Financial Crime: Holy high rollers: prosecutors take down phony pastors who targeted immigrants in $28 million Ponzi scheme

by | Jan 14, 2023 | Stock Market

“I’m everything you imagine me to be, as long as it’s good and it’s Godly.” That’s how Dennis Jali, a South African self-proclaimed finance guru sold his Christian-themed program of financial success to crowds of mainly African immigrants at churches and banquet halls in and around Baltimore and Washington, D.C. 

But while Jali claimed he could multiply their money by as much as 35% through cryptocurrency and foreign exchange investments, prosecutors say it was simply an unholy scam.   Not only were Jali and his accomplices not pastors like they claimed, they never made any investments with their clients’ money, instead using it to finance lavish lifestyles of private jet travel, luxury homes and fleets of fancy cars. “I own 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 not long before his wealth management program, called 1st Million Dollars, collapsed and he and his cohorts were charged with running a $28 million Ponzi scheme. Last week, one of Jali’s co-conspirators, Arley Ray Johnson, 63, of Bowie, Maryland, was sentenced to 6 ½ years in federal prison for his role as 1st Million’s chief financial officer. A second defendant, John Erasmus Frimpong, a 42-year Ghanaian national who worked as …

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