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After Adelekan Convicted at Trial Now Co Defendant Oyeneyin Pleads Guilty in SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Thread Pod
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTROOM, June 13 – Two wire fraud defendants were convicted in October 2021 and ordered remanded to jail - but there were no U.S. Marshals present for nearly an hour after the order, see below.

Inner City Press was there: thread, podcast.

 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Loretta A. Preska presided over the jury trial of Oluwaseun Adelekan and Temitope Omotoya from October 20 to October 26, 2021.

On June 13, 2022, Judge Preska held a change of plea proceeding for Adelekan's co-defendant Gbenga Oyeneyin, and Inner City Press covered it. Judge Preska inquired into whether the defendant was admitting to opening bank accounts for shell companies. Yes, he said. The plea was accepted.

 In the Adelekan case, the jury was deliberating on the afternoon of October 26, so Inner City Press went up to SDNY Courtroom 26A around 4:20 pm.

There was a wait more than an hour until, near 6 pm, Judge Preska said, "I think we're in business. The jury has a verdict." 

 A court reporter came upstairs, as to two more of Judge Preska's staff. But, Inner City Press noted, no U.S. Marshals.  

 The jury foreperson passed the verdict sheet to Judge Preska's clerk, who read out "Guilty" to each count, from wire fraud through money laundering to identity theft.

The jurors confirmed this was each of their decision, and Judge Preska said, Have a good night, I hope you don't get rained on.  

 Then the Assistant U.S. Attorney asked for remand: to send the two now convicted defendants to jail, even before the January 27 sentencing.

 The two defense lawyers argued against it, one saying that far from being a flight risk, his client is afraid of going back to Nigeria.

  Judge Preska said the two had not shown they are not flight risks, and ordered them remanded. But how?  

  There was pause, then two then three then four Court Security Officers came int the room, apparently in case one or both defendants sought to make a run for it. 

  A fifth CSO arrived and asked the two to empty their pockets, to take off their belts and shoe laces. Judge Preska kindly let each man use the landline phone on the bench to call their families.  

 More silence. The prosecutors left. Only the two defendants, three defense lawyers, five CSOs and Inner City Press remained in large Courtroom 26A.  

 A CSO began asking each man, How old are you? How much do you weight?  160, one said. The other was heavier.  

  It was helpfully explained to Inner City Press that this was a unique case, with a 6 pm verdict on defendant who were not in custody during the trial.

 Finally near 6:45 pm two US Marshals came in, albeit without the normal belt of handcuffs. They escorted the two men into the holding cell and elevator.

 Jump cut to May 25, 2022 when Adelekan was sentenced by Judge Preska. In the hallway outside, family members wondered out loud if all the letters they generated were given to the judge and if not, why not. The docket shows many letters: Kennedlyn Gould, Christopher Boyo Fashola or Old Navy, Emily Akinola form Nigeria, Gifty Ansah - and another defendant in SDNY, recently given 390 months, Nazeem Francis. Inside, Adelekan received a sentence of 108 months.

The overall case is US v. Adelekan, et al., 19-cr-291 (Preska). 


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