By Jeffrey Damicog
The Department of Justice (DOJ) began Thursday its preliminary investigation against a couple and 34 others who are allegedly involved in a P900-million bitcoin scam.
Assistant State Prosecutor Charlie Guhit conducted the first hearing today of the preliminary investigation over the criminal complaint filed against Arnel Ordonio, 26, his wife Leonady, 25, and their 34 co-respondents.
Under the complaint filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), all 36 respondents are accused of syndicated estafa under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code (PRC) in relation to Presidential Decree 1689.
Of the respondents named in the case, only 10 were able to submit their counter-affidavits Thursday.
The next hearing for the preliminary investigation is set on May 24.
The couple was arrested last April 4 in Ilocos Sur during an entrapment operation following complaints made by 28 complainants.
The Ordonios allegedly lured their victims to invest in their bogus company NewG Bitcoin.
They allegedly promised their victims a 30 percent return on investments with payouts every 15 days.
Police said that the company failed to give their promised payments.
Investigators also found that the company is not registered as a company or as partnership.