Suspect in invest scam nabbed

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BAGUIO CITY  – The operator of a Laguna-based ‘ponzi firm’ that reportedly victimized thousands of willing investors in the different parts of Luzon was successfully arrested by combined police operatives and intelligence agents for two counts of estafa in San Fernando City, La Union over the weekend.

Police authorities identified the arrested ‘ponzi firm’ operator as Lorenzo Vargas, of legal age, and the operator of the Calamba-based New Business Opportunities (NBO) that have various franchises all over the archipelago.

Probers described the company had been enticing willing individuals to invest their hard earned money with a promise of high interests ranging from 20 to 30 percent every month.

The company reportedly victimized innocent victims from Batangas, Laguna, Pangasinan, Rizal and the different parts of the National Capital Region (NCR).

It can be recalled that the NB|O reportedly stopped paying the interests and returning the money of their thousands of investors sometime in August last year and that the operator reportedly went on hiding in the different parts of Luzon over the past several months.

Vargas was arrested by virtue of separate warrants of arrest issued by Judge Cecilia Corazon Dulay Archog of the city’s Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 6 for two counts of estafa after victimizing several residents of the city using the alleged questionable scheme offering high interests for investments without a sufficient proof of source of income to grant such high interests and return the investments of members.

After learning about his arrest in the city, hundreds of individuals who were scammed by the NBO flocked to the city and confronted the suspect with the threat that they will file battery of syndicated estafa cases against him if he cannot return their investments the soonest.

In Tanaoan, Batangas alone, some 3,000 individuals were reportedly hoodwinked by the company into investing in the ‘ponzi firm’ that carted away their hard earned money.

However, Vargas belied having ran away with the hard earned money of the investors, saying that they were able to get the return of their money through the various products given to them and that they just lost their investments after the company wrongly invested the money of the people in an on-line gaming.

Vargas is now detained at the Baguio City jail pending the decision of the court on the estafa charges filed against him.

By Dexter A. See

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