May 20, 2024

Obligate Law

Professional Law Makers

What Is Estafa?

2 min read
What Is Estafa?

Sham, abuse of trust and confidence, serious dishonesty – all these words describe Estafa, a crime commonly committed here in the Philippines.

There is Estafa when one person is damaged by another person who either tricked another into believing a false pretense, or abused the trust and confidence that was reposed on him. In either case, the victim parts with his property or money which the offender eventually gains for himself.

What is the Penalty for Estafa?
In any crime, there should always be a corresponding penalty, in the case of estafa, the penalty is imprisonment. In Estafa, the severity of the penalty depends on the value of property or amount of money taken by the offender from the victim. Generally, as long as there is damage to another caused by deceit or abuse of confidence, whatever amount was obtained, Estafa is committed; but the most severe penalty is given if the amount involved is over P12, 000.00.

How may Estafa be committed?
Estafa may be committed by abuse of confidence. It is usual in any relationship that one of the parties reposes trust and confidence in the other. Usually, in this case, the offender is under an obligation to hold the victim’s property in trust for the victim and the offender is responsible for delivering or returning the same property back to the victim. Estafa may be committed if the offender, instead of returning or delivering the same, misappropriates or converts the property. This means that the offender uses the property as if it was his own, or uses the property in a manner different from what had been previously agreed upon.

Estafa may also be committed by deceit. Under this manner, Estafa is committed when the offender uses false pretenses to make the victim believe that the offender has the qualifications, power or influenceto do something, and the victim, relying on such pretenses, parts with his property or money. Again, in both manners, the victim suffers damage, which value can be computed.

Where to file a case of Estafa?
Estafa, generally, has two essential elements. First element is deceit, or abuse of confidence; and the second element is damage. Estafa is one of those crimes considered as ‘transitory” or continuing crime. This only means that it may be filed in any court where any of its essential elements were committed.

Thus, if deception or abuse of confidence was made in Manila and damage was caused in Makati, then the case may be filed either in Manila or in Makati.

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