Woman accused of operating Ponzi scheme slapped with 17 fraud charges
A former insurance manager, accused of swindling millions of dollars from residents on the West Coast of Berbice (WCB), was released on Monday after she denied a series of fraud charges amounting to more than $288M.
Phylicia Jallim of Welcome Street, Rosignol, WCB and of Thomas Street, Kitty, Georgetown appeared before Magistrate Peter Hughes at the Blairmont Magistrate’s Court.
She was charged with 16 counts of obtaining money by false pretense, amounting to $283M and one count of fraudulent misappropriation amounting to $5.8M.
The charges were laid by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).
The case was prosecuted by Police Prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent Jeffers, who objected to bail.
However, Jallim, who had no legal representation, was placed on $100,000 bail on each charge. The case was adjourned to June 19 for statements.
In a press statement issued on Monday, SOCU said an investigation was launched in December 2022 after a number of persons reported that Jallim was operating a Ponzi ccheme.
“Investigations revealed that she (Jallim) cunningly deceived victims into believing that she is the Chief Executive Officer of Dream Chasers, a legal investment where she borrows money from investors and lend the money to government contractors and farmers who are having financial problems. She informed the victims that she would pay them 5 to 20 percent interest weekly on their capital invested,” the statement detailed.
According to SOCU, between July 2022 and November 2022, 16 victims from Berbice invested monies with Jallim but she never returned their capital as promised.
“She never returned their capital. 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,” the statement noted.
Further, the statement added that investigations also revealed that Jallim was a member of the New Light Assembly of God Church located at Number 4 Village, WCB and was entrusted with the safe custody and control of Congregation’s Penny Bank Account.
“She converted the amount of 5.8 million dollars of the Church’s Penny Bank money to her own use and benefit,” the statement noted.
Currently, a number of other investigations of similar nature are ongoing against Jallim.