Several directors of Professional Services Inc., the management firm of The Medical City, including board chairman Jose Xavier Gonzales, Australian national Martin Eric Robinson and Singaporean Parvesh Ashok Fabiani, face criminal indictments for estafa related to alleged fraudulent acquisitions of the company’s stock going back to 2013.
The indictments were filed by the Office of the City Prosecutor of Pasig City against the individual directors of New Regency Corp., Fountel Corp. and Felicitas Antoinette Inc., companies owned by Gonzales, as well representatives of Singapore firm Viva Holdings, an affiliate of the Clermont Group.
Gonzales, together with five of his co-defendants, was arraigned recently at the Pasig City Regional Trial Court and was released on bail. Arraignment of the remaining two Philippine defendants is scheduled for March as one is in poor health and the other is currently out of the country.
Robinson and Fabiani are based in Singapore.
Criminal charge documents state that “it is apparent that all the elements of the crime of estafa by means of deceit are present.” The defendants, “conspiring and federating with each other and all of them mutually helping and aiding one another, under a common design of scheme, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously defrauded” the complainants, the complaints stated.
The criminal indictment for estafa alleged that Gonzales and the others charged “acting together and in concert, devised a fraudulent and nefarious scheme to gain control of Professional Services Inc.”
Having examined the evidence on record, the Pasig City OCP concluded that “there is reasonable ground to believe that the crime has been committed and that the accused are probably guilty thereof.”
The indictment comes on the heels of a recent order by the Securities and Exchange Commission charging Gonzales and his group with violations of the Securities Regulation Code.
According to the SEC, Gonzales’ Fountel Group and Singapore-based Viva Holdings “misrepresented their independence from each other to effectively subscribe to substantial shares in PSI and eventually acquired majority shares in the target company to the prejudice of the unsuspecting stockholders whose share value and voting power have declined.”
The SEC alleged that the group “entered into a funding scheme” where foreign funds were improperly channeled from Viva Holdings to Gonzales’ companies to gain control of PSI.
The SEC charged Gonzales’ group and his Singaporean partners with violating provisions of the SRC which prohibit fraudulent, manipulative and deceptive acts or practices in connection with share acquisitions.