A South African man has been charged with fraud in the Maryland District Court for allegedly scamming $28 million from over 1,000 investors.
In a press statement, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it jointly charged Jali and two accomplices for orchestrating the “Ponzi scheme”.
Arley Ray Johnson and John Frimpong, both of Maryland, fraudently solicited money from investors, who contributed $28 million to three companies – 1st Million LLC, Smart Partners LLC, and Access to Assets LLC, it said.
The duo compelled participants to trade in BTC and forex through pooled trading accounts controlled by Jali, added the statement. The alleged scheme operated from 2017 to 2020, drawing in more than 1,000 investors.
Investors were led to sign “secure contracts” that promised guaranteed returns of up to 30% per month. The conspirators allegedly told investors that their funds would be fully restored at the end of the pool participation term.
Johnson and Frimpong also touted Jali as a brilliant career trader who had made 1,700% in returns in a previous investment fund. The South African claimed in his online promotional videos that he had returned over 400% in gains within six weeks and that “my wife has never worked a day in her life.”