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Pyramid queen’s sentence upheld

The Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of pyramid queen Rosario Baladjay.

The CA denied the petition of Baladjay and upheld the findings of the Makati City Regional Trial Court that Baladjay is guilty of the crime of estafa.

In a 70-page ruling penned by Associate Justice Amy Lazaro-Javier, the CA 9th Division gave credence to the findings of the Makati City RTC on March 4, 2014 but with some modifications.

The CA said that “In Criminal Case No. 03-1958, appellant Baladjay is sentenced to an indeterminate imprisonment of four years and one month to 15 years.”

“In Criminal Case Nos. 03-1958, 03-3572, 07-2673 to 74, appellant’s civil liability shall earn legal interest at six percent per annum until the obligation is fully paid, conformably with BSP-MB Circular No. 799, Series of 2013,” the CA added.

In the original ruling of the RTC, it imposed an imprisonment of six years and one day to 20 years. This was lowered by the CA under Criminal Case No. 03-1958.

The rest of the ruling of the RTC was upheld by the CA which includes the order to restitute private complainants Manuel Alzona the amount of R100,000 and Norberta Mangibin the amount of R270,000, an imprisonment of 10 years to 20 years under Criminal Case No. 03-3572, another 10-20 years jail under Criminal Case No. 07-2673, and also 10-20 years imprisonment under Criminal Case No. 07-2674.

Records of the case showed the complainants invested with Baladjay’s Multitel but it failed to keep its promise to deposit the interest. Likewise, their investments were never returned, prompting them to file their complaints before the RTC to recover their investments.

The RTC found Baladjay guilty for several counts of the crime of estafa. She sought redress before the CA. (PNA)