Manager faces raps for large-scale estafa

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Monday, June 17, 2013

THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-Davao Region filed on Friday charges before the City Prosecutor's Office (CPO) against a manager of a business company for alleged scam.

Charged with large-scale estafa of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Presidential Decree 1609 was Zosette Socorro Ortiz, owner of a certain "rice investment/production business," human resource manager of Now Outstanding Services, and resident of Tugbok in Davao City.

A source, who refused to be named for lack of authority to speak, said Ortiz was brought to the CPO on Friday morning for inquest proceedings following her arrest last June 13.


Ortiz was charged following the affidavit/complaint filed by 21 people who were victims of the said rice investment scam. Based on a joint affidavit, the suspect has allegedly collected around P4 million from his victims.

Lawyer Arcelito Albao, NBI-Davao spokesperson, said the suspect was nabbed in an entrapment operation in Dunkin Donut at SM Ecoland around 6 p.m. Thursday.

"Ang modus niya (suspect) is mang enganyo ug mga tao nga mobubo ug capital ug pasaligan nga mutubo'g dako ang ilang kwarta na pwede makuha paagi sa cash ingon man sa sinakong bugas," Albao told the media in an interview.

Based on the victims' affidavit, they were enticed to invest on the suspect's business since June 2012.

"As part of her plan, Zosette told us that she's already engaged in such kind of business for more than three years, that she has partners and suppliers of rice who'd helped her propagate the business. They also have a sure and existing client like the entire Jollibee here, Holcim, Coca-Cola Bottlers Company, among others," the victims said in their affidavit.

"Aside from those inviting explanations she imparted to us... we were further fascinated to believe that our money will earn a net margin of P700 per sack of rice monthly or at P1,400 per sack of rice that our money invested, will be returned to us at P2,100, thus with overwhelming persuasions we firmly believed that everything she said is real," they added.

The victims said believing in good faith with the suspect's promises and representation, they were convinced to invest on the said firm and borrowed from its different sources, with its computed earnings.

"With the said individual investment we had, she promised us that this will be returned either a monthly basis or as long as to retained therewith adding thereto the marked up of P700 per sack of rice monthly," the victims said.

However, the victims started doubting the suspect when they found Ortiz seldom reporting to them about their investment.

The victims added that their doubt was reinforced when Ortiz kept on promising them several scheduled dates of their investment payback resigned.

"We felt more suspicious, when sometime March 2013 she severed from her employment as Human Resource manager at Now Outsourcing Services due to some problems. Aside from that, we further learned from his previous employment in Sutherland (call center) that she also has other unsettled obligations there," they said.

Ortiz no longer answered the text message and call of the victims, prompting the complainants to look for the house of the suspect. The victims then filed a complaint to the barangay and reported the matter to the NBI.

The suspect was arrested in an entrapment operation. He is now detained at the NBI-Davao jail facility.

Ortiz apologized and admitted that she has no rice production business, no partners, and no suppliers. She also admitted that the money invested were all gone. (With reports from Jeepy P. Compio of Sun.Star SuperBalita Davao)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 17, 2013.

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