ZJ Wah Wah expected to plead guilty in lottery scam case

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ZJ Wah WaRenowned Jamaican disc jockey, Deon-ville O’Hara, more popularly known as ZJ Wah Wa will plead guilty to three charges connected to a scamming case in the United States when he returns to court on Sept. 25 in North Dakota.

The DJ, known for his time working at ZIP 103 FM was arrested in May along with 26 other people, including 16 fellow Jamaicans, in relation to a lottery scam he is alleged to have assisted running from Jamaica. The alleged scam persuaded several American citizens, many of them elderly, to send millions of dollars in exchange for promised lottery winnings. It is alleged that O’Hara would act as a courier for the exchange, travelling to the U.S. on occasion to collect the funds.

Additionally, he had been stopped at the Sangsters International Airport in Montego Bay last November where customs officers found US$105,000 cash on his person, which were alleged proceeds from the scam.

O’Hara was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy and initially pled not guilty to all charges during his last court appearance in June.

However, Federal Prosecutor and Asst. United States attorney, Clare Hocchalter confirmed that O’Hara has changed his tune and entered a plea agreement, saying he entered into a plea agreement on Sept. 10, meaning he would waive his right to a jury trial and plead guilty.

Four others accused in the scam, Mikael Gillette, 24; Charles Bauder, 54; Shannon O’Connor, 30; and James Simpson, 72, all Americans, also pleaded guilty.

Wah Wa faces up 30 years in prison on each of the three counts, a fine, mandatory restitution and possible forfeiture of property. He is currently being held at the Heart of America Detention Centre in Rugby, North Dakota.

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