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More Trouble For Woodberry As Grand Jury Indicts Him For Alleged Multi-Million-Dollar Fraud

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Mr Ponle, popularly known as Woodberry, alongside Ramoni Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, was arrested in the United Arab Emirate. 

Woodberry

According to PREMIUM TIMES, Olalekan Ponle, a Nigerian held in the United States for alleged multi-million-dollar fraud, has been indicted by the grand jury, a group of lawyers empowered to conduct legal proceedings and investigate potential criminal conduct.

Mr Ponle, popularly known as Woodberry, alongside Ramoni Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, was arrested in the United Arab Emirate on June 10 for multiple fraud charges after a raid by operatives of the Dubai crime unit.

According to the complaint, an unnamed Chicago company was defrauded into sending wire transfers totalling $15.2 million.

Companies based in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New York and California also were victims of the fraud, prosecutors say.

PREMIUM TIMES 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 is currently facing charges bordering on wire fraud Conspiracy at a United States District Court sitting in Illinois.

His first appearance in court was on July 3, after which the preliminary hearing was set for July 16 before Judge Jeffrey T Gilbert.

Although Mr Ponle appeared in court for his detention and preliminary hearing on Thursday, PREMIUM TIMES is yet to access the outcome of the proceedings as of the time of filing this report.

Grand Jury’s report

As obtained by this paper, a report of the special grand jury constituted in 2019, which was submitted to the court on Wednesday, indicted Mr Ponle.

In the American judicial system, the grand jury listens to the prosecutor and witnesses, and then votes in secret on whether they believe that enough evidence exists to charge the person with a crime.

When a person is indicted, he is given a formal notice that it is believed that he committed a crime. The indictment contains the basic information that informs the person of the charges against him.

The jury summed up the allegations against Mr Ponle to an eight-count charge of wire fraud, which violates section 1343 of the United States Codes.

“Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretences, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”


More so, the jury, in its conclusion, stated that, upon conviction, Mr Ponle shall forfeit to the United States of America any property which institutes and is derived from proceeds traceable to the offense provided in Title 18. United States Code, Section 981 (IXC) and Title 28, United States Code, Section 24611).

“If any of the property described above, as a result of any act or omission by a defendant: cannot be located upon the exercise of due diligence; has been transferred or sold to, or deposited with, a third party; has been placed beyond the jurisdiction of the Court; has been substantially diminished in value; or has been commingled with other property which cannot be divided without difficulty, the United States of America shall be entitled to forfeiture of substitute property, as provided in Title 21, United States Code, Section 853 (p), ” 
the report further read.

Previous reports had indicated that Mr Ponle will be in the custody of the U.S. Marshal until further order by the Court.

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FG announces zamfara a restricted air space

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FG announces Zamfara a restricted air space, orders huge military deployment.

The Nigerian government has forced a restricted air space in Zamfara as a feature of endeavors to handle the security challenges in the state.

As indicated by The Cable, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno uncovered on Tuesday, March 2, that President Muhammadu Buhari has restricted mining exercises in Zamfara to stop the rising instability.

He said the president had requested the service of protection to convey a huge military and insight resources for reestablish routineness in the state. The Nation detailed that they requested the military to recover all regions heavily influenced by desperados, radicals.

Monguno said:

“We can no longer avoid to lose lives while operating within the legalities. We are not going to blackmailed . The government has the responsibility to assert its will.

“Citizens can reside wherever they want to reside . Anybody who is a criminal should be brought to book.”

The security adviser stated that the president also warned against ethnic profiling.Zamfara state has recorded a few assaults by bandits.The new incident included the grabbing of many young ladies from the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Talatu-Mafara nearby government zone of the state.

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Igboho promises a protest if his accounts are not released

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Self-acclaimed political dissident, Mr. Sunday Adeyemo, otherwise called Sunday Igboho, on Tuesday, blamed the Federal Government for freezing his financial assets, following his assault on the fulani herdsmen in Oyo State.

Igboho, who addressed Vanguard, affirmed that all his financial asset have been frozen by the Federal Government since certain individuals were gathering donations.

Nonetheless, Igboho said he had no hands in the said donations, cautioning that his records should be released to dodge protest by young people across the South-West area.

His words: “They have frozen my bank accounts because I am fighting a just course.

I know Yoruba people are behind me.“I will not relent. I must achieve my aims by putting an end to criminalities in Yorubaland.

“If they refuse to release my accounts, there will be serious protests across the South-West.

“Yes, the Yoruba are living in fear. They are afraid that the killer-herdsmen might attack them.

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IGP adamu retires

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Adamu enrolled in the Police Force on February 2, 1986.

The IGP who will turn 60 on September 17, was appointed IGP in January 2019. He has gone through two years in office.

Three Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIGs) and 10 Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) are additionally due for retirement with him today.

It is accepted that there is a mission to broaden Adamu’s residency.

However, some have contended against such expansion, since it would negate the arrangements of the Police Act 2020 that fixes the retirement of cops at 60 years old or 35 years of administration.

Section 18(8) of the new Act states: “Every police officer shall, on recruitment or appointment, serve in the Nigeria Police Force for 35 years or until the age of 60 years, whichever is earlier.”

The Act provides for a tenure of four years for the Inspector General of Police.

Section 7, subsection 2 of the Act provides that: “The person to be appointed as Inspector General of Police shall be a senior police officer not below the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police with the requisite academic qualification of not less than a first degree or its equivalent, in addition to professional or management experience.”

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