Kapa Ministry officers face criminal charges

MANILA, Philippines– The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed criminal charges against officials and promoters of Kapa-Community Ministry International for selling securities without the necessary registration requirements from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC said on Thursday, January 9, that the DOJ charged Kapa founder and president Joel Apolinario, as well as the organization's officers Margie Danao and Reyna Apolinario, for violating several sections of the Securities Regulation Code.

The DOJ also indicted Marisol Diaz, Adelfa Fernandico, Moises Mopia, and Reniones Catubigan. (READ: EXPLAINER: How Kapa Ministry took advantage of investors)

All of the accused face several cases in regional trial courts in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur; Quezon City; and Rizal.

"The concerned judges, upon finding of sufficient probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest, shall order the arrest of the indicted officers and promoters of Kapa, in accordance with the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure," the SEC said.

So far, the SEC has verified that an arrest warrant was issued against Fernandico last December.

Kapa enticed the public to invest at least P10,000 in exchange for a 30% monthly return for life, without having to do anything other than wait for the payout. This is considered a Ponzi scheme, according to the SEC. (READ: [ANALYSIS] Kapa Ministry: A symptom of poor financial inclusion)

People found to have violated the Securities Regulation Code will face a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of up to 21 years.

However, the DOJ recommended a higher penalty since Kapa advertised through Facebook and YouTube, which means the alleged crime is also covered by the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

The SEC revoked Kapa's certificate of incorporation in April 2019. The Anti-Money Laundering Council also obtained a freeze order from the Court of Appeals in June 2019 to preserve assets linked to Kapa. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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