LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The provincial prosecutor’s office recommended the filing of syndicated estafa charges against seven purported officers of an alleged Ponzi firm that operated in the capital town and other urban areas in the province after having found probable cause to indict them for the crime.
In a joint resolution penned by Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Raymond P. Botengan and approved by Provincial Prosecutor William Bacoling, those who were indicated for syndicated estafa were Rhodora Comedes alias Rohodora Comedes, Julia Fianza, Grace Shane Martin, May Ann Pablo, Cyrilla Bas-ilan, Jovena Montes Cayamdas and Wenalenden Sabey Adaci, all of Keyworld Ventures International, Inc. or Keyworld Ventures, Inc., with principal office in the capital town.
The complaint against the officers of the company stemmed from their alleged failure to return the complainants’ monetary investments totaling to P1.14 million with the corresponding promise of 20 percent monthly interest, until the offices of the company in Buguias and La Trinidad closed late last year.
The Keyworld officials reported informed their prospective clients that the company is involved in more investments that would guarantee that their investments would be able to earn substantial interests and that their capital will be returned to them on the seventh month.
However, the provincial prosecutor’s office found out that the company was not issued a secondary license to solicit securities or money from the public which is in violation of the Securities Code of the Philippines, thus, the company is reportedly involved in the operation of a Ponzi scheme.
“Once in possession of the total amount, the accused absconded, thus, misappropriated and converted the same to their own personal use and benefit, resulting to damage and prejudice to the complainants herein and other persons, and that the defraud pertains to funds solicited from the public in general, from the accused,” the resolution stated.
It was learned that out of the total amount of investments, the complainants were able to receive at least one pay out before the offices of the Ponzi firm in Buguias and La Trinidad closed down.
Subsequently, Keyworld sent text messages to their supposed investors informing them that the company could not pay them yet, and instead called a meeting and during the scheduled meeting of investors, Keyworld employees collected from them their monitoring cards and checks issued to them and in place of the monitoring cards and checks, the company issued to them a document acknowledgement debt with a promissory note.
The complainants were not able to attend the scheduled meeting that is why they were not able to surrender their monitoring cards and checks which they used to support the filing of the case against the company.
After the closure of their offices and the completion of the said meeting, the Keyworld officials and employees could no longer be located and that their communication lines with them were cut off.