DoJ insists Lee guilty of syndicated estafa

September 20, 2018

THE Department of Justice (DoJ) yesterday insisted that property developer Delfin Lee was guilty of syndicated estafa over the alleged anomalous housing projects of Globe Asiatique in Pampanga worth P6.6 billion.

This as the DoJ filed an appeal before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking the reversal of its ruling last July that downgraded the cases against Lee to simple estafa and allowed him to post bail.

In its 47-page motion for reconsideration filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, the DoJ asked the SC to reverse its ruling that affirmed a Court of Appeals decision in 2013 that downgraded the cases against him from syndicated estafa to simple estafa.

The DoJ insisted that Lee and four other accused -- GA vice president Dexter Lee, accounting head Cristina Salagan, documentation head Christina Sagun and Pag-IBIG Fund foreclosure manager Alex Alvarez -- “clearly committed fraud.” 

“From all the foregoing discussion, with due respect, it is established that all the elements of syndicated estafa are present in this case. Accordingly the DoJ and the people humbly implore the honorable court to revisit its own finding that the offense committed was simple estafa,” read the motion. 

Last July, the High Court voted 7-5 with two abstentions to affirm the CA ruling and dismiss the petition filed in 2014 by DoJ and Home Development Mutual Fund.

The High Court also lifted the temporary restraining order it issued in March 2014 that prevented Lee’s release from the jail as ordered by the appellate court.

Insiders said a reversal of the SC ruling is probable considering the close margin in the voting of the justices.
The source, who requested anonymity due to lack of authority to speak for the Court, explained that the DoJ would just need to convince two justices to switch sides to have the ruling reversed.

Lee was indicted for syndicated estafa charges for allegedly defrauding the government of P6.6 billion in housing loan proceeds for home buyers, whom investigators later found to be fictitious or had incomplete documents.

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