Early last week CalvinAyre.com was tipped off on the impending charges against former Bodog Asia figurehead Robert Gustafsson and a group of associates.
The trio of Gustafsson, Sylvia De Guzman and Sherwin Quiambao, along with their cronies are being investigated for a litany of crimes ranging from estafa (swindling), fraud, extortion, embezzlement, forging documents, uttering threats, filing false criminal actions, corruption of a public official, using corrupt officials to plant narcotics, frustrated bank robbery, the attempted theft of companies and real estate with forged documents, theft of intellectual property and auto-theft.
Today a Bodog Brand spokesperson was willing to go on the record concerning the criminal accusations against a number of former employees.
Where does the investigation stand right now?
“The first charges should be laid in the next day or two. Mr. Robert Gustafsson, Ms. Sylvia De Guzman and Mr. Sherwin Quiambao will be named in the first set of charges because there is more than enough evidence for a conviction. More charges will follow as our legal team and the authorities sort through all of the evidence.”
Gustafsson was fired in April, what was the time frame of the alleged crimes?
“It had been going on for a couple of years but it appears as though Gustafsson was using De Guzman, Quiambao and some others to make one last big score. Thankfully they were stopped before it could happen.”
Can you speculate or comment on how much the group is said to have embezzled?
“We have forensic accountants going through the records now so I can’t give a final total but I can say, over the course of the couple of years while Gustafsson was in charge, it’s the sort of amount that would have very serious criminal ramifications. Obviously, in the scheme of a business the size of Bodog its not damaging but it is always a concern when people in a position of authority veer into criminal embezzlement.”
Embezzlement can have a serious effect on a companies bottom line and brand reputation, how have the alleged actions of Gustafsson, De Guzman and Quiambao affected Bodog Asia’s reputation and their bottom line?
“Business is very good right now and Bodog is continually expanding our business and growing our player base so overall their actions haven’t caused any operational trouble. It was not actually even noticed but we feel we need to prosecute as aggressively as we can as a matter of principle.
It’s important to remember that we weren’t the only company targeted by this group but because of the strength of the Bodog’s brand, we felt it was important to get this out into the light.
Rumors of internal improprieties can do more long-term damage to a brand than the actual improprieties themselves. That’s why it’s important that we are addressing this now and we are prosecuting all those involved to the fullest extent of the law.”