Nemelee Liwanag Jiao, a Filipino American nurse from Dallas, Texas, was recently sentenced to eight years in federal prison, plus three years of supervised release for orchestrating a scheme that cost 39 investors about $1.9 million dollars.
In an exclusive phone interview with BA, one of her victims — who asked that her real name be withheld for fear that she and her family could be targeted –spoke up. She was at the sentencing.
“She only said sorry as part of a script in a typical courtroom, but then she never looked at us. She never cried. There was no hint of remorse.”
“Grace” said they felt justice was not served, considering the harm she caused so many people. She said their lawyer estimated the total number of victims to be more than 60 and they lost more than $3 million.
Many of her victims were reportedly Filipino nurses.
“She ruined a lot of people’s lives. Our hard-earned money has been lost. People have to close down their businesses. I’ve heard that some couples almost had to divorce. Retirees lost their money.”
“Grace” said Jiao convinced her to invest in two born again Christian schools in Pampanga, Wisdom Academy and Shepherds Light Learning Center, both owned by Jiao’s family.
They reportedly belong to the City Sanctuary and El Shalom Church.
But like all of Jiao’s victims, “Grace” said she never got to recoup her investment but then she said they were all witness to the lavish lifestyle of jiao and her family, which included memberships to exclusive clubs, luxury cars and travels, and mansions in the US and in the philippines.
“It’s jard to know who to trust because this was a friend, a good friend of ours. And she was very religious. She came from family of pastors. It’s really hard nowadays to know who to trust because even religious people or apparently god-fearing people could lie, cheat and steal your money.”
Following jer sentencing, Jiao was sent to Bryan Federal Prison, about three hours away from Dallas.