A couple who owned a domestic ferrying service were sued for estafa before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court for allegedly misappropriating P5 million.
The amount was allegedly paid by one of the couple’s investors as additional capital for the business.
Charged with estafa were Capt. Cornelio Ampo and his wife, Dr. Sonia Ampo, owners of the C/S Ampo Shipping Lines and residents of Antipolo Hills, Langhaya, San Isidro, Antipolo.
Assistant City Prosecutor Arleen Tagaban found probable cause to indict the couple in court and recommended the filing of charges.
The complainant, Conrado Leal of 53 St. Jude Petersville Subdivision Camp 7, Kennon Road, Baguio City narrated in his complaint affidavit that in January 2009 the respondents told him that they wre the owners of a shipping firm that ferried passengers along the Caticlan-Boracay routes and other routes in the vicinity.
The respondents also allegedly represented to the complainant that they were looking for investors so that they would have additional capital to buy another 100- seater boat to augment their existing two boats.
On February 24, 2009, the complainant and the couple entered into a memorandum of agreement and the latter assured the former that the domestic ferry-shipping business was a good business environment.
Leal, on March 4, 2009, gave a P5-million check to the respondents in a restaurant in Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.
Since then, the respondents have never given him a copy of financial report of the ferry business, nor have given him the stipulated share in the profits on a monthly basis, Leal said.
Because of this, the complainant was forced to send them a notice of termination of the MOA and demanded the return of his investment including interest.
Records show that respondent Sonia later admitted to the complainant that they never used his investment to purchase a 100-seater boat.
Instead, the respondents used the money in their other business interests particularly in the “ro-ro” shipping business.
In their joint counter-affidavit, the couple denied that they mis-represented anything nor enticed the complainant to invest in their shipping business as they were not in urgent need of investors.
But in her three-page resolution, Tagaban explained that the respondents failed to comply with the conditions required in their agreement after they received the money of the complainant.
“Respondents could not provide statement of account as to where the money went. When respondents failed to return the money, they are deemed to have misappropriated and converted the money to their own personal use to the prejudice of the complainant,” the resolution stated.