L.A. Court’s Order Freezes $812,000 in Marcos Assets
The Philippine government has won a court order freezing an estimated $812,000 in assets held for Imelda Marcos in a Los Angeles bank, claiming that it has evidence that deposed Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos has secreted at least $1.5 billion in Swiss bank accounts under assumed names.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jack Newman, in ruling Tuesday, said the government has made an “overwhelming showing” that Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos could not have amassed the cash and jewels they carried with them on their flight from the Philippines on Marcos’ $5,600-a-year government salary. He ordered the assets held in Lloyd’s Bank here frozen, pending determination of ownership.
Attorney Jose Y. Lauchengco Jr., representing the government commission that is seeking to recover money “purloined” by the deposed president and his wife, said the action was the first of what will be several attempts to recover assets held by Marcos and his wife here.
Tuesday’s order affects two accounts in Imelda Marcos’ name, containing $675,000 in U.S. treasury bills--valued at $700,000 on maturity--and $112,922 in cash from previously matured investments.
“I’m satisfied you’ve made an overwhelming showing that the Marcoses could not have amassed the money and property they brought with them to Hawaii, much less the real property it appears they own in New York and other places, through the income they reported, no matter how skillful they were in investing that,” Newman said.
Lloyd’s Bank did not support or oppose the Philippine government’s request, but said it would comply with the court order, first issued May 21 on a temporary basis. The current order remains in effect until a trial is set, probably sometime in the next year.
“Even if they saved every penny” of their government salaries between 1965 and 1984, Lauchengco argued, the couple would have accumulated only about $356,878--far short of the billions of dollars which the Philippines’ Presidential Commission on Good Government claims it already has traced to the couple’s bank accounts and property holdings throughout the world.
Marcos had no representatives in court.