THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) warns the public against investing in several entities due to their unauthorized solicitation of investments without the necessary license from the Commission.
In an advisory, the SEC mentioned the following unauthorized entities:
- Ztock operated and offered by Wetrade Technologies Pte Ltd;
- Hedge Bit Trading Inc., New Gen-Z Holdings Marketing Group;
- Better Experience;
- DT Trading Data/Data Technology Trading;
- AJC 888 Inc.;
- 7-Eleven Electronic Commerce Limited/7-Eleven Electronic Commerce Limited – Passi Branch;
- 888 Partners Corp Budgetarian Online Shop;
- Hailey & Holley Spa and/or Ms. Ionie Mae Cruz Guzman;
- Integrated Digital Success;
- Upsolution Online Shop International;
- Grind O’clock Corporation;
- Bonnie Mall;
- Double R Aggregates/Double R Trucking and Aggregates OPC;
- Innov8wealth Global;
- Ayala Corporation Group, Inc./Ayala Corporation Budgetarian Online Shop/Global Online Ayala Corporation/Bellavita Ayala Corporation/Ayala Corporation E Commerce;
- 99dragons PH;
- Hoperices Investment;
- Morgan Stanley Investment Firm;
- Multi-Asset Solution (MAS) and/or Multi Asset Financial Consultancy Services and/or JBF & Gainz Philippines Founder;
- Hope Advertisement Marketing/Hope Financial Marketing OPC;
- Mengay Benta Slot/Nyu Meng’s Paluwagan;
- Wisteria Lane;
- Eatcited Pasalubong Center;
- Ariamall/Amelia Mall Online/Amelia-Mall Philippines Inc.;
- Centuros Finance Group II;
- Moo Farm;
- AYN E-Commerce;
- Alao/Alao Investment Platform; and
- CCO Media/CCO Media Philippines/Clear Channel Outdoor Asia Corp.
According to SEC, these above entities have been found to be engaging in unauthorized investment-taking activities by either a) borrowing capital from investors, using said capital to allegedly buy products, then selling said products to consumers, and finally giving back the profits to the investors; b) promising investors fixed earnings or posing as legitimate investment websites and mobile applications; c) sending emails, fax, or letters to the victims and requiring them to pay an “advance fee” before receiving a significant share of a large sum of money; or d) posing as legitimate and reputable financial institutions.
First conceptualized by Charles Ponzi in the 1920s, a pyramid/Ponzi scheme is where investors earn through recruitment fees instead of the sale of actual products/services, and investors are paid using the contribution of new members. Because of the promise of high returns, many supposed investors fell into the trap.
Under Section 23 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC), violators shall be liable with a maximum fine of Five Million Pesos (Php5,000,000.00) or a maximum penalty of Twenty-One (21) years imprisonment or both, upon the discretion of the court.
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