In a five-page resolution dated Nov. 21, Associate City Prosecutors Domingo Santiago M. Briones, Cleto Edralin and Geraldine Edralin found probable cause to indict five officials of Visioner based on evidence and statements submitted by five complainants.
Charged with sydicated estafa, a nonbailable offense, were Glenda Gepanao Andagan, Evangeline Gepanao, Efren Gepanao, Efren Gepanao Jr. and Geofrrey Gepanao.
The prosecutors likened Visioner’s operation to that of Aman Futures, which allegedly duped more than 15,000 investors of an estimated P12 billion.
“Despite the slight modification in the manner by which the investors gave their money to Visioner, its modus operandi was no different from Aman Futures Group in Pagadian City and other parts of Mindanao and the Visayas,” the prosecutors said.
“What Visioner 2020 was promoting and offering to the public was a Ponzi scheme, an investment program that offers impossibly high returns to early investors from the money put in by later investors,” they said.
According to the prosecutors, the idea behind this type of swindle is that the “con man” collects his money from his second or third round of investors and then absconds with it before anyone else could show up to collect.
These schemes, which last for weeks or months at the most, entices investors with the promise of huge returns in a short period of time.
Unlike Aman Futures where no documentary requirements were asked of its investors, Visioner required investors to attend an orientation and collected a registration fee of P1,250.
Visioner also asked its investors to fill out a “disclosure of investment form.”
Complainant Gingging Mustapha said he invested P400,000 on Oct. 12, for which Visioner promised 50-percent interest due on Nov. 2, while Maricel Edris de Guzman put in P100,000 on Sept. 25 at a 54-percent interest rate with cash out on Oct. 16.
Other investors were Rohanifah Hadjiali, Gonaranao Amer and Bobby Into, who put in amounts ranging from P80,000 to P544,000 on Aug. 26.
Visioner failed to return their principal and interest on the agreed dates, despite repeated demands from the complainants.