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HomeFront PageBreaking NewsCourt finds KAPA founder, 2 others guilty of syndicated estafa

Court finds KAPA founder, 2 others guilty of syndicated estafa

By JOEL ESCOL, MDN Managing Editor

Leaders of Kapa Community Ministry International, Inc. (KAPA), identified as orchestrators of the largest investment scam in Philippine history, have been handed life imprisonment for syndicated estafa. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) spearheaded the case against KAPA, exposing its illicit investment activities. In a ruling on December 12, Branch 33 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Butuan City found Joel Apolinario, Cristobal R. Baradad, and Joji A. Jusay guilty of eight counts of syndicated estafa under Article 315(2)(a) of the Revised Penal Code and Presidential Decree No. 1689.

Apolinario, known as Pastor Joel, served as the founder and president of KAPA, with Baradad and Jusay as incorporators. The trio received life imprisonment sentences and were ordered to pay P195,000 in actual damages to the complainants. The court determined that the accused engaged in false pretenses, misrepresenting their authorization from the SEC for a profit-making venture. The prosecution, led by Assistant City Prosecutor Claudine L. Calo and City Prosecutor Aljay O. Go, established all elements of estafa in the case.

KAPA enticed investors with a false promise of a 30% monthly interest for life, resulting in financial losses for those who invested. The court concurred with the SEC’s finding that KAPA’s solicitation activities resembled a Ponzi scheme. The decision, handed down approximately six years after the SEC’s initial discovery, revealed that KAPA lured the public to invest P10,000 under the guise of a donation, promising a perpetual 30% monthly return.

The court emphasized the Ponzi-like nature of KAPA’s operation, aligning with a Supreme Court ruling in a similar case. The decision also highlighted violations of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC), stressing the need for securities to be registered with the SEC. The SEC had issued warnings and a cease and desist order against KAPA as early as March 2017, culminating in the revocation of KAPA’s certificate of incorporation on April 3, 2019.

In collaboration with the Anti-Money Laundering Council, the SEC secured a Freeze Order from the Court of Appeals on June 4, 2019, aiming to safeguard assets linked to KAPA. The SEC continued to caution the public against misinformation spread by certain KAPA supporters regarding the group’s alleged revival.

Joel Escol
Joel Escolhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK_sKdGFs0ewIh9R-iAskDg
Joel Calamba Escol is a journalist in the Philippines for more than 20 years. Currently, he is the Managing Editor of Mindanao Daily News, the biggest and most-widely read newspaper in Southern Philippines. He is also known as Noypi Vlogger in Youtube. You can follow him on the following social networking sites below.

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