5 Aman Futures execs surrender

But head of group that duped investors still at large

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Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the five Aman Futures directors had not asked to be considered state witnesses but were just willing to cooperate with investigators. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Fearing retribution from investors they duped of their hard-earned money, five of the six directors of the board of Aman Futures Group have surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Monday identified the five Aman Futures directors as Leilan Lim Gan, Eduard Lim, Wilaie Fuentes, Naezelle Rodriguez and Lurix Lopez, who all turned themselves in on Sunday.

They are now in the protective custody of the NBI.

Still at large is Fernando “Nonoy” Luna, a former janitor and driver who served as manager of Aman Futures, which  duped at least 15,000 people, mostly in Mindanao and the Visayas, of P12 billion in just several months this year.

Aman Futures’ victims included market vendors, fishermen, civil servants, policemen, soldiers and local government officials. The firm lured investors by offering them a return of 30-40 percent in eight days and a return of 50-80 percent in 18-20 days.

Manuel Amalilio, the Malaysian founder of Aman Futures, has fled to Kota Kinabalu. Manila has asked Kuala Lumpur’s help in arresting Amalilio so he can face charges in the Philippines.

Mayor Co faces charges

In a news conference, De Lima said the NBI was also expected to file a case against Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co for his involvement in the investment scam.

Co earlier filed a complaint against Aman Futures, saying he also lost heavily in the firm.

“He may be a complainant or he may be a victim as he claims but we can’t close our eyes to available evidence, both documentary and testimonial, pointing to his participation (in the scam),” De Lima said.

Nonbailable offense

Co is expected Tuesday to be charged with syndicated estafa, a nonbailable offense, and with violating the antigraft law, according to NBI Deputy Director Virgilio Mendez.

The five directors of the investment firm are expected to appear in Monday’s preliminary investigation hearing of the syndicated estafa charges filed with a special panel of prosecutors that the Department of Justice has created.

De Lima said the five were “willing to cooperate and have submitted themselves to NBI jurisdiction for investigation.”

The five directors have executed sworn statements with the help of their lawyers and will file their respective counteraffidavits in today’s preliminary investigation hearing, the justice secretary said.

NBI Director Nonatus Rojas said the five Aman Futures directors surrendered so they could give their side after learning that they had been charged.

Irate investors

The five also wanted to seek protection from irate investors, Rojas added.

Some victims have taken the law into their own hands, burning the homes of relatives of certain Aman Futures executives. An agent of the firm was recently kidnapped and shot dead.

“Their surrender will be a big help in our investigation and will help us know and understand what really happened and who should really be held accountable for this scam,” Rojas said of the five Aman directors.

De Lima said the five would share their knowledge of the “flow of the investments and the … existing assets of the entity.”

Their surrender, however, does not mean that their liability will be mitigated, she said.

Ponzi scheme

The Ponzi scheme allowed Aman Futures to amass funds that it used to acquire eight planes and two helicopters. Amalilio was also reported to have acquired two units at Upper McKinley Hills Garden Villas in Taguig City, a house in Cebu City and another one in Dapitan City.

In a Ponzi scheme, part of the deposits of new investors are paid to early investors. Thus, early investors in Pagadian City were able  to build homes or buy sports utility vehicles, encouraging others to put money in Aman Futures. The scheme collapsed when the firm was unable to pay the growing number of investors.

De Lima said the five Aman Futures directors had not asked to be considered state witnesses but were just willing to cooperate with investigators.

“We will leave it up to the special panel of prosecutors who among them, if any, can be utilized as a state witness against the principal perpetrators,” she said.

Mendez said that the five directors had told the NBI that Amalilio was still in Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia because one of them had just recently spoken to him.

On Co’s case, De Lima said a complaint would be filed against him today because there was “evidence showing or establishing (his) possible involvement” in the scam.

She said the NBI had “no choice” but to file the case because of the big number of private complainants. As of Nov. 23, there were 9,644 complaints filed and being investigated against Aman Futures. With Tetch Torres, INQUIRER.net

Originally posted: 5:30 pm | Monday, November 26th, 2012

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • tarikan

    “At a press conference, De Lima said that the five expressed willingness to cooperate and already executed their affidavits”. A far cry from willingness to go to jail. As usual the line of defense could be “we are also victims” as what that good mayor of Pagadian told the press. 

