Swindled watch

Dear Atty. Joji Alonso,

Last month, my daughter was hospitalized and I needed a large amount of money. To help augment my finances, I decided to sell some of my watches. My best friend volunteered to sell it for me in exchange of a portion of the proceeds of the sale. It has been two months already and she hasn’t given me anything. She is also not answering my calls and messages.
What should I do?



Dear David,

In your case, this may be Estafa. Estafa or swindling is a crime of defrauding a person that may be committed in several ways or means. One manner of committing such crime, as mentioned under our criminal laws, is when it is done with unfaithfulness or abuse of confidence of a person as when a property is given or transferred to another who thereafter misappropriates it.

To be certain, Article 315 (1) (b) of our Revised Penal Code provides:

Any person who shall defraud another by any of the means mentioned herein below shall be punished by:

1st. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its minimum period, if the amount of the fraud is over 12,000 pesos but does not exceed 22,000 pesos; and if such amount exceeds the latter sum, the penalty provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum period, adding one year for each additional 10,000 pesos; but the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. x x x

1. With unfaithfulness or abuse of confidence, namely: x x x

(b) By misappropriating or converting, to the prejudice of another, money, goods or any other personal property received by the offender in trust, or on commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of, or to return the same, even though such obligation be totally or partially guaranteed by a bond; or by denying having received such money, goods, or other property; x x x

Hope this helps.

Atty. Joji Alonso

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