The Justice Department ordered the filing of charges against 88 depositors of Legacy Banks and a branch manager of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. in Bacolod City for alleged insurance fraud.
PDIC said in a statement DOJ also directed the filing of perjury charges under Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code against Manu and Champa Gidwani and 86 other depositors of Legacy Banks and the branch manager of RCBC in Bacolod.
PDIC said the Justice Department also recommended that the 88 depositors be charged for violating Section 4 (a) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act. The Prosecutor General was also directed to charge the bank manager with violation of Section 4 (c) of Amla.
PDIC said the respondents filed deposit insurance claims with respect to various accounts maintained with Legacy Banks.
It said the Justice Department in a resolution dated June 3, 2016, found sufficient evidence that through the respondents’ false pretenses and misrepresentations, PDIC was made to pay fraudulent deposit insurance claims amounting to P97.73 million.
The DoJ said the respondents made it appear they were the legitimate owners of the subject accounts with Legacy Banks, when in fact, they did not personally own them but were instead owned and controlled by the Gidwani couple.
The DoJ said some of the respondents were helpers and/or rank and file employees of Gidwani and his wife who obviously did not have the financial capacity to fund the hundreds of thousands of pesos deposited in their respective names with Legacy Banks.
The department said if the respondents had truthfully divulged to PDIC that the true and beneficial owner of the subject bank accounts was Manu Gidwani, PDIC would not have been duped into treating the subject bank accounts individually and separately, and would have only paid Gidwani P250,000 for each Legacy Bank involved. The maximum deposit insurance coverage at the time was P250,000 per depositor per bank.
PDIC said it was later discovered that the total amount of P97.73 million which PDIC paid to the respondents as deposit insurance was deposited to an account of spouses Gidwani in RCBC.
PDIC said the branch manager was included in the charges for allowing the deposit to a single account, the account of spouses Gidwani in RCBC, of the various “crossed checks” issued by the PDIC, despite PDIC’s specific instruction that the checks should be “for payees account only.”