  • RomyLitz

    Where’s the money now?

    • JuanTamadachi

      gone with the wind

  • fiveoclock

    Ikulong lahat yan…..mabuti pa baka ma-tandem lang yan ng mga biniktima nila……wala sanang state witness o prosecutors witness na kukunin ang gobyerno dito…..alam din nila ang pan-loloko nila kaya yan sumuko para lokohin uli kayo sa 2nd time around…….Death to scammers……..

  • JuanTamadachi

    Off with their heads..

  • speedstream2

    Can we take this to mean that this act of voluntarily turning themselves in is without prejudice to cases that will be filed against them for their participation in the scam? Or is this simply an act of self-preservation knowing they will be safer inside rather than outside? And, yes, to re-echo the question that’s foremost in the minds of those who were duped: where’s the money? Gone with the wind?

    • regd

      TRANSLATION: Granting immunity in exchange for testimony?

  • regd

    So, does pressumption of their innocence still holds? 
    I’m guessing they will declare no knowledge of the ponzi scheme, they’re just mere workers.

    • NYPinoy

       Of course, presumption of innocence holds.  But our laws provide for non-bailable cases if the evidence is strong.  This one is.

  • Rap88

    The problem is our gov;t regulators, they are so passive, they knew of the pyramiding of Aman F. even before but will not act if there are no complains, whewww.

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Kasuhan na agad yan si Co para makapag pasko na sa kulungan!

  • joerizal

    Naawa na naman kayo!!!! Ipako sa kruz ang mga yan…sama niyo si mayor. Si Mayor ang utak niyan kung di niyo alam.

    • Manuel Pacquiao

      tama ka. Ang mayor ang mastermind niyan. Kunyari inosente siya at biktima daw.

  • Pogi=”No To Political Dynasty”

    Politiko at Opisyal ng Militar ang Mastermind sa scam na yan!

    • Manuel Pacquiao

      mali. ang mastermind ay ang mayor ng Pagadian. kunyari biktima siya.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5H2KUCZ24EZTZTKB22GL3A4WAU george bernard

        Mayor? tapos sasabihin na biktima din sya. Meron bang mayor sa Pinas na nabibiktima?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7IGQYIPU6AFTVRJ742XT2X44M4 Jef

    Highly requested the whole list of the victims of the Aman scam to be published also……

  • Loko Martin

    Dapat di na bigyan ng license o permit na mag-operate ang ganyang klaseng business. At para doon naman sa mga uto-uto, kailan ba kayo matuto! Hay naku!

  • Manuel Pacquiao

    Pagadian Mayor Samuel Co is a very violent person. He gets his way around. He is feigning innocence but he is very daring.

  • $18209031

    Maghanap na kayo ng preskong dilis para lulutunin natin. Ang charapcharap.

    • AJ Giorgio

       “preskong dilis”? ano yun?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZWTTKJTI57YO7TZBJC66GA2OLU dennis

    That´s why i want na buksan muna ang SALN ng bawat magka-kandidato para sa election 2013.To assure na malinis ang hangarin para sa bayan!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4PPBPC3MQPXPT7ADAZFGNECFKM jr

    Charge to experience…

  • pubringjuandelacruz

    self-preservation at its best!!!

  • ddano

    The assets (if there’s any in the Philippines) of Aman Futures Group and of Manuel Amalillo should  be subjected to freeze-order ASAP.

  • MANGLUCIO

    GREED IS GOOD….. BUT NOT THIS TIME. I HOPE THIS WILL SERVE A LESSON TO EVERYONE WHO CRAVE FOR HIGH YIELD PROFITS IN FEW DAYS…

  • joshua kings

    burin mo, sila na ang gumawa ng kalapastanganan, sila pa ngayon ang binibgyan ng proteksyon ng bayan thru DOJ-NBI…..
    ANO BA YAN!!!???

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H4PIIBVQK4BSXMIKFRWWAAQAUY Heartrob ng Pugad Baboy

      nakakainis nga.  kaso kung mapaslang ang mga yan, wala ka ng hahabulin.  sigurado naman na may natitira pang pera.  

      ang tanong, yung bang mga naunang nag invest at nakinabang dito ay kukuhanin ang pera.  

      nakakatawa nga yung isang interview.  gusto pa rin daw niyang makuha ang original niyang investment maski inamin niyang mas malaki pa ang kinita niya kaysa dun sa investment niya.  the nerve.

