September 15 trial date for Wah Wa
RADIO jock ZJ Wah Wa was given a trial date of September 15 when he appeared in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota in Fargo on Thursday.
Wah Wa, whose given name is Deon-ville O'Hara, was making his first appearance in a North Dakota court since being transferred from Florida on May 27.
The jock, who is employed to Zip 103 FM, was arrested by US law enforcement authorities during a visit to Florida. It is alleged he helped run a lottery scam in Jamaica that induced American victims to send millions of dollars for 'lottery winnings'.
The 24-year-old is charged with conspiracy in connection with telemarketing, money laundering conspiracy, and wire and mail fraud. He is among 26 individuals being held who are alleged to be part of a ring.
"He entered a 'not guilty' plea to all charges. He will be detained in the US Marshall's custody pending the trial," Clare Hocchalter, prosecutor and Assistant United States Attorney/Criminal Chief, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
Allegations are that Wah Wa assisted in running a lottery scam in Jamaica that induced American victims to send millions of dollars for lottery winnings. Once the parties were duped, it is alleged ZJ Wah Wa travelled to the US and picked up money from the victims.
The Associated Press reported that the victims are an 83-year-old North Dakota woman who sent seven cheques amounting to US$158,000 after being promised US$19 million in winnings; and a South Dakota man who sent a US$14,000 cheque after being promised US$3.5 million and a Mercedes-Benz.
Wah Wa is being represented by attorney Steve Mottinger of the law firm Johnson, Ramstad and Mottinger, PLLP. Efforts made to contact him were unsuccessful.
-- Brian Bonitto