Cops file crime raps vs scam brains, others in Lucena City | Inquirer News

Cops file crime raps vs scam brains, others in Lucena City

By: - Correspondent / @dtmallarijrINQ
/ 07:00 AM November 15, 2014
A DISTRESSED victim of SLMC-Gabai’s scam waits outside the group’s office in a village in Lucena City for news about her money. DELFIN T. MALLARI JR./INQUIRER SOUTHERN LUZON

A DISTRESSED victim of SLMC-Gabai’s scam waits outside the group’s office in a village in Lucena City for news about her money. DELFIN T. MALLARI JR./INQUIRER SOUTHERN LUZON

LUCENA CITY—Police have filed criminal charges against those behind a multimillion-peso fund scam here, including the suspected mastermind who has gone into hiding but had appealed to investors, through a voice recording, to keep faith in his scheme.

The criminal charges for estafa and economic sabotage were filed against Luzardo Lucido, head of South Luzon Multipurpose Cooperative-Grand Alliance of Business Leaders Association Inc. (SLMC-Gabai), and other officials of the group.

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The others charged on Wednesday were Gerald Murillo, account manager and marketing officer; Jenelle Murillo, cashier; Ireneo Magbanua, logistics officer; Jennifer Abes, Roberta Rafa and Gloria Pinilit, all account executives; and Arnel Guevarra, Evangeline Lampas, Ricmar Almajar, Myrna Saberdo, Jimwell Medrano, Evangeline Mancao and Noemi Corpuz, all employees of SLMC-Gabai.

‘Win-win’?

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In a voice recording, which he used in phone interviews with reporters and radio stations, Lucido appealed to investors to keep the faith because he was looking for a “win-win solution.” He did not elaborate but said he wanted the scheme to be revived.

He said “adverse actions” would preclude the search for a settlement between his group and the thousands of investors who lost tens of millions of pesos of their savings and earnings to the get-rich-quick scheme.

Lucido and other officials of SMLC-Gabai had gone into hiding about two weeks ago amid an outrage over the group’s failure to pay earnings to retirees, teachers, vendors, jeepney drivers and others who had invested in Lucido’s scheme.

The average amount of daily deposits that entered the group, according to SLMC-Gabai officials, ranged from P5 million to P12 million from July to October.

In his voice recording, Lucido accused “bad elements” of sabotaging his operations. He did not elaborate.

Investors, however, expressed the belief that some of the group’s officials had stolen millions of pesos from the group’s coffers.

Nothing but a scam

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Some investors are still keeping vigil at the SLMC-Gabai compound in Barangay Isabang here, hoping to get back their money.

Lucena Councilor Rey Oliver Alejandrino called SLMC-Gabai’s operation “nothing but a pyramid scam.”

Senior Supt. Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Quezon police chief, said the financial mess SLMC-Gabai had found itself in was beyond repair.

Ylagan also warned investors not to be lured by the offer of high-yielding interest by another group called D. Abes Infinity Abundance Marketing (Daiam) now setting up office in Tayabas City and headed by a former employee of the discredited SLMC-Gabai.

He said Tayabas City officials were standing pat against issuing a permit to operate to Daiam.

Ylagan said Daiam’s office would be padlocked and its officials would be arrested if the company attempts to operate.

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TAGS: Crime, Ponzo Scheme, Pyramid Scam, SLMC-Gabai
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