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South Asian Woman Convicted In $110 Million Ponzi Scam Headed To Jail After Losing Last Shot Appeal

Rashida Samji, a former Vancouver notary, was convicted on fraud charges for scamming nearly 300 investors, leading them to believe their money was being invested in a winery’s planned expansion. She was sentenced to six years in prison on Sept. 28, 2016.

VANCOUVER – A South Asian woman who ran a $110-million Ponzi scheme has been ordered to surrender herself after Canada’s highest court dismissed her application for leave to appeal last week.

Rashida Samji, a former Vancouver notary, was convicted on fraud charges for scamming nearly 300 investors, leading them to believe their money was being invested in a winery’s planned expansion.

She was sentenced to six years in prison on Sept. 28, 2016.

Now 65, Samji had been free on bail while she applied for more time to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, reported CBC News.

Last Wednesday, the court dismissed that application — bringing her to the end of the road for appeal options.

The dismissal means Samji will begin serving her six-year prison sentence, as she was out on bail pending the decision.

Rhoda Witherly, the president of the Society of Notaries Public of B.C., said the news came as a relief.

“I think the gut reaction is that we’re pleased that it’s finished … it’s been forever,” she said.

“We’re really, at this point, glad now all the people involved can kind of see some closure on it.”

The Ponzi scheme came to light in 2012, nearly 10 years after it began.

With Samji at the helm, investors were told a winery group needed collateral to get loans and credits to pay for its expansion.

The cash was supposed to stay in Samji’s notary trust account, with victims promised returns as high as 35 per cent in the early days of the scheme.

In reality, the investors were paying each other.

Samji once said she was dubbed the “magic lady” for her ability to bring investors on board — including her own friends and family.

Delivering his guilty verdict in 2016, provincial court Judge Gregory Rideout described Samji’s scam as “monumental deceit.”

Samji was also ordered to pay victims more than $10 million in restitution.

The Supreme Court of Canada did not provide reasons for dismissing her application.

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