Tycoon’s son-in-law nabbed over P24M syndicated estafa

THE son-in-law of Cebuano mall tycoon Edmund “Eddie” Gaisano Sr. was arrested in Manila on April 11 over the alleged unauthorized trading of the P24-million investment of one of his daughters.

Derwin Wong, whose family used to run DW Capital Inc. (DWCI), a stock brokerage company, was charged with syndicated estafa filed by one of Gaisano’s daughters, Valerie Gaisano-Sebastian, and in behalf of her mother, Judy Gaisano.

Apart from the P24 million investment of Gaisano-Sebastian, lawyer Edgar Gica, who served as the complainants’ legal counsel, said there is also a pending case involving the misappropriation of more than P2 billion that is currently pending at the Court of Appeals.

Wong was arrested in his condominium unit in Makati City after Judge James Stewart Ramon Himalaloan of Branch 7 of the Cebu Regional Trial Court issued on March 28, 2019, warrants of arrest against him, nine others who are also affiliated with DWCI and several other John Does.

The order was directed to the regional director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7.

At the Cebu City court where he was brought on Wednesday, April 17, Wong pleaded for the family to hear his side.

“I want to talk to my wife. I want to see my three kids because I haven’t seen them in two years,” he said in Tagalog.

“Have mercy. If they will speak to me,” he pleaded to the Gaisano family.

Asked about the accusation that he traded without the family’s consent, Wong did not comment.

Syndicated or large-scale estafa is a non-bailable offense.

With the arrest of Wong, his trial for syndicated estafa will now proceed after he was presented to the Cebu City court on Wednesday, April 17.

In the complaint, Gaisano-Sebastian said their transaction with Wong started when her sister, Eda Frances Gaisano, married the latter in 2007.

Gica said Eda and Wong’s marriage has been annuled. Wong, however, denied receiving any document related to the annulment.

Gaisano-Sebastian said Wong, who was president and chairman of the board of directors of DWCI, convinced them to be actively involved in stock market trading and eventually persuaded her and some members of her immediate family to entrust the trading of their shares to DWCI.

At the start, Gaisano-Sebastian said, their transactions with DWCI were straightforward considering that they live in Cebu City while the brokerage firm is in Makati City. Their business transactions were usually done through telephone calls and fax.

While in Cebu City, Gaisano-Sebastian said they communicated with several respondents who were connected with DWCI to buy and sell their shares.

For every trading transaction that was concluded upon their instruction, the complainant said respondents sent them invoices through fax confirming the sell or buy transactions.

Gaisano-Sebastian and her mother maintained several accounts with DWCI, including one for a pool of shares in various firms under PSE Account No. 0945, and another devoted solely to GTCAP shares.

On July 12, 2017, Gaisano-Sebastian said she asked Wong to sell as a block 2 million of their Metrobank shares, which were recorded under their PSE Account No. 0945.

However, she learned that the respondents were only able to sell 45,000 of their Metrobank shares on July 13, 2017 and another 47,400 on July 14, 2017, which gave rise to her suspicions on the integrity of the report given to them.

“I feared that our shares were traded and sold by the respondents without our knowledge and consent, and the proceeds were then misappropriated by the respondents, or that the money we deposited as payments for the buy transactions was not used to buy but went straight to their pockets, or personal accounts, and, therefore, misappropriated by them,” read a portion of the complaint.

The situation, Gaisano-Sebastian said, prompted them to inquire on the status of their other shares entrusted to DWCI. A review revealed that there were various unauthorized sell transactions of their GT Capital Holdings Inc. (GTCAP) shares and that 20,300 of their GTCAP shares valued at P24.3 million could not be accounted for.

According to the Feb. 8, 2019 resolution of the Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor indicting the respondents for syndicated estafa, the PSE found that 273 checks “supposedly issued in favor of the beneficial owner of Account No. 0945 as proceeds of the selling transactions were issued instead to Respondents Derwin Ong, DW Capital Inc. and CASH” for a total amount of P1,627,446,416.58 and that total losses to the complainants due to the unauthorized transfers amounted to P2,076,795,691 “as supported by buy invoices, deposit slips, statement of accounts, and a promissory note executed by Derwin Wong.”

Prosecutor III Rogelio del Prado Jr. said Derwin’s sister, co-respondent Dianne Wong, DWCI’s vice president for sales, took over the running of DWCI in 2015 after the anomaly was discovered.

In 2017, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) suspended the trading activities of DW Capital Inc. over alleged violations, including unauthorized selling and transfer of stocks resulting in more than P2 billion in losses to the complainants.

After Derwin Wong’s submission to the jurisdiction of the court, Gica said it can already proceed in the arraignment, among other procedures. (With JOB)


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