Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Extradited Filipina faces embezzlement charges

LOS ANGELES—A Filipina will be extradited to the Philippines this Saturday, March 28, after five years on the run.

After stalling her first extradition last year when she filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, Girlie Jimenez Lingad of Olongapo City, will finally be sent back home after the court denied her appeal, said Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Special Investigator James Calleja.

Calleja and NBI agent Yehlen Agus were sent by the NBI and the Department of Justice in the Philippines to Los Angeles earlier this week to escort Lingad back to Manila to face charges. US Marshals arrested Lingad two years ago. She has since been detained in a federal prison in San Diego.

Lingad, 37, is accused of allegedly embezzling more than P75 million ($2 million) from her former employer, the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) in the Philippines.

Lingad has been living in San Diego for the past three years. She fled from the Philippines to the US in 2004 before UCPB authorities could file criminal charges against her for theft.

"The UCPB is glad that Lingad will finally be sent back home to face charges," said Los Angeles Attorney Morel Callueng, who was hired by UCPB to oversee legal paperwork in the US.

"She’s been on the run for more than five years, have stalled the original extradition but now she’ll be facing the criminal charges against her."

NBI Agents were here last December to extradite Lingad. However, Lingad’s attorney’s filed a last minute appeal with the Ninth Circuit. The appeal was denied in February and NBI agents have 60 days to extradite Lingad.

Upon her arrival to the Philippines, Lingad will be charged with falsification of documents and 25 counts of qualified theft.

If convicted, she faces 20 to 40 years in jail for each count. (Joseph Pimentel)


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