Beauty Jeane Napoles Bathes in Cash: Mom Swims in Legal Sewage

By Teresa Ambord
Just when you think people are starting to get the message to beware what they post online, this happens. Young, beautiful Philippine designer Jeane Catherine Napoles filled a bathtub full with currency, climbed in, and took a photo of herself bathing bare in a sea of money. Then she posted it on social media. 
It wasn't the "bare" part that caused controversy. It was the money, honey  as well as YouTube videos and other evidence of her lavish lifestyle. The twenty-three-year-old resident of Los Angeles owns a luxury condominium at the Ritz Carlton plus other expensive real estate, a couple of Porsches, and she regularly flaunts her no-spending-limit shopping habits for all to see online. 
Note to Jeane Napoles: When your mother is under investigation for embezzling an enormous amount of government funds  and when authorities are asking where the money is, it's probably not a good idea to post a picture of yourself rolling in cash. 
The Mother
Janet Napoles, Jeane's mother, is a Philippine businesswoman. Last August, when an unnamed suspect in the biggest embezzlement scheme ever to hit the Philippines was detained, he threw the spotlight of suspicion onto Janet Napoles as the mastermind. Also under investigation are three Philippine senators and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the former president. Arroyo is already behind bars for election fraud and graft. 
So what are they accused of? Authorities say they siphoned off large chunks of pork barrel money that belonged to the government. When converted to US currency, the theft amounts to about $230 million. 
How's the Daughter Involved?
Authorities aren't saying Jeane Napoles is involved in the theft at all. Kim Henares, the chief of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in the Philippines, said the daughter's case is not linked to the charges against her mother. But the bathtub photo definitely caught some official attention. 
"We read newspapers. We follow the Internet. That is where we heard about her," said Henares. 
The attention caused authorities in the Philippines and the United States to give Jeane Napoles a closer look. Now she's under investigation, unrelated to her mother's case, they say. Henares said that Jeane Napoles didn't file tax returns for 2011 and 2012, ". . . nor were there any records of returns filed that will prove that gifts, bequests, or devices were given to her," added Henares. "There was no donor's tax or estate tax paid either." She's reported as having estimated tax liabilities of $744,000.
Her own self-publicity may have been the reason she came under the spotlight of scrutiny in the first place. She's a successful designer in the United States, but at twenty-three years of age, the opulence she flaunts definitely has authorities looking deeper for other violations, including connections to the pork barrel scheme. 
"Whether it is her fault or her mother's fault," said Henares, "someone will go to jail."
Public Scorn
The scandal has caused a wave of hate against the Napoles women in the Philippines, where it's estimated 28 percent of the population lives in poverty. When one blogger was asked to explain why there was so much venom toward Jeane Napoles when her mother is the one accused of the theft, he posted, "Kids do suffer for the sins of the parents."


You may like these other stories...

The Republican-led House of Representatives is expected to pass a bill this week that would permanently extend the bonus depreciation tax break. But don’t expect President Obama to sign it.The Obama administration said...
Washington D.C., our nation's capital, is the healthiest city in the country, according to a new report from USA Today. But now it's going to cost politicos on the Hill and Gen-Xers in Foggy Bottom a little extra to...
Credit Suisse says pension assets at risk unless court delays sentencingJohn Letzing of the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Credit Suisse Group AG says its management of billions of dollars in assets for...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 16
Hand off work to others with finesse and success. Kristen Rampe, CPA will share how to ensure delegated work is properly handled from start to finish in this content-rich one hour webinar.
Jul 17
This webcast will cover the preparation of the statement of cash flows and focus on accounting and disclosure policies for other important issues described below.
Jul 23
We can’t deny a great divide exists between the expectations and workplace needs of Baby Boomers and Millennials. To create thriving organizational performance, we need to shift the way in which we groom future leaders.
Jul 24
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.