May 21, 2024

The Insider News

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Investment scam leaders sentenced to life imprisonment

DAVAO CITY – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-Davao reported Monday that leaders of the Tagum City-based Rigen Wellness Product Marketing have been sentenced to life imprisonment for syndicated estafa.

The Tagum City Regional Trial Court Branch 2 convicted Rico John Colorines Garcia and King Paul Bryan Auditor, chief executive officer and auditor of Rigen Marketing, respectively, for syndicated estafa in two criminal cases dated April 11 and May 2.

Garcia and Auditor were sentenced to life imprisonment in both cases, alongside payment of actual damages totaling P2 million and moral damages amounting to P120,000, with an interest of six percent per annum.

The totality of the testimonies of the witnesses, documentary evidence on record, and findings of the SEC all point to both accused Garcia and Auditor as the perpetrators of a grand scheme to defraud investors of their investments in their company,” the court said.  

The cases stemmed from the complaints of two individuals who were enticed to invest in Rigen Marketing, after it allegedly promised income returns of up to 400 percent within a span of 30 days.

The firm claimed that profits were generated from investments in cryptocurrency and foreign exchange trading.

In its ruling, the court affirmed that “where one states that the future profits or income of an enterprise shall be a certain sum, but he actually knows there will be none, the statements constitute an actionable fraud, where the hearer believes him and relies on the statement to his injury.”

The court also noted that Rigen Marketing employed fraud when Garcia, Auditor, and its officers pretended to have the authority to solicit investments from the public when it did not have such authority.  

As early as March 2019, SEC has warned the public against investing in Rigen Marketing through an advisory posted on its website.

The SEC subsequently issued a cease and desist order on June 11, 2019, directing the group to stop engaging in investment solicitation activities unless it secures the necessary licenses from them.

The duos co-accused Rosenda Colorines Garcia, Christine Palijo, Romen Samuel Wabina, and Jemeilyn Tacay remain at-large. (PNA)