Accused represents self as having influence to deceive victim into parting with his money

The ineludible conclusion is that petitioner received the money with no intention of facilitating the release of the container vans and the car. Obviously, her representation that she possessed influence was actually false and was resorted to by her to deceive and inveigle the naive complainant into parting with his money. In estafa by means of deceit under subdivision 2(a) of Article 315, the pretense of the accused that he possesses power or influence is false. Private complainants testimony cannot be discredited merely because he initially admitted that the money would be used for obtaining used engines, but later on claimed that said money would be used to pay storage and demurrage fees. Petitioner herself admitted that she had convinced the offended party to provide money to secure the delivery of 832 pieces of used gasoline engines and spare parts contained in one van. When this agreement fell through, private complainant, by petitioners fraudulent pretensions of alleged possession of power and influence over the government authorities, was again persuaded to part with the additional sums of P100,000.00, P140,000.00 and P175,000.00 on different occasions, in addition to the P300,000.00 he had earlier advanced. The amount defrauded totalled P715,000.00, supposedly used in payment of storage and demurrage fees of the five (5) container vans and one (1) Mercedes Benz car. From the above narration, we are fully convinced that both the fraudulent design utilized by the petitioner, as well as the offense itself, had been proven beyond reasonable doubt. The act committed by petitioner constitutes the crime of estafa defined and punished under Article 315, par. 2 (a) of the Revised Penal Code. [G.R. No. 105213. December 4, 1996]