NBI files estafa case vs. CDO ‘scammer’Posted on
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The National Bureau of Investigation-Region 10 (NBI-10) has filed large-scale estafa charges on Monday (March 11) against a female suspect alleged to be involved in an online investment scam that has already victimized more than a hundred individuals here and other parts of Northern Mindanao.
NBI-10 identified the suspect as Antonette Sestoso, 23, of Barangay Kauswagan, this city. She is also an online shop seller.
According to lawyer Alex Caburnay, NBI-10 head agent, Sestoso’s modus is to entice her friends on social media to invest money with the promise of a huge return in a few days.
Caburnay said the suspect created a chat group on Facebook where she enticed her clients with high investment returns.
Aside from large-scale swindling and estafa, Sestoso will also be charged for violating sections of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 as her transactions took place online.
As of Monday, more than a hundred individuals have already formally lodged complaints against Sestoso.
Caburnay said that based on the initial complaints, Sestoso may have defrauded her clients with over PHP3 million.
NBI-10 Director Patricio Bernales Jr. said Sestoso turned herself in “for her own safety.”
Bernales said the suspect has promised to return the money in three to four months, but added he doubted if Sestoso could produce enough cash to pay all her investors back.
A victim, who requested not to be named, said she lost a total of PHP408,000 to the suspect.
The 25-year-old private school teacher said she first sent PHP25,000 to Sestoso through a money remittance service on Feb. 2 and received PHP45,9000 a week after.
Motivated by the huge return, she invested a bigger amount and even told her friends to do the same.
“I re-invested the cash I received. I told my friends to join because our money will multiply,” she said.
But on her second investment, she no longer received the money as promised.
She said she knew Sestoso as she is also an online marketer like her, adding she has no intention to charge the suspect but was left with no choice as many of her friends whom she convinced to invest has threatened to sue her if she won’t file a case.
“I only wanted my money back. She told me she can pay me back but not the entire amount that I invested,” she said.
Sestoso declined to answer questions from reporters when she was brought for inquest proceeding at the City Prosecutor’s Office on Monday. -PNA