New Penalties for Estafa or Swindling Nicolas and De Vega Law Offices Image

Legal Basis

Republic Act No. 10951 is the law adjusting the amount or the value of property and damage on which a penalty is based, and the fines imposed under the Revised Penal Code. RA 10951 has amended the provisions under Act No. 3815, or otherwise known as the Revised Penal Code (“RPC”).

Swindling or Estafa

The penalty for Estafa is basically dependent on the value of the damage or prejudice caused by the perpetrator. RA 10951 increased the amount of fraud which is the basis of penalty and the fine imposed for the crime of Estafa under Article 315 of the RPC. Under this law, swindling or Estafa shall be punished as follows:

If the amount of the fraud does not exceed Forty thousand pesos (₱40,000), the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed. (2 months and 1 day to 6 months)

If the amount of the fraud is over Forty thousand pesos (₱40,000) but does not exceed One million two hundred thousand pesos (₱1,200,000), the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prisión correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed. (4 months and 1 day to 2 years and 4 months)

If the amount of the fraud is over One million two hundred thousand pesos (₱1,200,000) but does not exceed Two million four hundred thousand pesos (₱2,400,000), the penalty of prisión correccional in its minimum and medium periods shall be imposed. (6 months and 1 day to 4 years and 2 months)

If the amount of the fraud is over Two million four hundred thousand pesos (₱2,400,000) but does not exceed Four million four hundred thousand pesos (₱4,400,000), the penalty of prisión correccional in its maximum period to prisión mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed. (4 years, 2 months, and 1 day to 8 years)

If the amount of the fraud exceeds Four million four hundred thousand pesos (₱4,400,000), the penalty of prisión mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed, adding one year for each additional Two million pesos (₱2,000,000); but the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. (6 years and 1 day to 8 years)

However, any person who shall defraud another by means of false pretenses or fraudulent acts as defined under Article 315 paragraph 2(d) of the RPC, to wit:

“d) By postdating a check, or issuing a check in payment of an obligation when the offender had no funds in the bank, or his funds deposited therein were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check.”

This type of Estafa shall be punished by:

If the amount of the fraud does not exceed Forty thousand pesos (₱40,000), the penalty of prisión mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed. (6 years and 1 day to 8 years)

If the amount of the fraud is over Forty thousand pesos (₱40,000) but does not exceed One million two hundred thousand pesos (₱1,200,000), the penalty of prisión mayor in its medium period shall be imposed. (8 years and 1 day to 10 years)

If the amount of the fraud is over One million two hundred thousand pesos (₱1,200,000) but does not exceed Two million four hundred thousand pesos (₱2,400,000), the penalty of prisión mayor in its maximum period shall be imposed. (10 years and 1 day to 12 years)

If the amount of the fraud is over Two million four hundred thousand pesos (₱2,400,000) but does not exceed Four million four hundred thousand pesos (₱4,400,000), the penalty of reclusion temporal in its minimum and medium periods shall be imposed. (12 years and 1 day to 17 years and 4 months)

If the amount of fraud is over Four million four hundred thousand pesos (₱4,400,000) but does not exceed Eight million eight hundred thousand pesos (₱8,800,000), the penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period shall be imposed. (17 years and 4 months and 1 day to 20 years)

If the amount exceeds Eight million eight hundred thousand pesos (₱8,800,000), the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua.

The crime of Other Deceits under Article 318

The penalty of arresto mayor (1 month and 1 day to 6 months) and a fine of not less than the amount of the damage caused and not more than twice such amount shall be imposed upon any person who shall defraud or damage another by any other deceit not mentioned under Article 315-317.

Moreover, any person who, for profit or gain, shall interpret dreams, make forecasts, tell fortunes, or take advantage of the credulity of the public in any other similar manner, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor (1 month and 1 day to 6 months) or a fine not exceeding Forty thousand pesos (₱40,000).

About Nicolas and De Vega Law Offices

If you need assistance in civil or other criminal law-related issues,  we can help you. Nicolas and de Vega Law Offices is a full-service law firm in the Philippines.  You may visit us at the 16th Flr., Suite 1607 AIC Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, 1605 Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines.  You may also call us at +632 84706126, +632 84706130, +632 84016392 or e-mail us at [email protected]. Visit our website www.ndvlaw.com.

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