SEC flags 4 firms on unauthorized investment offers

Rappler.com
The SEC warns the public against 2 firms luring investors with hefty returns, and 2 foundations promising up to a P1 billion-award in the form of 'Central Bank of the Philippines' checkbooks

MANILA, Philippines – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday, May 22, warned the public against two companies and two foundations involved in the unauthorized solicitation of investments.

SEC, in an advisory posted on its website, warned the public against investing in Hyper Program International Direct sales and Trading Corporation and HPI Direct Sales and Trading Corporation and their related affiliates.

Based on SEC’s investigation, the two firms have been using social media to invite people to invest in cosmetics and health and wellness products by promising returns of up to 30% to 35% of their investment in a span of 40 to 45 days.

SEC said it “did not issue the corporations a secondary license to publicly offer or sell securities and to solicit investments from the public.”

“Those who participate, including those who offer investment through the social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) in this investment taking of Hyper Program International Direct Sales and Trading Corporation and HPI Direct Sales and Trading Corporation are at risk of being prosecuted for criminal violation of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC),” SEC said.

Offering  securities without prior registration with the corporate regulator is punishable by a fine of P50,0000 ($1,122.09) to P5 million ($112,208.43), or imprisonment of 7 to 21 years, or both, upon the discretion of the court.

Not authorized

SEC also warned the public against investing in Racaneli Philippines International Foundation Inc and Philippines Recaneli Mother International Foundation The Voice For Global Solutions on Poverty Inc.

The regulator said it has received reports that these two foundations have been soliciting investments from the public in the form of “pledges.”

For a thanksgiving pledge of P1,500 ($33.67), an investor would reportedly receive a P10 million ($224,492.09) award “after the proclamation and declaration of the preamble of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.”

The foundations also promise individuals who “pledge” P10,000 ($224.49) to P50,000 ($1,122.46) – purportedly for military mobilization and proclamation operational set-up – P50 million ($1,122,475.15) to P1 billion ($22.45 million) award in the form of checkbooks supposedly coming from the “Central Bank of the Philippines.”

SEC said that the foundations “are not authorized to solicit investments (in the form of pledges) from the public as it did not secure prior registration and/or license or permit to solicit investments from the Commission as required under Section 8.1 of the Securities Regulation Code.”

“Those participating in the unauthorized investment-taking activities of the said foundations may be held liable for administrative and/or criminal charges for violation of the SRC,” SEC said.

SEC is urging those with information about unauthorized investment-taking activities to call the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department at (+63 2) 584-6337 and (+63 2) 584-7652 or email inquiry@sec.gov.ph. – Rappler.com

$1 = P44.55