John Dalli's daughters in court on Ponzi scheme charges

John Dalli's daughters have appeared in court to answer charges related to an alleged Ponzi scheme that fleeced evangelical Christians out of millions of dollars

Eloise Corbin (left) with John Dalli (centre) and his daughter Louisa Dalli (right)
Eloise Corbin (left) with John Dalli (centre) and his daughter Louisa Dalli (right)

The daughters of former EU Commissioner John Dalli and two other people have appeared in court to answer charges relating to an alleged Ponzi scheme that fleeced evangelical Christians out of millions of dollars.

Louise Dalli and Claire Gauci Borda appeared in the dock before magistrate Aaron Bugeja today, together with co-accused Charles Ray Jackson and Robert Mitchell McIvor in the first hearing of the case against them.

The remaining two accused, Eloise Marie Corbin Klein and Elizabeth Jackson did not turn up for today’s sitting, citing health reasons.

Arthur Azzopardi, appearing for Klein, the Jacksons and McIvor said that Klein had suffered a debilitating stroke and that Jackson suffered from severe weight and asthma problems. Both women had been housebound for over two years, said the lawyer, as he filed two medical certificates to this effect. 

Elizabeth Jackson was not unfit to plead, he said, but arrangements needed to be made as she was unable to travel. The court mooted the possibility of her being prosecuted at home.

The police had filed money laundering, misappropriation and fraud charges against Louise Dalli, her sister Claire Gauci Borda, as well as against Eloise Marie Corbin Klein, Charles Ray Jackson, Elizabeth Jean Jackson and Robert Mitchell McIvor last November.  

Gauci Borda alone is charged with breaching the Money Laundering And Financing Of Terrorism Act and with failing to properly carry out her professional duties as an accountant and auditor.

All six were charged with money laundering, misappropriation of funds, fraud, making a false declaration to a public authority and the falsification and use of falsified documents.

The Ponzi scheme, first reported by assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia back in 2015, was allegedly run by Eloise Marie Corbin Klein, operating under a number of aliases. Daphne Caruana Galizia had reported her as having conned elderly Christians out of some $600,000 by posing as a missionary and convincing them to invest their savings into a bank account that ostensibly was to be used for an African mining project.

But instead, the money was funnelled into two Maltese companies - Tyre Ltd and Corporate Group - owned by Louise Dalli and Claire Gauci Borda and which are registered at John Dalli’s home address in Portomaso.

Gauci Borda and Dalli, assisted by lawyers Stefano Filletti and Steven Tonna Lowell respectively,  did not object to the proceedings being carried out in English.

The court appointed a medico-legal expert to examine the two women and determine whether Corbin Klein and Jackson had any medical condition or other lawful impediment to their physical presence in court during the course of the proceedings.

Azzopardi informed the court that his clients’  medical records would be made available. However, Jackson had been so debilitated by the stroke that Azzopardi said he was encountering serious difficulty in communicating with his client.

The court took it upon itself to investigate whether Jackson was in a position to instruct counsel and follow proceedings against her. The case continues later this month.