CA affirms estafa conviction for Trendline president over stock fraud

The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed the estafa conviction of former Trendline Securities Corporation president Priscilla Zapanta for defrauding a client of P10.955 million meant to pay for stocks in SM Development Corporation (SMDC) in 1998.

In a recent 15-page decision, the CA 14th Division denied Zapanta’s appeal on the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 10’s January 2012 verdict.

However, the appellate court reduced the minimum sentence to 4 years and 2 months, instead of 8 years; the maximum term would remain 20 years.

It also slightly decreased the losses awarded to Antonio Lacdao to P12.377 million, from the P12.436 million awarded by the RTC.

The CA affirmed Zapanta’s conviction on the basis of her failure to deliver the stock certificates to Lacdao, as well as return his money upon demand.

“The failure to account upon demand, for funds held in trust, is circumstantial evidence of misappropriation,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Myra Garcia-Fernandez.

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