The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) scored a legal victory over perpetuators of an investment scam after a Quezon City regional trial court fined three persons a total of P2 million for illegally soliciting investments from the public.
In a decision dated 27 November 2020, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 90 found guilty beyond reasonable doubt Rolando R. Pascua, Jr., Celia Pascua, and Mary Jane P. Recto for violations of Section 8 of Republic Act No. 8799, otherwise known as the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).
“Winning cases against perpetrators of fraudulent investment schemes affirm the Commission’s commitment to holding them accountable for their actions against our fellow Filipinos,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.
“The SEC will remain steadfast in its mission to protect investors and educate the public about these types of scams, so that moving forward, no more Filipinos would be duped of their hard-earned money.”
The case stemmed from affidavits filed on 14 September 2009 by 22 complainants investors with the SEC’s then Enforcement and Prosecution Department, now the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD).
The complainants-investors accused officers of RJF Construction and Development Corp., which claimed to be a land developer accredited with the Home Development Mutual Fund (PAG-IBIG), of enticing them to make an investment in exchange for a guaranteed interest rate of 5% per month, or 60% per year.
The investors were allegedly given post-dated checks as proof of their investments, as well as other documents such as original copies of land titles that serve as security for the loans.
RJF issued a total of 16 promissory notes, supported by multiple post-dated checks, to the 22 complainants-investors. The company claimed that the money raised will be used to finance its PAG-IBIG housing project worth about P2.5 billion, or 1,016 housing units for about P200,000 each.
While the company was initially able to give the promised returns to investors, RJF eventually failed to pay them the guaranteed interest and principal, prompting investors to seek relief from the Commission.
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