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SEC beats 3 scammers in court

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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