GY$283 million Ponzi scheme: Former insurance company manager and church’s penny-bank custodian charged

Last Updated on Monday, 12 June 2023, 19:45 by Denis Chabrol


A former Branch Manger of North American Fire Insurance Company (NAFICO) has been charged with 16 counts of Ponzi scheme related fraud fraud and converting GY$5.8 million belonging to the New Light Assembly of God Church’s to her own use, the Guyana Police Force’s Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) said on Monday.

Phylicia Jallim, a former Branch Manager of NAFICO and of 22 Welcome Street Rosignol, West Bank Berbice and 103 Thomas Street Kitty, Georgetown was granted GY$100,000 bail per charge by Magistrate Peter Hugh at the Blairmont Magistrate’s Court. Police said the matter was adjourned to the 19th June for statements to be filed in only one matter as the other 16 matters remained indictable in nature.

“She was granted bail…despite strong objections by the police prosecutor,” police said.

SOCU said in December 2022, a number of persons made reports that Ms Jallim was operating a Ponzi Scheme. “Investigations revealed that victims were led to believe 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.  She informed the victims that shewould pay them 5 to 20 percent interest weekly on their capital invested,” SOCU added.

Police further alleged that between July 2022 and November 2022, 16 victims from Berbice invested their monies with her but never received any money as per her agreement with them and she never returned their capital. Investigators reportedly found out that the company, Dream Chasers Investment,  never existed and the farmers and contractors’ names she mentioned to the victims as her ‘clients’ denied doing any business with her.

Investigations also revealed that the accused was a member of the New Light Assembly of God Church located at Number 4 Village, West Coast Berbice and was entrusted with the safe custody and control of the congregation’s penny bank account. She converted the amount of $5.8M of the church’s penny bank monies to her own use and benefit, police said.

SOCU said it is currently conducting a number of other investigations of similar nature against her.