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Social Media Influencer Arrested in Alleged Ponzi Scheme

Investigations revealed a larger network of victims, with losses exceeding $80,000.
UPDATED MAR 13, 2024
Cover Image Source: TikTok Ponzi Scheme | Pexels | Photo by Kindel Media
Cover Image Source: TikTok Ponzi Scheme | Pexels | Photo by Kindel Media

In recent times, Ponzi schemes have become rampant worldwide, deceiving unsuspecting investors with promises of lucrative returns on non-existent ventures. These fraudulent schemes lure victims with enticing deals, only for them to realize later that they've fallen into a trap, resulting in substantial financial losses amounting to millions. One such scheme recently came to light, involving a TikTok influencer named Prishanta Roshan Sewpaul.

Prishanta Sewpaul posted a photo on Facebook. Image Source: Facebook|
Image Source: Facebook | Prishanta Sewpaul

Law enforcement authorities suspect Sewpaul of orchestrating a meticulously planned Ponzi scheme, leading to her arrest on charges of money laundering. It's alleged that she diverted funds into her account, exploiting the trust of her followers.

At just 27 years old, Sewpaul holds a Master’s degree in psychology and is currently pursuing studies for a PhD. Despite her academic achievements, she gained fame on TikTok by sharing food and local restaurant reviews, amassing millions of followers in the process.


Sewpaul, along with her 33-year-old relative, Letishya Nicolette Moses, formulated the scheme. Together, they drained millions from investors who anticipated returns from bulk fuel sales as promised by Sewpaul. Moses, employed as a logistics manager for a company supplying fuel oil to ships, utilized church congregants to connect with potential investors and ensnare them.

However, Moses was arrested on January 18th after an investor complained about the scam. The investor grew suspicious when they didn't receive the promised $123,070 worth of diesel from a Ladysmith refinery. 

Image Source: Photo by Kindel Media | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Kindel Media | Pexels

Accused of money laundering fraud, she was granted bail of $20,000, and the case is under investigation by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks). In an affidavit filed by Hawks investigator Warrant Officer Sivan Naidoo, it was revealed that Moses allegedly discussed an opportunity to profit from diesel sales but needed investors.

Moses, Sewpaul, and the investor met at a Westville restaurant in November to finalize the deal, agreeing on sales figures. Subsequently, the investor deposited $123,958 into Sewpaul's business account. Despite sending three trucks, the investor was denied the diesel due to inadequate paperwork from the energy company.

She later claimed the diesel was contaminated on December 4th, leaving the investor empty-handed. The investor, angered by the deal's failure, confronted Moses' supervisor, who denied all allegations and subsequently suspended her from the company.


Police investigations revealed Moses's tactic of enticing big investors to fund the scheme, promising dividends to smaller ones, which attracted many victims. Investigating officer Naidoo stated, "During the investigation, it was also established that there are other victims in the scam who invested more than R1.5 million ($80,263)."

Subsequently, Sewpaul's business bank account was frozen. On January 25th, she was granted $802 bail in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court. In her bail statement, she said, "My continued detention will be detrimental as I will be unable to conduct my studies and hopefully make a success of my life." She pledged not to evade trial and to comply with reasonable conditions if granted bail.