A 57-year-old Filipina who tried to deposit a fake US$2-billion check at a bank in Hong Kong has been jailed for 2 years and 6 months.
District Court Judge Charles Chan said on Monday the gravity of the offense was linked to the amount on the check that defendant Elena S. Orosa attempted to deposit.
He rejected the defense’s claim that Orosa was not aware that the check was forged and that she had no intention to cash it. He was also not convinced that other people were involved in the case as the defendant alleged, sunwebhk.com reported.
The judge said he did not believe the fake cashier’s check was brought to Hong Kong by Orosa’s friend Veronica Yambao, who accompanied her to the Hang Seng Bank branch on Hankow Road in Tsim Sha Tsui to make the deposit on October 18 last year.
The two were arrested when bank staff who received the check noticed it was a forgery. But the charge against Yambao was dropped, while Orosa was allowed to post bail after being held in custody for about three weeks.
The judge said the offense of “using a false instrument’ carries a maximum sentence of up to 14 years in jail. Citing the sum of money involved and the international element in Orosa’s case, Chan said an appropriate sentence was 2 years and 6 months.
The defense lawyer said he had yet to get advice from the defendant on whether to appeal the case.