MILPITAS, CA — Kabababayans say they’ve lost hard earned money because of a fellow Filipina and long-time concert producer Elaine Crisostomo, owner of Entablado Productions.
They are just some of at least two dozen people who have banded together to expose what they allege are scamming practices of Crisostomo.
They say many of them had no experience in concert producing until Crisostomo approached them and told them their investment — averaging between $2,500 to $10,000 — will double or triple if they do business with her.
This is one of the concerts Crisostomo produced, with a packed audience.
Her success in the business is what lured these kababayans to co-produce with her.
But not only did they not get the added income — they say they never got their investment back.
They say she would ask them to invest in concerts that are non-existent.
For concerts that actually push through, they say Crisostomo would tell them there were big, unexpected expenses — and in the end, the money they were all going to share has been depleted.
These kababayans say the loss of their hard-earned money has taken a toll on them and their families.
Arthur Andalis says they went through two years of depression.
“Sabi nya, walang syang ginawang mali, so we want to put her to court to just discuss anong ginawa nya, why did she do it?”
Alex Langga says he had to borrow from a loan shark to invest in one of Crisostomo’s concerts.
But since he didn’t get his money back, his loan of $2,500 could baloon to $40,000.
“Hindi natin ginusto na mabiktima. Hindi natin ginusto na mawalan tayo ng pera at hindi rin natin magugustuhan kung may mabibiktima pang iba,” he said.
Twelve of the two dozen people from their group have filed complaints of fraud against Crisostomo before a small claims court.
Five complaints have reportedly received judgements in favor of the plaintiffs.
But so far, they say, none of the hearings have been attended by Crisostomo — and they say no money has been given back to them.
“We’re working here in the US, and everything is hard earned money, so ang sa akin lang, makakuha lang kahit a little bit of justice,” said Joel Vitug, who accuses the concert producer of fraud.
“Kaya lang naman namin ginagawa ito ay pakiramdam namin obligasyon namin sa lahat ng tao na i-warn sila na hindi sila mabiktima,” agreed CJ Del Rosario.
For her part, Crisostomo says, like any other business — concert-producing could be risky and unpredictable, so she says those who want to invest need to have deep pockets.
“Alam nyo, kung gustong mag produce ang isang tao, dapat alam nila kung hanggang saan meron silang pera, hindi yung nangutang sila kung kani-kanino tapos isisisi sa akin,” she commented.
Crisostomo claims that many of the producers that have filed complaints against her actually failed to pay all of the money required for investment, as stated in the contracts they signed. That is why their shows did not push through.
She also denies allegations that she neglected to inform her co-producers of added expenses.
“Transparent ako,” she said. “I have all the receipts.”
Crisostomo also says she has not been served with any of the fraud complaints filed by her accusers — adding, if she needs to face them in court, she will. She continues to produce concerts.