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BSP in legal wins as courts convict officials of shuttered rural banks

05:08 AM January 01, 2020

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas recently scored legal victories in its quest to rid the financial industry of erring bankers after courts convicted the officers of two closed rural banks for separate cases of fraud.

In a statement, the central bank said that a court convicted three officers of the closed Rural Bank of Sebaste (Antique) Inc. on criminal charges filed by the regulator.

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In a decision dated July 9 2019, but publicized only recently, the Regional Trial Court of Culasi, Antique, found former RB Sebaste chair and president Eugene Estrella guilty on eight counts of violation of the General Banking Law of 2000 due to fraudulent transactions and sentenced him to two years imprisonment for each count. The Municipal Trial Court of Kalibo, Aklan, also convicted Estrella as well as RB Sebaste’s former chair and president Luis Estrella Sr. and former director Luis Estrella Jr. on seven, four and two counts of falsification of public documents, respectively.

The Kalibo court also sentenced the three RB Sebaste officers to a minimum imprisonment of six months and one day to a maximum of two years, four months and one day, and ordered them to pay a fine of P1,000 for each count.

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The cases stemmed from a criminal complaint filed by the BSP’s Office of Special Investigation against the three RB Sebaste officers for their participation in the creation of fictitious loans amounting to about P63 million as of March 2007. Meanwhile, the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City convicted three officers of the closed Rural Bank of Badiangan (Iloilo) Inc. (RBBI) on 20 counts of violation of the General Banking Law of 2000 due to fraudulent transactions.

In its decision dated Sept. 18, 2019, the court sentenced Bella Buscar, Cynthia Taconloy and Leni Abordaje to imprisonment of two to four years for each count.

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TAGS: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, criminal charges, Rural Bank of Sebaste (Antique) Inc.
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