Families have been torn apart, seniors fleeced of their live savings, friendships broken, homes foreclosed for some, Preachers and their faithful at logger hands -the reason an investment scheme that collapsed and unfulfilled promises to reimburse investments. At the center of it all, Dennis Jali, who is said to have fled living behind distressed customers.
Of South African origin, Dennis Jali successfully branded himself as one of the top most Forex Traders, a pastor and preacher, and even wrote a book -My 1st million dollars. Joined by one John Frimpong, a Ghanaian national and Pastor too, and later Ali Johnson an American national, the trio were the face of a company called Smart Partners LLC involved in Forex Training with operational base in Largo, MD.
Things took a turn for worse around March and April when more than half of the checks issued by the customers bounced. On the heels of the unresolved issue of bounced checks, came a formal announcement in May that Smart Partners LLC was going out of business and its clients will be paid off. However, till date, no one has been paid, the office has closed, and there is no one available to answer questions from distressed clients.
Official communication is absent, and Dennis Jali is missing in action. Sources say not only did he flee from the USA, but used surreptitious means to ferry his family out of the country. Initially, he was said to have moved to his native South Africa but some sources say he may also be living in Namibia.
It is estimated that the total amount owed customers of Smart Partners LLC is circa $18 million. The bulk of customers were said to be from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Ghana and a large African American base.
“I took a bank loan to invest in this and now I cannot pay,” laments one woman. “I invested our business capital here and now we are ruined”, says another. “I feel ashamed that someone who talked me into trusting him could do this to me and others”, fumes a Pastor who says not only did he place a huge amount in the scheme, but sold the idea to members of his church who followed suit with investments of their.
“If he has any sense of dignity, if he has any conscience, he will do the right thing and ensure people are paid off”, the Pastor goes on.
Who is Dennis Jali really? Was Smart Partners, a ponzi scheme to defraud people, what role did church people play? What other schemes has he been involved in? Was he alone in the scheme or were close associates like John Frimpong and Alie Johnson the former CEO part of the plan to defraud people of their hard-earned money? Are there any funds frozen in some banks as Dennis and his associates alleged? Is Dennis Jali making any genuine efforts to repay people or is he just playing them along? What measures are been taken by aggrieved clients at diverse levels to get their money? Is the South African aware of his deeds?
These and more are questions that will be answered in a serious of investigative reports that will be coming up in the days ahead. By Musa Kamara Richard