NBI arrests 6 persons for ‘investment scam’

Published May 26, 2022, 9:25 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

National Bureau of Investigation (2)

Six persons have been arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Quezon City for alleged involvement in an investment scam.

In a statement, the NBI said its agents from the Anti-Organized and Transnational Crime Division (NBI-AOTCD) arrested the six officers of the 17 Global Corporation last May 20.

Those arrested were identified by the NBI as 17 Global President and Chief Executive Officer Florentina I. Sapala, Vice President for Sales for Luzon Alvin M. Soriano, Vice President for Sales for Mindanao Alexander B. Duran, Vice President for Marketing Christian M. Sales, Assistant Finance Manager Jane M. Vergacer, and mentor Wilfredo Pogoso.

“On May 21, 2022, the Subjects were presented for Inquest proceedings before the Prosecutor’s Office of Quezon City for violation of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) in relation to Section 1 of Presidential Decree 1689 (Syndicated Estafa); Violation of Section 11(a) and (k) of Republic Act 3720 as amended by RA 9711 (Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009) in relation to Section 6 of RA 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012); and Violation of Section 8.1 of RA 8799 (Securities Regulation Code of the Philippines) in relation to Section 6 of R.A. 10175,” the NBI said.

It said it acted on an information that “I7 Global is into selling and offering for sale investment securities to the public without license from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).”

An undercover agent of the NBI-AOTCD learned that 17 Global is engaged in the selling of health products registered with the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), it said.

It also said that the undercover agent was also offered by 17 Global a “Share Subscription” investment opportunity for P1 million wherein “he would earn one percent every six months of the company’s gross sales.”

“Verification made by the agents of NBI-AOTCD with the FDA revealed that the health products being distributed by I7 Global are not registered with the FDA and that the company I7 Global Corp. does not have any record with them as duly licensed food establishment,” the NBI said.

“Certification issued by the SEC showed that I7 Global has not been issued any license to act as an Investment Company and that SEC certified that Florentina I. Sapala, Ramonito M. Cordova, Alvin Soriano, and Alexander B. Duran along with other officers of I7 Global have not been issued Certificates of Registration or Licenses as capital market professionals,” it said.

With the verified information from the two government agencies, the NBI said it contacted 17 Global for the payment of P3 million in investment.

“After handing over the marked money, the undercover agents gave the pre-arranged signal to the waiting operatives. The operatives then immediately swooped inside the premises and arrested the six (6) Subjects,” it added.