A week after a US court dismissed the fraud case brought against Olalekan Ponle, popularly addressed as Woodberry, a Nigerian accused of multi-million dollar wire fraud, new reports has it that Mr Ponle has appeared back in court to answer for his alleged crime.
Mr Ponle, popularly known as Woodberry, was arrested, alongside Ramon Abbas (Hushpuppi) in the United Arab Emirate on June 10 for multiple fraud charges after a raid by operatives of the Dubai crime unit.
The duo were extradited to the U.S. on July 2.
According to the complaint against Mr Ponle, an unnamed Chicago company was tricked 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.
Although the charges against Mr Ponle have been dismissed, the indictment which summed his offences into eight counts charge is still active.
On Saturday, the defendant appeared in court. He acknowledged the receipt of the indictment and entered a plea of not guilty to each count.
“Defendant appears in response to his arrest on 7/2/20. Attorney, Michael Nash, appears on behalf of the defendant. Defendant informed of the charges against him as well as of the possible sentence fine if convicted of those charges.”
“Arraignment proceedings held, Defendant acknowledges receipt of the Indictment, waives formal reading, and enters a plea of not guilty to each count in which he is named,” the documents obtained by newsmen read.
However, the status hearing, when to know if the case is set for trial, has been slated for August 8.
Mr Ponle is remanded in the custody of the United States Marshals Service and will remain in custody until further order of the court.
If convicted of the crime, he may spend the next 20 years in U.S prison.
Source: Within Nigeria