescinded since the case was dismissed without prejudice and the prosecutor can refile within a certain period of time.