Estafa cases vs. Ponzi firms rise to 60


BAGUIO CITY  – Individuals who were earlier duped by unscrupulous Ponzi firm operators in the Cordillera are now coming out in the open and are filing the appropriate multiple and syndicated estafa cases against those who fooled them into investing their hard earned money in exchange for high interests but ended up in the air.

The Anti-investment Scam Task Force Friday reported that the multiple and syndicated estafa cases filed against the initial three Ponzi firms drastically increased to 60 from last week’s 46 because of the sudden influx of complainants wanting to file their complaints against those who carted away their money.

The multi-agency task force also disclosed the amount duped by the operators from their complaining investors grew from P12.2 million over the past weeks to P16.3 million this week with more to come in the coming weeks.

From 23 complainants who earlier filed syndicated estafa charges against Stiforp Trading along Magsaysay Avenue that closed operations recently, the number of complainants grew to 36 with the additional 13 complainants executing their affidavit against Stiforp manager Eliel Moralesand 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 for their investments reportedly, divested from the complainants a total of P14.08 million in hard earned money.

On the other hand, 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 reportedly divested 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 operations without being informed of the real reason behind its closure carting away with her the hard earned money of her investors.

Furthermore, five 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 P450,000.

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.

The task force appealed to complainants against Ponzi firm operators to have their respective affidavits subscribed and sworn to before any notary public in order to complete the documentation that will be filed before the city prosecutor’s office.

For those who earlier complained before the different investigating agencies, probers are reminding them to visit their offices in order to update their affidavit complaints and have them notarized or subscribed and sworn to complete the legal filing procedures to avoid the case from being dismissed because of technicality.

By Dexter A. See