Court of Appeal asks Justice Ministry to charge former Fortune Savings executives with estafa
The Seventh Division of the Court of Appeal overturned and quashed previous resolutions issued by the Department of Justice and ordered it to indict six former executives of the Fortune Savings and Loan Association Inc. with estafa by falsifying business documents.
He cited enough evidence on the record to indict the executives for estafa through forging business documents, a criminal offense under the revised Penal Code and punishable by imprisonment of up to 20 years.
The CA decision in October 2019 stemmed from the certiorari petition filed in September 2010 by Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp., statutory receiver of the closed FSLAI, which asked the CA to rescind and effectively rescind the previous resolutions of the DOJ enacted in 2008 and 2010. The DOJ has lowered the charge against former FSLAI agents from estafa through forging business documents to falsifying business documents.
PDIC in 2008 sought reconsideration of the DOJ’s resolution that found probable cause to indict these agents for falsifying business documents, but ruled out estafa charges. The DOJ in 2010 dismissed the request for reconsideration of the statutory receivership.
The PDIC, in its complaint, alleged that the former executives of the bank had conspired to approve and release a mortgage in September 1993 in the amount of 6.5 million pesos, which the borrower denied when a request was sent to him by the legal receiver.
The borrower claimed that the respondents ordered him to sign the loan documents. The CA stated that the documents produced by the PDIC (i.e. promissory note, loan / credit transaction disclosure statement, loan release sheet, loan action sheet, loan, the subject matter check and the credit report) showed that the former FSLAI officers had committed acts of forgery and deception in obtaining the loan of P 6,500,102.46 from FSLAI, and that the respondents received the loan proceeds.
These circumstances have shown that former FSLAI agents are likely guilty of the crime of estafa by falsifying business documents, he said.
The PDIC has said it remains relentless in its quest for justice against unscrupulous bank owners, executives and parties who take advantage of the deposit insurance system for their benefit. He said his vigorous legal actions are crucial to protect the interests of depositors, protect the Deposit Insurance Fund and deter bank officials and individuals from abusing the deposit insurance system.