Woman charged for $283M Ponzi scheme granted $1.7M bail
…also charged for misappropriating $5.8M church penny bank funds
A 37-year-old woman appeared at the Blairmont Magistrate’s Court on Monday, facing 17 charges in relation to running a Ponzi scheme and misappropriating monies from a church’s penny bank.
Phylicia Jallim of Lot 22 Welcome Street, Rosignol, West Bank Berbice (WBB), and Lot 103 Thomas Street, Kitty, Georgetown, was arraigned before Magistrate Peter Hugh.
She allegedly operated a Ponzi scheme between July and November 2022, in which business people invested some $283M for a five to 20 per cent return on their investment.
Concerning the one count of fraudulent misappropriation of property, it is alleged that Jallim embezzled $5,800,000 in penny bank funds from the New Life Assembly of God Church located at Number 4 Village, West Coast Berbice (WCB), in 2022.
As a member of that church, she was entrusted by other members with their penny bank money to bank same in her name, and return the cash at the end of that year.
Jallim, who was unrepresented by legal counsel, was granted bail in the sum of $100,000 on each of the 17 charges, for a total of $1.7M bail. The matters have been postponed until June 19.
Jallim is a former Branch Manager of NAFICO insurance company.
She was arrested and charged after the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU)—an arm of the Guyana Police Force (GPF)—investigated several reports made against her.
SOCU in a release on Monday said that in December 2022, a number of persons made reports that Jallim was operating a Ponzi scheme and investigations revealed that she “deceived victims into believing that she is the Chief Executive Officer of Dream Chasers, a legal investment where she borrows money from investors and lends the money to Government contractors and farmers who are having financial problems.”
SOCU also said “the company ‘Dream Chasers’ investment never existed. The farmers and contractors’ names she mentioned to the victims as her ‘clients’ denied doing any business with her.”
It was also stated that a number of other investigations of similar nature are ongoing against Jallim.
SOCU is designated with responsibility for ensuring that money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes are fully and thoroughly investigated.
The cases are being prosecuted by Deputy Superintendent of Police Neville Jeffers.
The 17 victims were present in court. (G1)