KAPA founder, other officials face 8 counts of estafa complaint

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KAPA Founder and President Joel A. Apolinario — PHILSTAR/BOY SANTOS

THE NATIONAL Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and three investors of Kapa-Community Ministry International, Inc. (KAPA) filed eight counts of syndicated estafa complaint against the group’s 14 officials, including its founder, Joel A. Apolinario, in connection with its alleged investment scam.

In the complaint, the NBI and the three investors also charged Mr. Apolinario, KAPA Corporate Secretary Reyna L. Apolinario, Treasurer Modie S. Dagala, and officers Benigno D. Tipan, Jr., Marilyn M. Maturan, Ricky A. Taer, and Margie A. Danao, for violating provisions of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).

KAPA incorporators included in the complaint are Nonita S. Urbano, Junnie G. Apolinario, Nelio V. Nino, Maria Pella B. Sevilla, Jouelyn A. Del Castillo, Cristobal R. Barabad, and Joji A. Jusay.

The three investors claimed they put in a total amount of P575,000 to KAPA with the promise of 30% return of the principal.

When they heard news that KAPA operations were illegal, they tried to reclaim their investment, but to no avail as the company’s offices were already closed.

The complainants said KAPA committed syndicated estafa under Presidential Decree No. 1689 for posing that the collection from the public is a religious donation and the investment interest is a religious blessing.

They also said that the group is involved in a “pyramiding investment scam which has a characteristic of a Ponzi Scheme” as the “donations” made with a promise of monthly interest of 30% is a solicitation of money or investment from the public.

“(K)APA has employed deceit through false pretense and fraudulent acts,” the complaint read.

The complaint also accuses KAPA of violating Section 8 (Requirement of Registration of Securities) and Section 26 (Fraudulent Transactions) of the SRC as the investment scheme is in the nature of securities, for which the company has no license from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This is the second complaint against KAPA, following the SEC’s complaint filed last month against the organization, Mr. Apolinario and seven other officials, also for violation of Sections 8, 26 and 28 of the SRC.

The Commission in February issued a cease-and-desist order against KAPA and revoked its certificate of registration last April. It also secured a freeze order of KAPA’s assets and bank accounts from the Court of Appeals.

A Davao City court has issued a precautionary hold departure order against the eight KAPA officials in the SEC complaint while preliminary investigation is on-going. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas