Court convicts woman for stealing P12- million from her company through fund transfers

 

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

Through the diligence of the Anti- Money Laundering Council and the full cooperation of a chemical trader-distributor company, a woman was convicted by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City for 55 counts of money laundering last month.

 

Found guilty beyond reasonable doubt was Annabella C. Ylagan, who defrauded her company (where she served as company secretary) a total of P12 million over four years and was asked to pay P9.86 million in actual damages plus a prison term of seven years per count, or way more than her entire lifetime. The sentence is contained in a 56-page decision promulgated by Presiding Judge Caridad M. Walse-Lutero.

 

The AMLC, the country’s financial intelligence unit (FIU) and enforcer of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, proved that Ylagan transferred funds from her employer’s accounts in three (3) banks to a bank account she opened under fictitious bank accounts under the name “Lourdes R. Liu” and a company purportedly created by Ylagan.

 

Ylagan’s modus operandi involved routing faxing of forged letters of authority, instructing banks to transfer funds from her employer’s accounts to her own fictitious accounts.

 

Her illicit scheme was exposed when an account officer of bank where her company had accounts phoned the company to verify a fund transfer in favor of one of her companies. Since she was not at the office then, a colleague took the call and eventually alerted the officers of the company, which informed the bank there were no documents to back up the transfers.

 

The company president was alerted, and investigations into Ylagan’s transactions were conducted. Ylagan admitted in writing to executing the fund transfers and opening fictitious accounts. The company promptly charged Ylagan for two separate crimes: Qualified Theft, and Qualified Theft through Falsification of Private Documents.

 

The court ordered her to pay the company P9,852,722.55, representing actual damages it suffered based on the evidence it offered.

 

AMLC Secretariat Executive Director Mel Georgie B. Racela said “55 convictions, by any stretch, is a sterling accomplishment of the AMLC.”

 

She commended the investigators, prosecutors and lawyers who have handled the case as she showed her appreciation to the Ylagan’s former employer in providing the evidence to convict her. We see here a kind of shared interest and cooperation between the AMLC and the company, which was very interested in seeing the case through.”

 

She said the AMLC is very committed to prosecuting money laundering as these convictions show. This proves that “crime does not, and should never be made to, pay.”

 

Ylagan made a choice: amass wealth and use the banks to hide her wealth. Tarnishing the integrity of the financial system has a cost: Ylagan paid for it very dearly,” she added.

Ylagan is now serving her sentence at the Correctional Institute for Women.

Accomplishment

 

 As of April 2018, the AMLC has secured convictions for 92 counts of money laundering. Those convicted include drug dealers, illegal job recruiters, fraudsters, kidnappers, bankers and corrupt officials, to name a few.

 

Through the efforts of the AMLC, millions of pesos and US dollars, and countless properties have also been forfeited and frozen in favor of the government.

 

At present, the AMLC has 19 pending complaints for money laundering before the Department of Justice; 1 pending complaint for money laundering before the Office of the Ombudsman for preliminary investigation and 22 money laundering charges with the trial courts. More convictions are expected to be handed down within the year.

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Saturday, 18 August 2018
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