The Makati Prosecutor’s Office has recommended the indictment of a retired ad executive for estafa.
In a resolution dated Oct. 3, 2018 but only obtained this week, Assistant City Prosecutor Cherrylin Go-Ortiz said that based on the complaint filed by FCB Manila Inc., there is probable cause to indict Arnold C. Liong for estafa under the Revised Penal Code for false pretenses, fraudulent acts and machinations that have financially damaged FCB.
Case records showed that on Sept. 1, 2011, Liong was hired as a consultant with the title of president and CEO to handle the overall operational management of FCB.
According to the complaint, Liong requested 55 expense reimbursements totaling P2.81 million for 2015 and made it appear that the expenses were business-related and used for the advertising business of FCB. Liong, as president and CEO, also approved the 55 check vouchers that disbursed funds to cover his expense reimbursements.
In his response, Liong asserted that the amounts disbursed to him are his and thus, not subject to liquidation or return. In his rejoinder affidavit, Liong claimed that the amounts were not liquidated advances but reimbursements for various costs and expenses incurred on behalf of the company.
However, an internal audit showed that the receipts submitted by the respondent covered “personal items and imaginary transactions,” the complaint said,
As a result of the pretenses and schemes, Liong was able to cause the release of FCB funds and amass for himself money amounting to at least P6.72 million, with various receipts showing that on 55 occasions, Liong requested payment of reimbursements that had no relation with FCB business.
“False pretense and deceit [were] employed by Liong prior to or simultaneous with the actual defraudation of complainant FCB. The accounting department of FCB would not have released company funds in favor of Liong had it not been for the latter’s misrepresentation that the funds to be disbursed, reimbursed and then released were to be used in relation with the business of FCB and in connection to the duties of Liong as president and CEO,” the prosecutor said.
“Liong presented various receipts and approved the release of funds pertaining to transactions which obviously did not inure to the benefit of FCB, thus giving him a semblance of authority in the disbursement of funds. Consequently, FCB took as gospel truth Liong’s false pretenses and was misled and swayed to release funds to the latter,” the resolution read.
“Undoubtedly, Liong’s act of misrepresenting that his expenses were business-related and in connection with the performance of his functions as president and CEO of FCB in order to obtain company funds speaks strongly of fraud and deceit,” the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office ruled.