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SEC warns of investment traps

SEC warns of investment traps

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SEC warns of investment traps

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its warning against anomalous investment firms out to victimize the  innocent public.

Lawyer Lindeza Rogero-Gavino, director of the SEC-Cebu Extension Office, alarmed the Boholanos against falling to the money-making traps of the alleged new seven fake investment companies operating in the country.

One of these illegal ventures has changed severally its business name by using even five aliases, documents provided by the commission to the Bohol capitol showed.

As part of their modus operandi, they lure potential victims into investing in the companies with promised high returns of their capital money or principal amount in just days, weeks or a month.

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But the unauthorized entities “did not secure necessary permits” from the SEC as required under Section 8 of the Securities Regulation Code and their incorporators “are not licensed to solicit investments.”

COMPANIES NAMED

The SEC named in its advisory the illegitimate investment groups as the Pretty Pink Holdings Co. Inc., Dragon One Network Trends Corp., Starjed Micro Financing Corp., Techno Innovation Marketing Enterprise Corp., 24K Timesgold International Marketing Inc., Jacama Sales and Marketing, and Jap Rattanco.

Gavino forwarded the advisory from the central office to Gov. Edgar Chatto who, through the  Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio II, also alerted Bohol Investment Promotions Center Chief Ma. Fe Dominise for further public guidance.

Another scam involves a packaged product in exchange for investment-payment, plus a “bonus” of company vouchers or post-dated checks equivalent to as high as almost 35% of the investment which will mature at intervals of 15 days.

According to the advisory, the Pretty Pink Holdings Co., Inc. is engaged in investment-taking in which one is enticed to put up money as low as P500 and as much as P522,00, with promised returns of 2.5%-10% of the capital and payouts made after 30 days.

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Reportedly operating also in the USA, Japan and Dubai, the entity is known by other aliases like Pretty Pink, Pretty Pink Online Shop, Pretty Pink Money Tree, Carissa Love, and Pretty Pink Money Tree Investing, the SEC said.

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DRAGON ONE

In the case of the Dragon One Network Trends Corp., an investor may choose from among the product packages ranging from P1,800 to P360,000.

Upon payment, the investor gets the chosen package product and four company vouchers or post-dated checks equivalent to 34.72% of the investment which matures at four 15-day intervals or be encashed in two months.

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The advisory said investors are enticed to join the company because of the promised profits they get when all checks are encashed in 60 days.

Thus, an investment of P1,800 supposedly earns P2,500 in 60 days and the maximum investment of P360,000 earns P500,000.

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SEC records showed that the company, also known as the Dragon One, has been registered but “not authorized to solicit investments from the public.”

TIMESGOLD INTERNATIONAL MARKETING

The Timesgold International Marketing Inc., alias Timesgold, is engaged in investment-taking activities in which a minimum investment of P10,000 earns 26% interest or P2,600 after 15 days.

The SEC said that based on its articles of incorporation, the Timesgold is only engaged in “marketing services specializing in the conceptualization, packaging and marketing of products in the retail, commercial business and to market products and services related thereto.”

STARJED MICROFINANCING CORP.

The Starjed Micro Financing Corp, also known as Starjed, takes investment by enticing one to put up large amounts of up to P10 million with a promised return of as high as 24% per annum more or less, with its “Double Your Money In 3 Years” and “Monthly Payment of Interest” programs.

Based in Surigao City, the Starjed was formed only for engaging in “general financing business” and its authorized purposes “do not include investment-taking activities,” the advisory said.

The Techno Innovation Marketing Enterprise Corp., aka Time Corp., solicits investment by luring the public to invest in its dealership program for a minimum of P2,500 for a promised return of 40% in 15 days.

In addition to the 40% return/profit are commissions or rewards which include a direct referral fee of P100, a gift certificate worth P200 and a chance to become an authorized dealer of mobile phone loads for different networks.

The company has generated a huge sum of investments, but failed to give investors their returns as well to give back their capitals, according to the SEC.

JACAMA SALES AND MARKETING

The scheme of the Jacama Sales and Marketing, which operates in Davao City, is similar to that of the Dragon One.

But the sale of product is merely a ruse to make it appear that the entity is engaged in the marketing and distribution of products.

“The obvious fact, however, is that the people are enticed to invest their money by the promise of huge profits. In effect, Jacama is engaged in public offering and sale of securities in the form of investment contracts,” the SEC said, even if it is “not authorized.”

In the case of the Jap Rattanco, it posted on its website http://www.vgc-paper.com/index.html a copy of its certificate of registration purportedly issued by the SEC.

But the SEC informed the public that the entity “is not registered with the Commission either as a partnership or a corporation.”

The SEC advised the public to deal only with the registered corporations, partnerships and entities and those engaged in legitimate or duly licensed business activities.

Those who invite or recruit other people to join or invest in these ventures or offer investment contracts or securities to the public may be held criminally liable or accordingly sanctioned or penalized, the SEC said, citing Supreme Court decision in SEC vs Oudine Santos (G.R. No. 195542, March 19, 2014).

The SEC further warned the public to exercise self-constraint and caution or, more prudently, stop investing.

Any information regarding the operation of the warned entities can be reported to the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department at telephone numbers 584-7187 or 584-7652. (Ven rebo Arigo)

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