THE Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed the guilty verdict for estafa meted by the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) against pyramiding queen Rosario Baladjay.
In a 20-page decision penned by Associate Justice Marlene Gonzales-Sison and concurred in by Associate Justices Remedios Salazar-Fernando and Ramon Cruz, the CA’s Second Division denied Baladjay’s appeal.
“[T]he decision of the [RTC of Makati City, Branch 141] finding appellant guilty of estafa under Art. 315, par. 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code is affirmed,” the ruling stated.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by one Rosie Luansing who was enticed by a colleague, Rebecca Gallur, to invest in Multinational Telecoms Investors Corp. (Multitel), a company owned by Baladjay, in 2001.
The RTC convicted Baladjay for the same, while co-accused Gloria Taniajura and Karen Rubio remain at large.
Taniajura and Rubio’s case was archived and is to be reinstated upon their arrest.
Baladjay was sentenced to suffer a penalty of 10 to 16 years’ imprisonment, and ordered to indemnify the complainant the amount of P1 million representing the money fraudulently obtained from her by the accused, P50,000 as moral damages and P50,000 as exemplary damages.
This prompted Baladjay to elevate her case to the appellate court.