Suspected scam leader Rasuman answers new raps at DOJBy Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Suspected investment scam leader Jacob “Coco” Rasuman on Monday appeared for the first time since his arrest in November at the Department of Justice to subscribe to his counter-affidavits in 15 more syndicated estafa cases filed against him and his family.
Under tight guard by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents, Rasuman, wearing a baseball cap, shades, a face mask and a bullet-proof vest, appeared before state prosecutors to subscribe and sign his responses against the new complaints.
Rasuman’s lawyer Ponce De Leon told reporters his client denied in his counter-affidavits knowing some of the 15 complainants who alleged they gave their investments to him or to somebody else.
“But according to my client, he had never met them,” De Leon said.
He said the counter-affidavits had to do with the legality of the syndicated estafa case filed against Rasuman.
“What we are fighting for, if ever he committed a crime, it’s not syndicated estafa. It’s simple estafa,” Rasuman’s lawyer said.
Asked if his client had denied engaging in a Ponzi scheme, De Leon replied in the affirmative and insisted Rasuman had a “legitimate business.’’
“It’s a sole proprietorship. It’s a car trading business… (unlike) a Ponzi scheme, they get investments from people without any legitimate business,” he said.
De Leon said they would seek the dismissal of the syndicated estafa case against
Rasuman, the suspected leader of an investment scam group operating in Lanao del Sur, has three pending syndicated estafa cases in courts in Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental.
Rasuman has been under the protective custody of the NBI since November last year due to threats against his life by irate investors.
Only this month, Rasuman’s brother-in-law was abducted in Lanao del Norte by armed men said to have been hired by angry investors.
Rasuman had promised his investors 70 to 100 percent gains on their investments in two months from a scheme anchored on the buying and selling of used cars.