Image Courtesy of philamessenger.com

[box type=”default” size=”large”] Convict Reodica is a summa cum laude graduate of UE [/box]
CHICAGO – A Filipino-American businessman was sentenced last May 16 by a California court to a prison term of more than 10 years, supervised the release of three years and restitution of $29.7 million.

Former car dealer Eminiano Abrian Reodica had earlier pleaded guilty to 26 of 51 counts of bank fraud and making false statements in applications for credit.

It was alleged that Reodica wired $500,000 to the Philippines and wrote $250,000 check and transferred millions in assets to his then-wife Hilda Roque Hilao and signed a marital termination agreement absolving his then-wife of debts and liabilities resulting in the collapse of his company, GWG.

Reodica fled to Australia before the Philippines and the United States entered into an extradition treaty in 1996. He had numerous pending civil suits and criminal investigations when he left Australia.

He was on his way to Canada when he was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in 2012. His fingerprints registered hits in the United States database as he had then assumed a new name – Roberto A. Coscolluela, Jr.

His fingerprints revealed his true identity.

Although probation officers recommended to Judge S. James Otero of the U.S. District Court in Central District California in Los Angeles that Reodica, alias Coscolluela, be sentenced to the low end of 36 to 46 months, which could have set him free due to time already served, the prosecution recommended the high end of 121 months in prison, noting that Reodica has never expressed remorse and that even inside prison, he continued “to defraud unwitting victims in Australia.”

Reodica, 72, a native of Pagsanjan, Laguna, Philippines, will be 77 years old when he is released from prison in five years as he had already been in prison in the last five years.

A summa cum laude graduate in business administration from the University of the East in the Philippines, Reodica is a “person with substantial gifts,” who exhibited keen business and marketing skills as he built Grand Wilshire Chevrolet from a single storefront to the third largest car dealership in the U.S. But he had a “troubling predilection to using his skills to engage in criminal conduct.”

Atty. Amado D. Valdez, chairman of the Philippine Social Security System, confirmed to this reporter some two years ago that Reodica was indeed a summa cum laude graduate of U.E. Valdez was a dean of U.E. College of Law at that time.

Reodica had “$50 in his pocket” when he arrived in Chicago, Illinois on November 1971, together with his wife Hilda Roque Hilao. He “bought suits and ties from Salvation Army,” was hired as a “showroom greeter” and later became district manger of GM’s Los Angeles zone, the largest new-car market in the world. He became U.S. citizen in 1975.

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Joseph is a former reporter of the Manila Bulletin, former president of the Rizal-Metro Manila Reporters Association and former president of the Chicago chapter of the National Press Club of the Philippines. A native of Sorsogon, Philippines, he and his family now live in Chicago. A prolific reporter, Lariosa writes a column and news stories for the Filipino Star News and other Filipino community newspapers in the US as well as for GMA News and the Manila Bulletin.


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