PSE pushes for audit as P700-M white collar scandal hits R&L Investments
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) urged investment houses to conduct thorough internal audits, as a trusted worker who got addicted to gambling stole millions of pesos in one of the country's oldest stock brokerage firms.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer first broke the news that an employee of R&L Investments stole over P700 million worth of its inventory of stocks by forging documents and transferring shares to another account.
The Inquirer report detailed that Marlo Moron, R&L's settlement clerk and employee in charge of preparing daily stock position reports for the owners, transferred shares to another account under the name of Julieta Sulapas with another stockbroker, Venture Securities.
It started off as small amounts 8 years ago, where 3% was paid to Sulapas' account with UnionBank and the balance was transferred back to Moron.
Moron then used up the funds to fuel his gambling addiction.
The scam was only discovered just before November this year, when R&L was short of P3 million worth of stocks at the end of the trading day. The company had to cover its shortfall for that day. After a more thorough audit, the firm discovered that almost all of its inventory was wiped out.
In an interview with ANC, PSE Director Alejandro Yu said other brokerage firms must ensure that no same case exists within their organizations.
"We encourage all brokers, everybody downstairs [on the trading floor], up in their offices, to immediately do an internal audit and check again shares," Yu said.
"Each and every account must tally [and] each and every account must have exactly the same amount of shares as reflected on both ends.... We have to practice stricter controls on each trade that comes in and make sure that all trades pass through," he added.
Yu confirmed reports that owners of R&L committed to compensate all affected investors, even going as far as selling personal assets.
Investors who want to opt out will be compensated according to the stock value last October 31.
Moron is currently under police custody. R&L will shut down after 50 years of operations. – Rappler.com