Jay Majini, a young entrepreneur from New Jersey, rose to fame by posting Instagram videos handing out cash to strangers and offering spiritual and financial advice alongside rap stars.
His online influencer persona crumbled amid fraud and theft allegations and involvement in a brutal kidnapping. The customer said he never received the products or services he purchased, but investors claimed he stole millions of dollars.
NorthJersey.com and USA TODAY Network New Jersey researched hundreds of pages of documents and interviewed nearly 20 acquaintances, community leaders, customers, investors and social media professionals to find out how influential he is. to understand whether you have executed an alleged or approved scheme.
Majini, 27, an Edgewater resident whose real name is Jebala Igbala, carried out plans of several kinds. Here’s how he made his money.
Mazini has promised to give thousands of dollars to a certain number of customers who have purchased merchandise from his Mazini Italy clothing company or enrolled in the Mazini Academy. People bought his products and services, but he was accused of lying about cash gifts.
Majini has set up an investment company committed to doing business ‘halal’ or compliant with the Quran. Muslim New Yorkers invested millions of dollars, according to federal investigators, but Majini spent it on personal expenses and gambling. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has identified more than a dozen Halal Capital victims who have collectively lost $8 million.
Mazini offered to buy bitcoin at above market price from his online followers. He admitted in court that he provided false evidence of the wire transfer rather than the actual payment. Federal investigators have identified four of his victims who together have cost him more than $5 million.
Federal agencies that monitor fraud and consumer fraud say social media has become a goldmine of fraud. In 2021, a quarter of all reported fraud losses were related to social media. That’s an 18-fold increase from 2017, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has warned that investors should be aware of these red flags.
- The promise of a high return on investment with little or no risk. Scammers may post falsified past earnings on their website to indicate a high investment return.
- Pressure to buy quickly before thinking or researching.
- Testimonials and celebrity endorsements. Scammers sometimes pay people to advertise their investments on social media.
Other SEC Tips
Beware of “affinity scams”.Scammers may exploit close trust and friendships within communities by targeting members of identifiable groups, including those of certain ethnicities, religions, or occupations. This is known as affinity fraud. Even if you know someone selling an investment, do your research and check the background.
Beware of the “halo effect”. Don’t assume that you can trust someone just because they have positive traits such as attractiveness or youthfulness. This “halo effect” is a bias that clouds people’s judgment.
If it sounds too good to be trueAnti-fraud experts say promises of guaranteed returns and little or no risk are highly questionable.