IT technician found guilty of defrauding firm of P130,000
MANILA, Philippines — A Quezon City court sentenced an information technology (IT) technician to up to 20 years in jail after finding him guilty of defrauding his employer of over P130,000 cash five years ago.
Engelbert Carrancho tried to absolve himself from the estafa charge by submitting and passing off as valid an employment clearance, with signatures he digitally copied from other documents signed by Kireli Trading officers, claiming that its original had been lost at the height of typhoon “Ondoy.”
But Quezon City regional trial court branch 221 assisting judge Genie Gapas-Agbada ruled that the court could not give credence to the document because the signatures were mere “scanned copies” from existing office files.
Agbada convicted Carrancho of estafa after the accused, himself, wrote a January, 2009 memorandum to the management of Kireli Trading acknowledging the receipt of the money and admitting to having used the amount for his financial problem.
The judge sentenced the IT technician from a minimum four years and two months of prision correccional to a maximum 20 years of reclusion temporal and ordered him to pay his former employer P132,300 plus 12 percent per annum.
Based on the information against Carrancho, he defrauded in December 2008, Kireli Trading of the sum of money which had been intended for the purchase of the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or IP phones, dialers, wireless landline phone units, and wireless speaker amplifiers for company use.
According to court records, the IT technician, after failing to buy the items with the sum, sent a January 20, 2009 memorandum to Kireli Trading certifying that he received P70,000 on December 13, 2008 for the purchase of the IP phones. “But I have a financial problem, I use (sic) the said amount for my financial problem,” he said, and expressed willingness to return the money to Kireli Trading owner Francis Raymond Manlulu every payday.
However, Carrancho failed to reimburse the money despite demands made by the company prompting it to file a complaint in the city prosecutor’s office. In response Carrancho attached a January 30, 2009 clearance from his debt, purportedly issued by Kireli Trading, to his counter-affidavit.
But Kireli Trading denied the payment and authenticity of the January 30, 2009 clearance and said that the signatures were scanned copies of those of its officers from the company’s existing files and the suit was filed in court.
In her five-page decision, Agbada said that the prosecution was able to establish Carrancho’s guilt for estafa beyond reasonable doubt.
The judge pointed out that the accused provided the damning evidence himself through his letter admitting to misappropriating for his personal use the P132,300 entrusted to him by Kireli Trading.
In rejecting the documents presented by the accused to show that he was cleared by the Kireli Trading of any liability, Agbada said, “The defense failed to present the original copy of the document and also failed to present anyone of the signatory to the document. Surely the said document is bereft of any probative value.”
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