Pacific plan holders sue Yuchengcos for estafa
Jan. 31, 2009
A group of plan holders of the failed pre-need firm Pacific Plans has filed a charge of syndicated estafa against the Yuchengcos, accusing them of failing to pay their obligations when they were still in control of the company.
Lawyer Zenaida Ongkiko-Acorda claimed the family had defrauded at least 34,000 plan holders “by inducing them to purchase open-ended educational plans based on their false pretense that they have the capability and the willingness to assume the risks inherent in contracts of this nature, which they now refuse to do.”
The respondents in the case filed yesterday before state prosecutors include Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco, Helen Yuchengco Dee, Alfonso S. Yuchengco III, and Yvonne S. Yuchengco.
BusinessWorld tried but failed to get the Yuchengcos or their representatives for comment.
Plan holders claim Pacific Plans was not suffering from liquidity problems when it entered into corporate rehabilitation in 2005. Ms. Acorda noted that the Court of Appeals even reversed the rehabilitation blueprint that had been approved by a lower court.
She claimed that no less than the Securities and Exchange Commission had declared that Pacific Plans could meet its obligations, through current funds, until 2014.
The last straw, according to the president of the Parents Enabling Parents or PEP Coalition, Philip Piccio, came when the Yuchengcos sold Pacific Plans to GPL Holdings, Inc. early this month.
“After they had bandied the Yuchengco name to persuade the general public to buy their educational plans, they now conveniently exit the picture when their scheme was consummated. By profiting P250 million from the sale of their shares … the Yuchengcos have erased all doubts that they had intended all along to enrich themselves from this scam,” he said.
The group is hoping that the new owners will make good on their obligations to policyholders. The parties will hold a dialogue on Tuesday. — I.P. Pedrasa
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