  • joshua kings

    DAPAT DING TANUnGIN ANG sec AT POLICE AUTHORiTIES kung bakit nangyari na naman ito gaya nung kay celso delos angeles (RIP) na bilyun-bilyun din ang ninakaw sa kanyang mga depositors…..
    meron bang na-tongpats ang ilan sa kanila?

  • f35

    ” the NBI had “no choice” but to file the case because of the big number of private complainants. As of Nov. 23, there were 9,644 complaints filed and being investigated against Aman Futures”.——————–>Leila de Lima

    Ang ibig bang sabihin ni de Lima eh………… kung Kakaunti lang ang nag-reklamo, walang kasong isasampa ang NBI ? Ganoon ba iyon ?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/H6CUDLMVQOYW4Y4HJPDXHBCFPE Apple

      Can you google the word “SARCASM” and let me know what you got.

      • holydonkeyballs

        I don’t think de Lima was in the mood for sarcasm when she said that :)

      • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        You don’t use sarcasm in official government interviews as well as other formal communications.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5H2KUCZ24EZTZTKB22GL3A4WAU george bernard

    Hindi lang sa America na madaming naluloloko ng mga scam artists.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QRINXA32VVBGYMOL66TDVDOKHQ chit g

    tsk .. may mangyari kaya nito? yung legacy wala ngang nangyari, eto pa kaya

  • tagasugod

    Gahaman din yung mga naloko. Pag malaki ang kikitain, di na nagiisip.Saan ka makakakita na kikita ng 30-40 % in 8 days ang isang investment. Sigurado na ipinaliwanag naman ng agents yan sa kanila. Nagahaman sila sa kita. Kawawa naman….

    • AJ Giorgio

       next time, gagawin nilang 8 months.. para mas believable..

    • malek_abdul

      “Saan ka makakakita na kikita ng 30-40 % in 8 days ang isang investment.” – Tinatanong mo pa…Iyan na nga sa Aman Futures. Kaya nga maraming naloko kasi may mga nakakuha ng porsyento nila. Tapos nag-invest pa kuno at nagbigay kuno ang mayor ng Pagadian ng business permit para magmukhang legal ang transaction.

  • Serom

    Greediness!  That’s the problem with people!

  • wawangpenoy

    Praise release na naman itong si de Lima na kakasuhan daw ng non-bailable offense na syndicated estafa si Co. Message is, for Co to start hiding now before the warrant of arrest is issued. Hayop talaga tong justice system ng Pilipinas. May abiso muna sa kriminal para makapagtago pero kung oridinaryong tao ka lang kahit walang warrant of arrest, dadamputin ka ng basta-basta.

    So, madadagdagan na naman ang mga high profile fugitive, tapos magtataka kunyari si Pnoy bakit di nahuhuli ang mga ito. Mag lalabas ng order na hanapin e paano makikita kung sila mismo ang nagsasabi kung saan dapat magtago. Mga ungas!!!!

  • $17848434

    Kakasuhan sa court…matatapos ba ang hearing at magkaruon ng sentencing? Nagtatanung lang po!

  • Pogi=”No To Political Dynasty”

    They are missing really the big fish the Politician and the Military Officer. They are concentrating on Lieutenants and Privates.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/H5CL7EXFRQK6YMHHW7KUKK5WJI Julio Ibon

    I hope may patutunguhan ang investigation kasi wala na yatang nangyari sa Legacy. Good luck!

    • $8278216

      Tol patay na si de los angeles, ang nagiging problema ay ang pdic, sa mga legal claimants(from legacy), paulit-ulit kang hihingian ng parehong requirements at kapag nakatapat mo pa ang isang inutil na empleyado sa counter, lalo kang mabubuwisit,ang kakilala ko 3-4years na claim nya sa pdic, magpahanggang ngayon wala pa ring resulta.

  • Karabkatab

    Comparing these scam victims with the holders of education plans of Prudential and CAP, mas kawawa ang mga edu plan holders kasi in good faith ang pagbili nila ng plano. Samantala itong mga recent scam victims na nabudol budol, sila rin an masisisi sa bandang huli.

