US prosecutors have given a reason why they requested that the Internet fraud charges against Woodberry was dismissed without prejudice.
In an enquiry by Premium Times, Mr Nash 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.”
He, however, failed to provide clarifications to what he meant by a ‘slightly different crime’.
When contacted on Thursday night, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, who spoke on behalf of the plaintiff, said although the complaint is dismissed, but 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 told this newspaper.
He said Mr Ponle “has now been charged by indictment, instead of being charged by the complaint by FBI”.
However, Woodberry will remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals.
Yesterday, we reported that court in the US has dismissed the fraud case against Woodberry, also known as Olalekan Ponle, was alleged to have used the alias, Mark Kain to perpetuate his alleged business email compromise scams.
However, after siphoning monies from accounts of his victims, the complaint said through the alias, Mark Kain, Woodberry used several mules to transfer the money which was then converted into Bitcoin and sent to him.
In the criminal complaint against him which was filed the U.S. Department of Justice, Woodberry aka Mark Kain allegedly defrauded his victims to the tune of $15.2 million.
The jury summed up the allegations against him to an eight-count charge of wire fraud, which violates section 1343 of the United States Codes.
However, on Monday, the United States government filed a motion through its attorney, John R. Lausch, requesting that the case against Mr Ponle should be dismissed without prejudice.
“Counsel for the government has spoken with counsel for the defendant and defendant’s counsel has no objection to this motion.
Respectfully submitted,” Mr Lausch stated.
He said it is 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.
Also, the government may not dismiss the prosecution during trial without the defendant’s consent.
A court order issued by Judge Robert W. Gettleman on Tuesday, said the government’s motion to dismiss complaint without prejudice was granted.
“Without objection the complaint against defendant Ponle is dismissed without prejudice. Motion presentment hearing set for 7/23/2020 is stricken,” Mr Gettleman ruled.
When a case is dismissed with prejudice, it is over and done with, once and for all, and can’t be brought back to court.
However, when it is dismissed without prejudice, like in the case of Mr Ponle, the dismissal is temporary 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.
However, this does not mean Woodberry is free. What it means is that the prosecution could be filing another case in another jurisdiction against Woodberry because of the alleged location where his victims are. Moreover, things are still unclear how his travails will turn out. However, it does not mean Woodberry will be released anytime soon.