DOJ files estafa case vs. 10 Aman Futures execs

(UPDATED 4:30 p.m.) - The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday filed a syndicated estafa case against 10 incorporators and employees of the controversial Aman Futures Group Philippines Inc, including owner Manuel Amalilio, who was last spotted in Malaysia. "The special DOJ panel determined that Aman Futures was organized for the purpose of engaging in ordinary trading but did not possess the authority to engage in commodity futures trading, management of funds or investment of any kind, then it solicited and received funds for such purposes," the DOJ said. The DOJ said Aman Futures used "false pretenses and fraudulent representations" to lure victims into investing money and causing damage to the complainants amounting to P46,665,069. The DOJ said the charges would be filed within the day with the regional trial court of Pagadian City. Apart from Amalilio, also recommended to be charged with syndicated estafa were Lelian Lim Gan, Wilanie Fuentes, Nazelle Rodriguez, Eduardo Lim and Lurix Lopez. The others charged were incorporators Fernando Luna, his wife Nimfa Luna, Donna Coyme, and Dharwin Wenceslao. Meanwhile, charges against Aman Futures lawyer Isagani Laluna were dismissed. "It cannot be denied that his only participation in the whole controversy is being a retained counsel and corporate secretary of Aman Futures. Apart from this, no evidence was submitted to show that he has any involvement in the operation of Aman Futures," the DOJ said. 15,000 investors Among the complainants are Leo Rey Valdez Soria, Quintin Yap, Pasanting, Dennis Ramirez Ceno, Rene Ariel Real, Haide Sacote, and Clyde Rondrique. The complainants in the case said they invested P26.48 million in the controversial firm, which was said to have duped sone 15,000 investors from Mindanao and Visayas and divested from them around P12 million. "Its promise to its would-be depositors was that their money would be either doubled after 21 days or tripled after 30 days," the DOJ said in its resolution. At first, the investors received the promised cash, but the company later started issuing 50-day post-dated checks that bounced for lack of funds, according to the Justice Department. Ponzi scheme Aman Futures is accused of defrauding investors through a so-called "Ponzi Scheme," in which the firm misrepresents itself as a company engaged in futures trading and lures investors by offering between 20 to 80 percent interest within eight to 20 days. The National of Bureau Investigation discovered that Aman Futures began operating in the last week of February last year and used the name Aman Futures Trading, identifying itself as a client of Malaysia-based future trading company Okachi (Malaysia) SDN BHD.

In June last year, Aman Futures registered with the Securties and Exchange Commission, but was not authorized to solicit investments from the public, based on its articles of incorporation. Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co, who also earlier filed a complaint against the investment firm, said he formed a team last June to inspect the operations of Aman Futures, and that the team found out that Aman Futures operated under a local business permit to engage in a general merchandise business. "The inspection team recommended for the cancellation of local business permit issued on April 23, 2012. Thus, I ordered its cancellation on June 18, 2012," he said. Co said that despite the cancellation of the local business permit, Aman Futures continued to operate "with the overwhelming patronage of the general public." He said he then invited Aman Futures head operator Fernando Luna for a meeting, in which Co gave Luna an ultimatum to submit to the local government the necessary documents "to legalize Aman's operation." Co also said he could not immediately order a stoppage of Aman Futures operations because the firm operated privately at a rented residential house and that no actual exchange of money happened since transactions were made through bank deposits. He said he wrote the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Pagadian City to conduct an inquiry on the possible grant of authority for him to close down a business even if it is conducted in a private residence. His efforts were futile as no one allegedly complained against the operation of Aman at the time. Co said Luna eventually submitted to him several documents to prove the legality of their firm but what it needed to secure was a secondary permit. It was at this point, while Aman Futures was trying to secure a secondary permit, that Co "if only to protect the investing public of their considerable investments, during the interim of the submission of the required secondary permit, the Permits and Licensing Division recommended for the issuance of a temporary permit valid only for 60 days." Co said that in July, Aman Futures owner Amalilio visited him in his office at the city hall and briefed him about the investment firm. Amalilio also presented a certificate of incorporation from the Securities and Exchange Commission to show it was a duly registered firm. The mayor admitted to having invested also in the firm but the checks later issued to him by Aman Futures eventually bounced for insufficiency of funds. Rasuman The fresh charges against Amalilio and other Aman Futures executives came two months after the DOJ slapped estafa charges against a similar investment firm, operated by ringleader Jachob "Coco" Rasuman. Rasuman was arrested after the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed charges against him; his father, former Public Works and Highway Undersecretary Bashir Dimaampo Rasuman; and nine others with syndicated estafa for the alleged scam.

In a resolution dated November 22, a DOJ special panel of prosecutors recommended estafa charges against Rasuman and his alleged cohorts for a P120-million investment made by their supposed victim, Abuamar Sambitory, who filed the complaint with the DOJ along with 24 other people.

The complainants said Rasuman and the others, who claimed to be directors and officers of NAD Auto Opinion Corporation, enticed them to invest in their business “because of the grant of high-interest schemes and guarantee of extraordinary returns in investments."

The complainants said they were promised between 85 percent to 150 percent return of investment within two months.

- VVP/RSJ, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • North Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    North Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two missiles into the sea on Monday and vowed "merciless" retaliation as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre rattling. "And if there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the North …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao
    Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao

    An Indonesian cargo vessel that was hijacked a month ago in North Sulawesi, Indonesia has been found stuck in the waters off Mati, Davao Oriental, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported yesterday. PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said the PCG- Southeastern Mindanao district was informed on Feb. 23 that the M/T Rehoboth was found aground off Barangay Cabuaya. Four personnel from the local PCG district office were sent to verify the report. The vessel was reportedly hijacked by …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf
    Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf

    Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. has ordered the sustained campaign against the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) following the successive offensives against the armed groups last week. A total of 24 Abu Sayyaf bandits and two soldiers were killed in recent clashes in Sulu last week. The Joint Task Group Sulu has received information that Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron was wounded during one of the encounters but this is …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

  • Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR
    Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR

    Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to consider a proposed special tax exemption for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in his much-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday it will have to be discussed by Congress because lawmakers are the ones who enact tax exemptions, special or general. Pacquiao has been dogged by unsettled tax obligations with the BIR. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options