DOJ OKs filing of estafa vs ex-PSE exec, 4 others in P100-M scam
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved the filing of syndicated estafa case against former Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) employee Jose Cecilio “Jay” Peñaflor and four others tagged in an alleged P100-million investment scam.
In a 13-page resolution released on Wednesday, ordered charged in court apart from Peñaflor are his brother Angelo, John Benedict Aguzar, Rafael Sigua and Michael Rosales.
The case stemmed from the complaint of Joyce Marie Jao who accused the respondents of enticing her into investing P4 million in stocks at ABS-CBN Corp. with a promised interest of “around 50 percent.” She filed the complaint earlier this year after they failed to pay her a total of P10 million in principal and interest.
The DOJ in its resolution said there was enough evidence to charge them in court.
No bail was recommended for their temporary liberty.
“In this case, the intent to deceive and induce complainant to shell out her money in the guise of investing the same to shares offered in the stock marker is apparent,” read the resolution approved by Prosecutor General Claro Arellano.
The DOJ said respondents conspired in carrying out the scheme to falsely misrepresent that they were authorized by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to conduct stock trading activities.
“It appears that the partnership (of respondents) was formed for the purpose of misappropriating funds of the general public. There were concerted efforts on the part of the respondents in order to carry out their misrepresentations,” the DOJ said.
The DOJ also approved filing of a separate case of bouncing checks against Peñaflor.
Peñaflor, former assistant head of market education of PSE, was arrested last February, but he was ordered released by assistant state prosecutor Rodan Parrocha after inquest proceedings.
The prosecutor had explained the charges against Peñaflor pertained to “previous acts or past series of transactions that (Jao) had with respondent” and not for the act of receiving an additional investment of P500,000 for which he was arrested for by the National Bureau of Investigation.
Still, the DOJ proceeded with the PI against Peñaflor and the four others.
Similar complaints by other victims have been filed against Peñaflor before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office and the National Bureau of Investigation.
PSE president Hans Sicat earlier alleged that Peñaflor, using his “silver tongue,” convinced investors to course their money through him.
SEC, the corporate regulator, said Peñaflor had been using names of accredited brokers to convince investors that his transactions were legitimate.
Sicat, however, said the PSE had conducted a check on its accredited brokers and none was found to be involved in Peñaflor’s allegedly fraudulent schemes.
In an advisory published in December, the PSE issued a warning to the investing public against Peñaflor, who has not been connected with the PSE since 2013.