Tuesday 19 March, 2019
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Court convicts RCBC exec in US$ 81M Bangladesh cyber-crime heist

Former Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito has been found guilty by the Makati City regional trial court of seven counts of money laundering in connection with the $81 million stolen by hackers from the Bangladesh Bank in 2016.

Deguito was slapped with a prison of term of seven years for each count, and was ordered to
pay 200 percent of the value of the laundered amount or almost $110 million.

The ruling said Deguito took advantage of her expertise in banking law to facilitate the “illegal transactions.

“The accused must be responsible of her executed acts and implemented transactions as charged and described in the subject eight criminal information,” the court said.

“She has prior knowledge of these remittances, hence accused Deguito was able to prepare, before hand, for these remittances in crystal clear violation of the AMLA Law. Accused Deguito has taken advantage of her position in the bank and her banking knowledge and experience, hence accused Deguito was able to execute and implement these illegal transactions with ease,” the court added.

Witnesses disclosed Deguito opened fictitious bank accounts where the hacked funds were laundered.

The most despicable, the court ruled, was the withdrawal from fictitious account under the name J.C. Lagrosas worth US$22.735 million on Feb. 5, 2016 and deposited to the account of William Go, another fictitious account which was opened 16 minutes earlier.

“In conclusion, the prosecution evidence can stand by itself to convict the herein accused beyond reasonable doubt…Thus, after the prosecution has proved and established that accused is a covered person and the transactions described in the Information are covered transactions, the crime of violation of the subject law is fully proved and established.
“The prosecution has accomplished and did it,” the court said.

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