DOJ approves syndicated estafa case vs Pagadian City mayor
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the filing of syndicated estafa against former Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co, his wife Priscilla Ann and 10 others in connection with the alleged multi-billion Ponzi scheme of Aman Futures.
Co, who has a pending warrant of arrest from Iligan City Regional Trial Court Branch 1 for another syndicated estafa case, has remained elusive.
In the current case, aside from Co and his wife, ordered charged are Aman Futures founder Manuel Amalilio, Fernando Luna, Leilian Lim Gan, Eduard Lim, Wilanie Fuentes, Naezelle Rodriguez, Lurix Lopez, Mohammad Hassan Mackno, Dimasara Jova and Ian Madarang.
In the joint resolution dated July 10, 2013, the DOJ said elements of estafa particularly the fact that the accused defrauded another by means of deceit and damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation are caused to the offended or third party exist.
The DOJ panel said in this case, investments made by complainants Ala Tapayan and Norolhaya Taha were never returned “hence, damages were suffered by the complainants in the amount of unrecouped investments.
“The component of defrauding another by means of deceit is revealed by the facts that complainants were induced to invest at Aman Futures Group Phils., Inc. in Pagadian City after being informed that their investments would earn high interest,” the DOJ said in its resolution.
“At the time complainants made their investments, Aman did not possess the necessary license to engage in any business that would enable it to finance such high interests. More so, there is no evidence that Aman is actually engaged in any lucrative business. Rather Aman was organized for a fraudulent purpose…,” it further stated.
Co filed a separate syndicated estafa complaint against Amalilio and other Aman officers but the DOJ dismissed the complaint being an “active participant” in the case.
Aman allegedly amassed about P12 billion from its Ponzi operation in the Visayas.
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