Swindling by Syndicate, PD 1689: Explainer

1. Crime

Swindling by a syndicate: Swindling (estafa) by syndicate is committed by a syndicate consisting of five or more persons formed with the intention of carrying out the unlawful or illegal act, transaction, enterprise or scheme, and the defraudation results in the misappropriation of money contributed by stockholders, or members of rural banks, cooperative, “samahang nayon(s)”, or farmers association, or of funds solicited by corporations/associations from the general public. (Section 1, P.D. 1689)

a. Higher penalty

Any person or persons who shall commit, by a syndicate, estafa or other forms of swindling as defined in Article 315 and 316 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall be punished by life imprisonment to death (Ibid.)

When not a syndicate: When not committed by a syndicate as above defined, the penalty imposable shall be reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua if the amount of the fraud exceeds 100,000 pesos. (Paragraph 2, Section 1, Ibid.)

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