Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pacquiao swindled?

LAPD widens inquiry into swindling of Pacquiao

By Inquirer Sports Staff
Philippine Daily Inquirer

What was initially perceived as a simple case of embezzlement involving Manny Pacquiao’s dollar account in a Los Angeles bank may lead to a web of fraudulent acts.

The Los Angeles Police Department has reportedly started a deeper inquiry into the loss of about $180,000 (about P7.2 million) from Pacquiao’s account in Wells Fargo bank on Sunset Boulevard.

An LAPD source said more people would be questioned about the fraudulent withdrawals.
Pacquiao’s dollar deposit dwindled after a series of withdrawals made by “a suspect or suspects” using the Filipino ring superstar’s forged signatures.

This developed even as a Team Pacquiao insider revealed that the bank has offered to refund to Pacquiao the amount siphoned off his $200,000 deposit.

The world’s former Fighter of the Year deposited the amount in December 2006.
Tapped to head the investigation by the Anti Fraud Unit is former cager Francois Wise, a burly LAPD officer from the Wilshire division.

Wise, a 6-foot-6 240-pound bruiser, is a former All-American and Philippine Basketball Association import, having played for U-Tex in 1981-82, Tanduay (1983), Manila Beer (1985) and Hills Brothers (1987).

Arum man coordinates with Wise

Coordinating with the LAPD investigators in behalf of Pacquiao is Canadian Michael Koncz, a Pacquiao adviser and one of Top Rank head Bob Arum’s trusted men.

According to reports, only about $19,000 was left of Pacquiao’s deposit when the fraudulent withdrawals -- made by a certain Pia Quijada, said to be the second wife of Pacquiao’s driver Joseph Jose -- were uncovered on Thursday last week.

Pacquiao was “both very angry and sad” when told about the crime, the insider said.
Koncz learned about the withdrawals when Vilma Rodriguez, the assistant vice president of the Wells Fargo branch in Hollywood, asked him whether Pacquiao still remembered that he had an account with the bank.

Pacquiao lost track of account

Apparently, Pacquiao had lost track of the deposit, which he opened in the company of Jose and Quijada using the couple’s Los Angeles address.

Pacquiao is training at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles for his March 15 rematch with World Boxing Council super featherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas.
When the police started their investigation Friday, the source said Quijada begged forgiveness from Pacquiao’s wife Jingkee, who returned to the country from Los Angeles on Feb. 6 and confirmed the illegal transactions.

Jose also sent a text message to Pacquiao and made a similar plea.

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