    • Pogi=”No To Political Dynasty”

       Tama ka diyan nasa abroad na mga mastermind nagpapasarap sa pera nilang galing sa panloloko

  • santosboi

    why do we PDI called NBI as “protective” custody for criminals? ganyan na ba talaga kanlungan sila ng mga criminal? protektado? :(

  • AJ Giorgio

    This shows that some people’s greed is truly incredible. Even if the investment was true and legit, I can’t imagine risking everything I have.. including my children’s education.

  • Pogi=”No To Political Dynasty”

     Nawala ng parang bula ang CAP

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q3QGG5QHBLRMZTIYWUFURY6J2E Night

      oo dapat yang si Sobrepena eh damputin din parang kuting at ilagay sa bilibid!

      • Pogi=”No To Political Dynasty”

         Halos lahat na ng angkan niya lumipat na sa US of A. Kawawa naman nabiktima nila

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q3QGG5QHBLRMZTIYWUFURY6J2E Night

    gusto daw kayo ipatawag ni Mayor Lim sa presinto sa Manila City Hall…..

    wag daw kayo mangaagaw ng baril

  • TUBAGBOHOL.com

    People always say: “You can run, but you cannot always hide.”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NLO2AAP3EKVA2H3FI2AM2KTGAA Jay

    Dapat lang sumuko sila..kung hindi Salvage ang aabutin nila..

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TAYLHMWTPKUI6ULKRNJWYQ4EOA socali177

    I think jail would be a lot safer for these idiots. Hope they rot in hell

  • http://www.facebook.com/jake.dionisio.5 Jake Dionisio

    Not that I don’t feel abit of sympathy for those who lost their money, but believing in such interest rates from a firm whose director was a former janitor and driver is an insult to businessmen and people in finance. Sorry to say that you are partly to blame.

    • ApoNiLolo

      Victims include market vendors and fishermen. People who knew nothing about finance or personal backgrounds of Aman’s officers. Perhaps their fault was they trust too much.

  • NoWorryBHappy

    Bakit hindi kasamang hinuli si Mayor Samuel Co at ang kanyang asawa ?
    Hindi ba kasabwat sa krimen ang mag-asawa ?

  • http://twitter.com/wadjitzain coty

    “just as in the children’s fable, they knew the emperor had no clothes but looked the other way, allowing the fraud to continue”! _ _ Deborah Renner

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UJGOREXEU3HEKQWNOL64SN6B74 Roszhien

    Amangmang Futures

  • malek_abdul

    Mayor Sammy Co of Pagadian played a BIG role sa scam na iyan kaya marami ang naloko. Kunwari nag-invest siya kuno ng milyon milyon para makapag-enganyo ng mas maraming investors at nag-issue pa siya ng business permit sa Aman Future para magmukhang legit ang mga transaction. In return, together with his cohort Vice Mayor Pulmones, both of them had amassed milyons of pesos in shares from Manuel Amalilio. As simple as that. Best thing for the government to do is to audit Mayor Co and Vice Mayor Pulmones.

  • $8278216

    Dapat din ninyong habulin ang mga responsableng opisyales ng dating CAP, educational plan, at kasuhan dahil maraming na biktima sa KAWALANGHIYAAN ng mangilanngilan tao lamang.

  • niceguy60

    Watch out for other scams too like real estate poperty. Heard about some Trump Tower investors too are duped to buying expensive condo towers units that sounds like a lucrative investment but turned out to be expensive money grab.

  • joshua kings

    sa mga biktima, wag mag-alala dahil di man makamit ang katarungan dito sa lupa, sa langit ay sigurado panalo kaso ninyo, dahil dun, ang Hukom ay di pwedeng suhulan o takutin o lokohin…Siya ay walang iba kundi ang Naglalang sa ating lahat, ang Panginoong Diyos. purihin at pasalamatan natin Siya lagi.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DTCTFQ5DGBJY5OKGHXCDKWITJ4 Pinoy Zablan

    ANNA FATIMA DE VILLA MENDOZA and husband VINCEL DIMACULANGAN PEDERNAL of 6 Honduras Street, Loyola Grand Villas, Quezon City should surrender to the law for estafa through another investment scam (Agripoint Enterprises Inc). They have duped a lot of people of their hard earned money. Arrest warrants have been issued for estafa. Cash reward will be given to anyone who have information leading to their arrest and capture. Google Anna Fatima Mendoza to view video and pictures. Notify immediately NBI, CIDG, POLICE and proper authorities if you have information about whereabouts of this couple.

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