• Brandy heirs battle over $320,000 investment

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    HEIRS of once-popular Vos Brandy estate are locked in a legal tussle over their $320,000 investment.

    Prudencio Lim Jr., president and general manager of La Fuerza Inc. (LFI) filed charges of estafa and qualified theft against his own sister whom he accused of defrauding the family corporation of $320,000.

    Lim charged his sister Mary Jane Lim-Yu, director and former corporate secretary for withdrawing such amount from an investment bank and her failure to account for it so far.

    In his complaint filed before the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office, Lim said the case does not  prejudice the filing of similar legal action  against other individuals  including lawyers who participated in the taking of the funds.

    LFI made the investment in 2005 at the Citibank N.A. in Makati. In July 2007, Yu terminated the plan, which would mature on January 31, 2012.

    Lim claimed that Yu, without authority from the LFI Board, prematurely terminated the investment and took the $302,144 proceeds but has not remitted it to the company despite a demand letter dated August 31, 2012.

    LFI was involved in distillery when it was incorporated in the 1950s and was famous for distilling Vos Brandy and Siok Tong liquor brand names.  Later, the firm diversified into real estate and investment.

    The complainant said he took a more active role in the family corporation in 2006. Lim said he was authorized by his father to be his “representative and official spokesman on all banking transactions pertaining to all bank accounts and transactions.”

    On May 25, 2006, the Citibank N.A. account name was transferred to Prudencio Lim Jr. and/or Mary Jane Yu from Prudencio Lim Sr. and/or Mary Jane Yu  and/or Prudencio Lim Jr.

    The young Lim was named general manager on January 31, 2007.

    According to Lim, “Yu converted and misappropriated and /or stole the funds she obtained from Citibank N.A.”

    Around the time of investment, Lim said the company uncovered anomalies perpetrated by Yu such as falsifying corporate documents, entering into transactions without authority and misappropriating and converting funds.

    He added Yu coerced their brother Edward into fabricating minutes of board meeting supposedly held on March 11, 2006 where she was elected corporate secretary.

    He said Yu falsified a secretary’s certificate stating that a board meeting was held on June 1, 2006 authorizing her to be the signatory in the company’s bank transactions.

    The respondent also took the P800,000 proceeds from a check cashed by LFI personnel for the corporation and another P60,000 intended for corporate use, he added.

    As a result of the anomalies uncovered, the LFI Board removed Yu as corporate secretary on January 31, 2007.

    To preempt further actions, Yu terminated the LFI investment in July 2007 incurring substantial loss to the company.

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