3 ponzi firms face 46 estafa raps

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BAGUIO CITY – Three firms suspected to be offering ponzi schemes were charged with 46 counts of estafa after their owners reportedly divested more than P12 million from their willing victims.

The multi-agency Anti-Investment Task Force was able to document the46 counts of estafa against the three companies with the cooperation of the victims who formally executed the required affidavits to warrant the filing of the complaints for the company officials to answer for the crime they committed.

Nineteen counts of estafa were filed by nineteen complainants, mostly from Mankayan and Buguias, Benguet, against Herminia Sukil-ap, general manager of the Three Angles Merchandise, after she repoprtedly dievested from them more than P1.8 million in supposed investments.

Task force officials disclosed the complainants were forced to file the charges against the company official after the company suddenly closed its opeations without being informed of the real reason behind its closure carting away with her the har earned money of her investors.

In the case of Stiforp Trading that also closed its operations recently, 23 complainants filed 23 counts of syndicated estafa against its manager Eliel Pacumbaba Morales and his staff Juanito S. Alcalde, Jr., Gani Bernabe, Joy Pavon Segundo, Louanie Buen Camino and Ricky Jones Lorenozo.

Stiforp Trading, which promised its investors around 30 percent monthly interest in their money, reportedly divested from the complainants a total of P10.2 million in hard earned money.

The complainants, who are mostly from the city and the nearby town of La Trinidad, were also forced to file their complaints against the company officials after it suddenly closed operations without warning.

Furthermore, four complainants filed syndicated estafa charges against the owners and employees of the AZULA investment firm after the company was able to divest from them a total of P370,000.

The charged AZULA officials and employees were Lara Mapanao Pineda, Anna Liza Gaspar Amistad, Lie Salazar, Norhidaya Mao, Michael Joe Garcia, Gervin Estel and Ervin Jude Cid.

A Ponzi scheme is offering an individual a high interest or profit in exchange for his or her investment for a short period of time without sufficient source of income by the company.

Currently, the task force is closely watching the operations of some 43 registered and unregistered companies that are reportedly offering Ponzi schemes in order to entice individuals to invest their hard earned money for a short period of time but ending up losing their hard earned investments when the company suddenly closes its operations and the operators cart away their money.

The task force projected that some P3 billion worth of hard earned money of thousands of individuals have been invested in the different Ponzi firms and that it would now be up to the concerned individuals whether or not they are interested to pull out their investments or face the consequence of ending up losing their money in the future.

The task force is composed of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group – North Central Luzon Unit, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and concerned police offices in the areas of jurisdiction where the companies operate.

Task force officials appealed to interested complainants to visit their respective offices for the preparation of the necessary affidavits and other pertinent documents to support the filing of their complaints against the pozi schemes that have divested them of their hard earned money.

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