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ZJ Wah Wa 2014

ZJ Wah Wa to stand trial in September in lottery scam case

ZJ Wah Wa 2014Popular Jamaican disc jock, Deon-ville O’Hara, more popularly known as ZJ Wah Wa will go on trial in his ongoing lottery scam case on September 15 following a hearing inside a North Dakota courtroom on Thursday.

Reports Saturday say the ZIP FM disc jock, who was transferred in late May to a North Dakota jail from Florida, pled not guilty to three charges, including money laundering, conspiracy in connection with telemarketing and wire and mail fraud. The 24-year old selector is one of 26 people held in connection with the alleged scam. He will be in the custody of U.S. Marshals until the beginning of the trial.

Allegations are that O’Hara assisted in running a lottery scam in Jamaica that conned American nationals into sending money in exchange for promised lottery winnings. It is further alleged that O’Hara would then fly to the U.S. to collect said money from victims.

Alleged victims in the scam include an 83-year-old North Dakota woman who sent cheques amounting to US$158,000 after being promised nearly US$19 million in lottery winnings as well as a South Dakota man who sent a cashier’s cheque totaling US$14,000 after being promised US$3.5 million in winnings and a 2012 Mercedes Benz, according to the Associated Press.

O’Hara was arrested in early May after visiting Florida. Four months earlier, he had been stopped by customs officials at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay after US$105,000 was found in his possession, money investigators believe was copped through the alleged scam.

After news of O’Hara’s charges broke, ZIP FM’s station manager released a statement saying that the radio station would, “allow the due process of the law to take place, where persons are given the benefit of the doubt and presumed innocent until proven guilty, our employees will be extended the same courtesy.”

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ZJ Wah Wa charged

ZJ Wah Wa charged in U.S. lottery scam investigation

ZJ Wah Wa chargedPopular Jamaican disc jockey, Deon-ville O’Hara, more popularly known as ZJ Wah Wa has been charged by federal authorities in the United States in relation to a lottery scam investigation in which he is alleged to be part of a group scamming elderly residents in the Dakotas and elsewhere.

Reports Wednesday confirmed The ZIP FM personality is one of 26 people indicted by a federal grand jury in North Dakota and has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as money laundering, according to the Associated PressEach of the counts carry a maximum prison term of 30 years.

It is alleged that O’Hara and others ran a lottery scam in Jamaica in which they convinced several elderly victims to send them millions of dollars to cover fees for lottery winnings. O’Hara would then travel to the U.S. to collect the money from victims, according to prosecutors.

The initial indictment, which was unsealed Tuesday, includes a case in which one 83-year-old North Dakota woman sent seven cheques totaling US$158,000 after being promised nearly US$19 million in winnings. In another instance, a South Dakota man sent a cashier’s cheque totaling US$14,000 after he was promised US$3.5 million in lottery winnings, as well as a 2012 Mercedes.

In November, O’Hara was stopped at Sangster International Airport by local customs officials after US$105,000 was found in his possession. Investigators believe this money was part of the proceeds from the alleged scam.

However, O’Hara was not arrested until earlier this month when he visited Florida. He currently sits in a Miami jail, but has requested that he be transferred to a North Dakota facility, according to his lawyer, Herman Frank Rubio Jr.

ZJ Wah Wa is the second Jamaican entertainment personality to be arrested in an alleged lottery scam. In February,Tommy Lee Sparta was charged with breaches of Jamaica’s anti-lottery act after authorities found lists of American citizens and other materials believed to have been used in the scam.

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