Criminal Law

People of the Philippines vs Ernst Georg Holzer

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G.R. No. 132323 – 336 SCRA 319 – Criminal Law – Book 2 – Crimes Against Property – Elements of Estafa

Earnst Georg Holzer was accused of Estafa. Holzer borrowed P100k from Bernhard Forster. As security, he then issued a postdated check. Holzer informed Forster not to deposit the check yet for the money is yet to arrive from Switzerland. Forster was warned twice about this fact. However, Forster proceeded to deposit the check and the check was dishonored. Forster then filed a criminal case against Holzer. Holzer was eventually convicted and was sentenced to 24 years of imprisonment.

ISSUE: Whether or not Holzer is guilty.

HELD: No. The elements of estafa must be attendant before Holzer can be convicted.

The FIRST TWO elements,

a.) the offender has postdated an issued check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time of the postdating or issuance,

b.) at the time of post dating or issuance of said check, the offender has no funds in the bank or the funds deposited were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check, were present in this case.

HOWEVER, the THIRD element was not proven, that is, it was not proven that the payee (Forster) has been defrauded. The prosecution failed to prove that there was deceit on the part of Holzer. Further, Holzer cautioned Forster not to deposit said check due to insufficiency of funds. Hence, there is no estafa.

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