QC court convicts four suspects over P3B pyramid scam

The Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) has sentenced four persons to a maximum of 368 years in prison in connection with a pyramid scam that defrauded thousands of policemen and soldiers of over P3 billion during the early 2000s.

In a recent 47-page decision, Branch 220 Judge Jose Paneda found mastermind Emilia Sison and her coaccused Ireneo Sison Jr., Mirasol Aguilar, and Marilo Cabalo guilty of 23 counts of estafa.

Sison was additionally convicted of violation of the Securities Regulation Act and sentenced to another 10-year prison term, with a P2-million fine.

The court also ordered the four to return at least P7 million in cash investments to the specific complainants involved in these cases.

According to records, Sison used the firm ICS Export, Inc., to lure mostly police and military officers into investing a minimum of P50,000, by promising a tempting profit of 8% to 15% a month. However, the principal amount could only be withdrawn after six months.

The company issued postdated checks as guarantee, but the complainants said these bounced.

“This is a story of people wanting quick wealth on one side and people robbing off that wealth on the other side,” the court said. “The strategy used by the accused… is akin to the so-called Ponzi scheme.”

Five other accused—former Supt. Ricardo Sison, William Sison, Lorna Bosque, Vilma Benitez and Elizabeth Cervera—were acquitted due to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) failure to present enough evidence against them.

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