Quantcast

As I See It

Pyramid scam victims succumbed to greed

By

The scam that defrauded 15,000 investors of P12 billion of their hard-earned money is caused by GREED—the greed of the officers of Aman Futures, the company behind the scam, and the greed of the victimized investors.

For decades pyramid scams like this have been exposed and some of the perpetrators sent to jail, but greedy investors still fall for them. People never learn.

The scam works through the offer of huge returns on investments. In the case of Aman Futures, it offered P25,000 interest for every P100,000 investment in just eight days. Even if you own a gold mine, you can’t earn at that huge rate. So investors, their greed overcoming their common sense, invest their savings—and lose these in the end.

At first, the scammers pay their investors with money from new investments. This entices the investors and their friends who hear of it to put in more money. Bigger investment, bigger returns. Ha-ha, that’s what they thought.

As new investments peter out, the checks that the scammers pay to their investors begin to bounce. That’s the only time that the investors begin to wake up. They panic and go after the scammers. But it is too late. By then the scammers, and their loot, have disappeared.

Moral of the story: If an investment offer is too good to be true, don’t bite it. There must be something wrong with it.

Remember, the higher the return, the higher the risk. So don’t be greedy. Be content with modest earnings on your investments.

* * *

What do you think of this case? A husband files a legal separation case against his wife. One of the lawyers defending the wife turns out to be the business partner of the husband of the judge handling the legal separation case. Shouldn’t the judge/wife inhibit herself from trying the case? Wouldn’t her impartiality be affected and her decision put under a cloud of doubt?

This is what has happened to the legal separation case filed by Susana Madrigal-Bayot against former Philippine Ambassador Francisco “Paqui” Ortigas. The judge trying the case is Judge Marie Picardal-Tecson of Makati RTC Branch 144. It so happens that one of the lawyers appearing for Susana, Thea Daep, is the business partner in several real estate firms of Constantine “Cons” Tecson, the husband of Judge Tecson. The General Information Sheets (GIS) filed by the realty companies with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed that Cons Tecson and Thea Daep are stockholders and officers of Prestige Asia Co. Inc. and Lakefront Realty Inc. Cons Tecson is the chair and president of Prestige Asia while Daep is the treasurer. At Lakefront Realty, Daep is the chair-president while Cons Tecson is listed as one of its officers.

With such an arrangement, Ortigas had no recourse but to file a motion for inhibition against Judge Tecson. There is clearly a conflict of interest here.

* * *

Ortigas faces another battle, this time involving Susana’s relative, Vicente M. Bayot, and Ortigas’ company Suzy Q. Corp. (SQC).

In earlier days, Susana gifted Ortigas with a McDonnel Douglas helicopter, but it was registered in the name of SQC. Later, it was made to appear that the SQC board of directors authorized its sale to Vicente Bayot, with Susana as the alleged representative of SQC. A Union Bank check for P20 million was supposedly deposited as payment by Bayot to SQC’s account at the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC).

Ortigas claims that the helicopter sale was without the consent of SQC. The purported purchase price of P20 million was also not remitted to SQC.

Ortigas also claims that SQC has not authorized the opening of any bank account with RCBC, and that he is not aware of any board meeting that authorized the opening of such an account.

He has sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the RCBC account registered in SQC’s name.

To make matters worse, the helicopter was registered at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and that the helicopter is no longer owned by Vicente Bayot but sold to a Swedish company. The sale and transfer of ownership were recognized and facilitated by CAAP. The helicopter’s registration has an annotation of  lis  pendens, meaning it is under court litigation.

Because of all these, Ortigas filed an estafa case against his wife and her relatives.

* * *

A few days ago, the newspapers reported that police operatives had raided the outlets of a video store named DataBlitz and confiscated P2.6 million worth of dubious software NBA2K13 video products.

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) made the raids upon the complaint of X-Play, which claims to be the exclusive distributor of NBA gaming titles in the Philippines. X-Play claimed that its intellectual property rights were violated by other video stores selling the contested software.

“The action of DataBlitz was not only prejudicial to X-Play but also to other smaller retailers and game stores. While we seek to protect our rights, we also want to help protect the industry from smugglers and other illegal operators,” X-Play officials said.

X-Play has filed an “unfair competition” complaint against DataBlitz. The court issued 11 search warrants against DataBlitz outlets in Metro Manila.

X-Play claims that several meetings were held with DataBlitz president Winston Lim and his lieutenants with a view to making the latter become X-Play’s partner for NBA2K13.

“Key DataBlitz executives Sandra Lu and Orpha Oambas even participated in X-Play’s distributor conferences and got all the marketing and distribution plans of the company,” X-Play executives said.

Apparently, the negotiations fell through and DataBlitz decided to go it alone, unmindful of the consequences.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Column:

Other Stories:

No related posts found!

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=40880

Tags: aman futures , column , greed , neal h. cruz , pyramid scam



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem
  • Tanchanco, former NFA head; 83
  • Pope seeks to bring faith to ‘ends of the Earth’
  • Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  • Positive in UAE, returning Filipino nurse tests negative
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • ‘Pacquiao a great ambassador for basketball’
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Awarded TV couple brings Jesus’ life to the big screen
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace