Alleged investment scam leader nabbed in Bacolod

Marchel P. Espina
Alleged investment scam leader nabbed in Bacolod
NBI says Juan Pinoy Marketing Ventures, while registered with SEC, is not authorized to engage in solicitation and investment-taking activity

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested the alleged leader of a Manila-based investment firm in an entrapment operation on November 10.

Nabbed was Jorge Obenita III of San Mateo, Rizal, the alleged chairman of Juan Pinoy Marketing Ventures, Incorporated which is operating in the cities of Manila, Cebu, and Bacolod.

According to its website, Juan Pinoy is engaged in online business, direct selling, and relational marketing. It aims to help its “networkers” and the economy as well.

Obenita was arrested at Island Spoon, along Lacson Street in Bacolod City, after he received the P4,000 ($84.92) grease money from the NBI operative.

NBI investigator Aries Bañares said the operation stemmed from the complaints lodged by 5 individuals (who asked not to be named), against the suspect.

The complainants reportedly invested a total of P431,700 ($9,165.68) to the company. They were promised big earnings if they started investing P1,000 ($21.24) for soaps and other beauty products and if they recruit other members, he said.

The complainants, however, said they were never paid with their supposed earnings, Bañares said.

He added that Juan Pinoy, which is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is not authorized to engage in solicitation and investment-taking activity from public investors.

Obenita was also slapped with large scale estafa and violations of the Republic Act 8799 or the Securities Regulation Code before the City Prosecutor’s Office, Wednesday, November 11.

Also facing estafa raps are:

  • Jonathan Jesus Navea of Cubao, Quezon City
  • Lorena Caronan of Marikina City
  • Susan Aquino of Caloocan City
  • Evelyn Gudio of Caloocan City

Obenita, who is now at the NBI detention cell, denied the complaints against him.

Authorities have repeatedly warned the public not to fall prey to such investment scams.

On November 6, SEC issued a cease and desist order (CDO) against EmGgoldex, an apparent Dubai-based firm that recruits investors to buy gold online with the promise of hefty bonuses for referring friends and acquaintances. (READ: SEC issues cease and desist order vs EmGoldex)

SEC also filed on that date two cases before the Department of Justice against related entities EmGoldex, Global Intergold (GIG), and Prosperous Infinite Philippines Holdings, Corporation (PIPHC).

The companies are accused of violating Section 8 and 28 of the Securities and Regulation Code (SRC), for selling or offering for sale or distribution unregistered securities to the public and without a license, respectively. –

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