Twin sons of singer held in P500-M scam
AUTHORITIES have arrested two brothers – the twin sons of pop singer Ted Ito – for allegedly running an investment scam that duped about a hundred people, including businessmen, policemen and security guards, to the tune of around P500 million.
The San Juan City police went after Terence Kenji Ito and Theodore Yuji Ito in connection with a syndicated estafa case filed against them in the Pasig Regional Trial Court. The offense is nonbailable.
The siblings were the president and chair, respectively, of One Lightning Corp. (OLC), a “networking” company formerly based at Strata 100 Building, Emerald Avenue in Pasig City.
They were the subject of an arrest warrant issued in December 2015 by Judge Genie Gapas-Agbada of Pasig RTC Branch 254. The police received a tip about their whereabouts and found them waiting in a vehicle Thursday morning along P. Guevarra Street, Barangay Corazon de Jesus, San Juan.
Also named respondents in the complaint are OLC officers Jake Ryu Oprecio, Aldus Renier Tuvierra and Edmer Maligaya, who all remain at large.
According to the records of their arrest, the Ito brothers said they were the sons of Ted Ito, a Japanese singer who had hit Filipino songs in the 1990s like “Ikaw pa rin” and “Maghintay Ka Lamang.”
Records of the case showed that OLC started in 2014 as a seller of beauty, health and “anticancer” products that attracted investors with a promise of an 80-percent return on their investment.
But the Securities and Exchange Commission delisted OLC, through a cease and desist order issued in March 2015, for “offering, soliciting and selling unregistered securities in the form of investment contracts, pooling of funds and investment trusts.”
The SEC then noted that the firm pursued “investment taking activities under the guise of the sale of its packages, including recruiting, referring and sponsoring prospective members.”
According to SPO3 Helen Baldoza of the San Juan police warrants section, one of the investors, businesswoman Marivic Tolentino, sued the brothers in 2015, claiming she and her relatives were duped by OLC of around P3.7 million.
In an interview, Angel Navarro, Tolentino’s cousin and representative, said the Ito brothers tried to settle the case by promising to return the money. They initially paid Tolentino and the others via postdated checks, he said, but the last few checks they issued bounced.
Also allegedly victimized by the company was a member of the Eastern Police District, who said it was easy to be lured into joining the networking group because of the high yields from the initial investment.
The EPD officer, who asked not to be named, said he invested P40,000 and received his P12,000 profit after 40 days in 2015. He then put in another P186,000, but up to now he and scores of other members were still waiting for news about what became of their money.
The policeman said he was recruited in February 2015 by a fellow officer, who in turn was referred to the networking group by his London-based girlfriend. Jodee A. Agoncillo and Ritzchelle Belenzo
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