PDIC files raps vs 88 'depositors' in Legacy banks
MANILA, Philippines - The state deposit insurer has filed estafa charges against 88 depositors of the now-closed Legacy rural banks for allegedly defrauding the government of some P97.73 million-worth of insurance payments.
In a statement on Thursday, January 3, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) said the respondents, including Manu and Champa Gidwani as well as 86 others, falsified documents to claim the deposit insurance payments.
The Legacy banks are a group of 12 affiliated rural banks with nationwide presence that were ordered closed by the Monetary Board in December 2008. This cost the PDIC Deposit Insurance Fund an estimated P12 billion in deposit insurance payments.
"Gidwani et. al. in conspiracy with each other, were found to have falsified commercial and official documents. The fraudulent scheme, referred to as deposit insurance fraud, involved the respondents’ acts of misrepresenting themselves to be the owners of certain deposits; filing claims for deposit insurance and; receiving deposit insurance payments from the PDIC when they are not the true owners of the said deposit accounts maintained with the Legacy banks," the PDIC said.
Based on investigations, the state-owned corporation found the deposit insurance fraud was done through a Visayas-based bank which accepted 683 "crossed checks" issued by PDIC as deposit insurance payments to 86 individuals who misrepresented themselves as owners of accounts in various Legacy banks in conspiracy with Manu and Champa Gidwani.
PDIC said the respondents maintained 471 accounts in various Legacy banks amounting to P118.19 million. These accounts were opened and funded through checks issued by only one individual or through fund transfers from a single account.
The PDIC also said 10 of the respondents who placed a combined P20.96 million in deposits were found to be employees or household help of the Gidwani couple.
Under the PDIC Charter, all deposits in a bank maintained in the same right and capacity of the depositor for his benefit either in his own name or in the name of others shall be consolidated into one deposit account entitled to the maximum deposit insurance coverage.
At the time of the closure of the Legacy banks, the maximum deposit insurance coverage was only P250,000. - Rappler.com