Company president's secretary convicted of money laundering

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) convicted a company president's secretary of 55 counts of money laundering, and sentenced her to 7 years of imprisonment for each count, or a total of 385 years.

The decision was issued on April 18 and announced to media by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) on Monday, May 28.

The AMLC said it was able to prove that Annabella Ylagan, a liaison officer and secretary to the president of a chemical trader-distributor, transferred funds from her employer's accounts in 3 banks to fictitious bank accounts under the name "Lourdes R. Liu."

Ylagan amassed P12 million in 4 years, according to the AMLC, which did not name the company.

The scheme was discovered when a bank account officer called Ylagan's company to verify a fund transfer. One of Ylagan's colleagues took the call since she was not at the office, and it was eventually found that the company never approved the fund transfers.

Ylagan admitted to executing the fund transfers and opening fictitious accounts.

The Quezon City RTC ordered her to pay the company P9,852,722.55 in actual damages.

"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," said AMLC Secretariat Executive Director Mel Georgie Racela.

"Tarnishing the integrity of the financial system has a cost: Ylagan paid for it very dearly," he added.

Ylagan is now jailed at the Correctional Institute for Women.

As of April 2018, the AMLC has secured convictions for 92 counts of money laundering. (READ: De Lima seeks inquiry into anti-money laundering law compliance)

The AMLC's pending complaints include 19 before the Department of Justice (DOJ), one before the Office of the Ombudsman for preliminary investigation, and 22 with trial courts. (READ: AMLC zooms in on jewelers, fund managers, lawyers, accountants–