‘Pyramid scam’ suspect freed on bail before New Year
MANILA, Philippines — An alleged pyramid scam leader accused of duping his 20,000 members nationwide of P120 million was released on Monday night — infuriating complainants who learned about the “bad news” only Tuesday.
Norbert Doria, president of the Direct Marketing Group International (DMGI) — a multilevel marketing company with about 20,000 members and based at North Matrixville Subdivision, Barangay 177 in Camarin, Caloocan City — was released after posting P22,000 bail.
Judge Remigio Escalada, Jr. of Branch 123 of the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court signed the release order dated Dec. 28, 2015, based on the recommendation of Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Darwin Canete.
Doria had been charged with sydicated estafa — a non-bailable offense — but this was downgraded to simple estafa.
The alleged pyramid scam operator was earlier arrested in an entrapment operation last Dec. 17 based on the complaint of Pavi Elle Ann Operio who accused him of deceiving members into paying P60,000 each.
Also named respondents were DMGI officers Michael Awa, Gerardo Caguindacan, Mitch Doria and Marlyn Arcilla, who remain at large.
The case investigator, PO2 Nepthalie Buensuceso, said the DMGI attracted potential recruits with a “double-your-money” scheme and a monthly four-kilo ration of “Angelica” rice delivered to their homes.
Buensuceso said the company’s supposed earnings to be paid out to members were estimated at P120 million.
The arraignment of Doria is set on March 14, 2016 at 9 a.m. SFM
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