Councilor’s son sued for Citibank theftBy Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Department of Justice (DoJ) has ordered the filing of 87 counts of qualified theft against the son of Manila Councilor Bernie Ang who allegedly pocketed close to P138 million in bank deposits.
Francis Bryan Ang, 38, reportedly fled the country after officials of Citibank—where he worked as assistant vice president of the Citigold wealth management unit— discovered in 2010 that he had been transferring the money of his clients into his personal account.
However, the DOJ panel headed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Ma. Emilia Victorio dismissed the complaint of estafa against the younger Ang for lack of evidence.
At the same time, it absolved his coaccused Oliver Salud, Sherjack Siao, Joanne Salud, Joanne Karla Uy, Robinso Siao, Steven Uy, Philip Keith Ang, Esther Gobio Ang, Antonio Samson and Belina Cancio of any complicity in the fraudulent transactions.
In a 57-page resolution, the DOJ said Ang himself had admitted that he “tampered” with the accounts of several clients, mostly Chinese-Filipino businessmen, of the Citibank Binondo branch in Manila.
“There is no gainsaying that as relationship manager of the accounts subject of these cases, (Ang) took advantage of his position when he prepared or caused the … fund transfers … without the knowledge, consent or authorization of the account holders and the bank,” it added.
The DOJ panel also said that the accused “gravely abused” the trust and confidence given to him by the bank and his victims since he was able to access the accounts “without the use of violence or intimidation.”
“On the issue of whether (Ang) acted in conspiracy with the other named respondents, the panel rules in the negative,” it said, noting that conspiracy “transcends mere relationship, partnership or association.”
In a separate statement, the DOJ said Ang “appropriated the funds as his own” and transferred them to other accounts, including those of his other clients, “to meet the rate of return he promised them.”
“He avoided detection by … changing the client’s addresses on [the bank records] so that notices meant for them will be diverted to his associate,” the DOJ said.
“He also admitted offering time deposit interest rates to these clients [that were higher than those] offered by the bank, without the latter’s consent or instruction from his superiors.”
In a statement, Citibank said: “We welcome this development as Citi continues to vigorously pursue the criminal and civil cases filed against Francis Bryan Ang related to this isolated incident which the bank discovered in 2010. Only a few clients were impacted, and their losses resulting from this incident have been refunded in full.”