A South Florida woman has been accused in a $3.4 million
Ponzi scheme that targeted churchgoers. Marguerite Martial Jean has been accused of
using two companies to target the Haitian-American community in the alleged
multi-million dollar investment scam.
According to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, the 38-year-old
woman orchestrated a
Ponzi scheme through her two companies, MMJ's Warehouse and VLM Enterprise, between
January 2007 and October 2010. She allegedly tricked approximately 293
unsuspecting investors out of nearly $3.4 million during that time period.
Authorities indicate that Ms. Jean targeted members of her church congregation
in the Haitian-American community. The investors were offered promissory
notes guaranteeing them as much as 22 percent interest on their investments.
Investors were also told they would receive profits made from the purchase
and selling of rice in India.
However, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office discovered and alleges
that Ms. Jean actually placed the investors' money in her personal
bank account and used the money to fund her personal lifestyle. Investigators
also believe that some of the money was used to pay earlier investors.
Ms. Jean is currently being held on a $300,000 bond in a Broward County
Jail. It is unclear when Ms. Jean will be in court next.