Quantcast
Latest Stories

5 Aman Futures execs surrender

But head of group that duped investors still at large

By

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


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Aman Futures , money fraud , Nation , News , Pyramid Scam




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  5. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  6. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  7. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  8. Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  9. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  10. Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Ex-church leader nabbed for selling drugs
  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • Trillanes, Ejercito confident they are not in Napoles’ list
  • Easterlies to prevail in Luzon, Visayas
  • Sports

  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Mavs roll past Spurs 113-92, even series at 1-1
  • Phelps having fun in his return to swimming
  • Murray breaks down in tears at Scottish ceremony
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement