MANILA – The Sandiganbayan has convicted a retired bank branch manager of fraud and graft charges for allegedly conniving with a former city accountant of Meycauayan City, Bulacan in altering checks issued by the city to contractors.
In its 42-page decision written by Associate Justice Sarah Jane Fernandez released on Friday, the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division found Alberto Victoria Reyes guilty of violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and, sentenced him to six to eight years in prison and to pay the government PHP2,006,218 representing the undue injury that it suffered; and to pay the costs.
In separate cases for seven counts of estafa arising from the acts committed by Reyes in 2007, the court likewise sentenced him to four to 10 years imprisonment for each count and a fine of PHP100,000 for each count.
Meanwhile, the anti-graft court also ordered the arrest of former Meycauayan City accountant Ma. Victoria Z. Atienza, who remains at large.
“In the meantime, let alias warrants for the arrest of accused Atienza be issued forthwith,” the court said.
Atienza and Reyes were accused of conspiring with each other on a check rediscounting scheme where Atienza would approve checks of the city which had been altered with a new payee and in excess of the true amount to be paid by the government to a contractor.
The check was “rediscounted” by the Philippine Business Bank branch where Reyes was the manager and confirmed he would sometimes get a share in the exchange for the rediscounting his bank allowed for the check.
Accused Reyes, assisted by counsel, pleaded not guilty to all the charges. (PNA)