MANILA, Philippines—Aside from the numerous syndicated estafa charges they are facing, the top officials of Aman Futures have been slapped with complaints by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for engaging in fraudulent transactions and operating without the proper registration.
The Aman executives were charged in the Department of Justice (DOJ) with violating Sections 8 and 26 of Republic Act No. 8799, the Securities Regulation Code.
This as another syndicated estafa complaint was lodged against Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co, his wife and 16 others also in the DOJ, this time by 22 complainants in connection with their alleged involvement in the investment scam perpetrated by Aman Futures.
The SEC complaint was against Aman Futures Group Philippine Inc., Manuel Amalilio and six members of its board of directors for being behind a massive investment scam that duped 15,000 people out of P12 billion.
Aside from Aman Futures and Amalilio, also charged were Fernando Luna, the former janitor and driver turned manager of Aman, Leilan Gan Lim, Eduard Lim, Naezelle Rodriguez, Wilanie Fuentes and Lurix Lopez.
Section 8 of RA 8799 provides that securities shall not be sold or offered for sale or distribution within the country without a registration duly filed and approved by the SEC.
Section 26 says that it is “unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, in connection with the purchase or sale of any securities to employ any device, scheme or artifice to defraud, obtain money or property by means of any untrue statement of material fact… and engage in any act, transaction, practice or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person.”
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), meanwhile, filed Thursday a second complaint against Co, his wife Priscilla Ann Fernandez Co, Gan, Lim, Fuentes, Rodriguez, Lopez, Isagani Laluna, Abigail Pendulas, Paige Yabanez Madarang, Cheryll Mayoll Casinillo, Nimfa Caballero Luna (Luna’s wife), Dhurwin Weceslao, Haidee Alfanta, Cecille Abarquez and several John and Jane Does.
Amalilio and Luna are in hiding while the five directors are in the custody of the NBI after they surrendered last weekend.
The new complaint was filed by 22 persons, some of them agents of the investment firm.
In a related development, four companies allegedly engaged in a multimillion-peso Ponzi scheme have shown up on the police radar after some people complained about the investment firms, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said Thursday.
In an interview, Superintendent Benjamin Acorda Jr., chief of the CIDG’s Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Division, said officials of the companies had been able to entice investors by promising them instant cash incentives and quick returns on their investment.—With a report from Marlon Ramos