Trinh Ngoc Pham v. The Church for the Healthy Self, A/K/A CHS Trust, et al. is a putative class action filed in the Superior Court of California seeking damages related to a church-based investment scheme propped up by Ponzi-type payments.
Plaintiff is an individual who invested into the defendants’ church under the impression that the funds would be used to open an investment account in the plaintiff’s name. Defendants are entities related to a now-defunct church, whose pastor pleaded guilty to mail fraud and filing a false federal income tax return related to the scheme alleged in the complaint.
Plaintiff alleges that she was coerced into investing based on the false promise of 10% annual returns, tax free, and that a portion would be donated to charity. However, the defendants had no real returns, did not open an account in the plaintiff’s name as promised, and purportedly used her investment to enrich themselves. Plaintiff further alleges that the defendants kept the scheme afloat by making Ponzi-type payments to new investors as needed.
The plaintiff brings claims for fraud and misrepresentation on behalf of a putative class of all individuals who invested money into the defendants from 2014 through 2020.