The District Court of Maryland in Baltimore, USA, sentenced Pastor Dennis Jali on charges of fraud ponzi schemewith the lure of riches because of investment crypto.
Dennis Jali sells Christian-themed financial success programs to crowds of African immigrants at churches and banquet halls in and around Baltimore and Washington, DC
According to Morning StarJali claims he can multiply their money by as much as 35 percent through cryptocurrencies and foreign exchange investment. However, prosecutors said it was all fraud.
Not only are Jali and his accomplices not as priests as they claim, they have never made any investments with their clients’ money. Instead, they use it to fund a lavish lifestyle of private jet travel, luxury homes, and fleets of luxury cars.
“I have 28 cars that I bought, all cash. And I’m not talking cheap cars. I’ve never owned a Toyota in my life,” Jali said in a 2019 interview shortly before his wealth management program, called the US$1 million program, finally collapsed.
Dennis Jali and his cohorts were charged with running a $28 million Ponzi scheme.
“The fraud sells the vision of financial freedom through God, but robs the organizers of their pockets,” prosecutors said.
Last week, one of Dennis Jali’s co-conspirators, Arley Ray Johnson, 63, of Bowie, Maryland, was sentenced to 6.5 years in federal prison for his role as the chief financial officer of the US$1 Million program.
The second defendant, John Erasmus Frimpong, a 42-year-old Ghanaian national who worked as the program’s Chief Marketing Officer, pleaded guilty to wire and securities fraud in August and is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Dennis Jali, 37, fled to his native South Africa in 2019 when he learned he was being investigated by the FBI.
He was arrested in South Africa in 2020 after criminal charges were opened in the US, but is still awaiting extradition to the US to face charges.
Neither Dennis Jali nor his attorney could immediately be reached for comment.
Prosecutors say the group launched the scheme in 2017, appearing at churches attended mainly by African immigrants, promoting themselves as pastors aimed at helping parishioners find their wealth through religious devotion.
Dennis Jali presents himself as an expert in forex and cryptocurrency investments, promising victims to get rich because of it crypto those who invest with it return between 6 percent and 35 percent in a year.
He said their initial investment would always be safe and held in a special trust account.
Investigators said it was all a lie and that Jali and his co-conspirators never invested any money. Instead, prosecutors said, they used the funds to finance their own lifestyles and pay off previous investors in the structure of a classic Ponzi scheme.
Within a few years, the scheme was dropped, and even as the program started running at a deficit, prosecutors say the people continued to solicit investment to cover the shortfall.
“However, by the end of 2019, the program failed, with most of the US$1 million investors going bankrupt,” the prosecutor said. [ab]