Elements of swindling

For a successful prosecution of the crime of swindling under Article 316, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code, the following essential elements of this crime must be established: 
(1) that the thing be immovable, such as a parcel of land or a building;  
(2) that the offender who is not the owner of said property should represent that he is the owner thereof; 
(3) that the offender should have executed an act of ownership, e.g., selling, leasing, encumbering, or mortgaging the property; and 
(4) that the act be made to the prejudice of the owner or a third person.[1]
The elements of other forms of swindling under Article 316, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code are as follows: 
(1) that the thing disposed of be real property
(2) that the offender knew that the real property was encumbered, whether the encumbrance is recorded or not; 
(3) that there must be express representation by the offender that the real property is free from encumbrance; and 
(4) that the act of disposing of the real property be made to the damage of another.[2]

[1] Luis B. Reyes, The Revised Penal Code (Book Two), 17th edition, 2008, p. 846.

[2]  See Llamas v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 149588, August 16, 2010.


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