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Mysterious Economic Adviser to ex-President Kufuor, Giselle Yazji speaks amidst more fraud allegations

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Mysterious Economic Adviser to ex-President Kufuor, Giselle Yazji speaks amidst more fraud allegations

Giselle Yazji

Giselle Yazji

Madame Giselle Yazji who described herself as a one-time Economic Adviser to President John Agyekum Kufuor, is back in the headlines. 

She alleged she was President Kufuor’s mistress and gave birth to twins for him and promised to return to Ghana with the children, but that never happened.

The Washington Post continues its exposé on the enigmatic lady in a recent feature “The ongoing saga of the mysterious Madame Giselle”


In the three months since The Washington Post detailed allegations by neighbors who say they were swindled by Giselle, her once-charmed life has grown more perilous. In her native Colombia, where she is known as Giselle Jaller — a Bogota judge has sentenced her to 11 years in prison in a multimillion-dollar fraud case involving a Spanish bank, though she remains free while the decision is being appealed. In Panama, a former president’s confidants have alleged that she tried to trick him into paying her tens of thousands of dollars with promises of securing political asylum. And in Montgomery County, Md., federal investigators have been making inquiries about her activities. The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

Giselle has denied wrongdoing. In response to written questions, she sent a series of emails portraying herself as a victim of BBVA, the bank she is accused of defrauding, an argument that has so far been rejected by the Colombian courts.

“I HAVE EVERY PROOF THAT THE BBVA OWE ME 40 MILLION DOLLARS I WILL NOT STOP UNTIL THEY WILL BE JAILED,” she wrote.

Giselle, now 58, embodied international sophistication to the friends she made in Chevy Chase. She talked about how the Secret Service had a key to her apartment, according to text messages, and she boasted of using private jets. But it all began to unravel in the past year as two neighbors started digging into her past. The neighbors each claim that Giselle bamboozled them into giving her about $70,000 in cash to fund a business that would sell T-shirts to the Venezuelan army. One of the neighbors has sued, claiming he was defrauded and the business never existed. The case is pending in the Montgomery County courts.

Giselle Yazji, who allegedly scammed her neighbors out of thousands of dollars, insists that she’s done nothing wrong in an interview onColombian television.

The Post published an article about the allegations in September. In the weeks and months to come, a cascade of other accusations have been made against Giselle, and she appears to have left the United States and resettled in Bogota.

Abelardo de la Espriella, an attorney for former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli, has accused her of a brazen scheme. Martinelli is in a federal detention center in Florida after his conviction on corruption charges.

Giselle contacted de la Espriella last summer, he said in an interview, offering to help Martinelli and his family members get political asylum in the United States in exchange for a payment of $36,000 per person. It wasn’t just the offer that grabbed his attention, but all the other things she told him.

Giselle claimed to be a Harvard-trained lawyer, though there is no evidence that is true, de la Espriella recalled. She bragged about being close to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and being “like a mother” to Ivanka Trump, de la Espriella said.

“I thought it was very strange,” de la Espriella, who first made his allegations to the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, said in an interview.

Nonetheless, he said, he took the offer to his client. Martinelli told him to explore the deal. That’s when his firm started looking into the woman who had cold-called him with a deal that sounded too good to be true.

De la Espriella and his investigators dredged up many of the same scandals that Madame Giselle’s neighbors had been uncovering. He learned how she had admitted to stealing her sister’s identity in the 1990s in order to get contracts with the Colombian military. They tracked down old newspaper articles that detailed how she’d been accused of conning the military out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, but escaped justice by fleeing the country until the statute of limitations for her alleged crimes expired. They saw that she’d been given a nickname by the Colombian press: La Mona, or “The Blonde.” In those days, she went by the name, Giselle Jaller.

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