MANILA, Philippines – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a cease and desist order stopping beleaguered businessman Joseph Calata and his 3 firms from selling unregistered securities to the public in the form of Krops Tokens and KropCoins through initial coin offering (ICO).
The SEC on Tuesday, January 23, issued an order saying there is substantial evidence from 3 Calata-led firms, namely: Black Cell Technology Incorporated, Black Sand Capital Incorporated, and Black Cell Technolgy Limited, that they are offering securities to the public without SEC license. (READ: Calata plans to convert shares to cryptocurrency amid delisting)
"Krops are selling or offering securities in the form of Krop Tokens and/or KropCoins to the public without the necessary license from the corporate regulator, which is a violation of the Securities Regulation Code," the decision read.
"The continued public offering and sale of Krops Tokens and/or KropCoins without the required license from the Commission makes the public offering and selling a continuing illegal act which makes it imperative and necessary that a cease and desist order be immediately issued," it added.
Based on the SEC investigation, these Calata firms are offering Krops Tokens and/or KropCoins via their official website, which needs a public offering under SRC and therefore should be subject to strict registration requirements.
On its website, Calata-led Black Cell also said there is an ongoing pre-sale of Krop Tokens and/or KropCoins at a pre-sale price of $0.70 per token, with over two million tokens already sold of the 6.4 million tokens being offered to the public.
The SEC said Black Cell claims to be the "world's 1st agricultural marketplace crypto equity ICO."
The SEC investigation also showed that these firms are headed and founded by Calata, who was recently permanently disqualified by the Philippine Stock Exchange from being a director or officer of any listed company.
This was after Calata Corporation was delisted from the exchange because of non-disclosure of material information.
The SEC said securities "cannot be sold or offered to the public without a registration statement filed" with the corporate regulator.
Meanwhil, the 3 companies as well its officers directors, agents, and representatives were also ordered to cease their internet presence relating to the sale and offering of Krops Tokens and/or KropCoins.
"The Commission will institute the appropriate administrative and criminal action against any person or entities found to act as solicitors, information providers, salesmen, agents, brokers dealer or the like for and in behind of the subject corporations," the SEC said. – Rappler.com