- Marvin Favis, a crypto content creator, exposed a scam on Raffy Tulfo in Action, revealing losses of approximately ₱72 million affecting him and other investors.
- They accused a certain John Erwin Castro of Crypto Moon Trading, alleging that Castro ran away with the investments.
- Favis initially invested ₱22 million and collaborated with Castro on a trading strategy presented on YouTube, attracting more investors.
Marvin Favis, a crypto trading-focused content creator, together with fellow investors turned to the reality show Raffy Tulfo in Action to expose an investment fraud that resulted in the loss of approximately ₱72 million.
[All information from this article are from the interview and the SEC advisories.]
Table of Contents
How it happened?
In the episode of Raffy Tulfo in Action, which aired on January 19th, Favis and the other complainants—Rhodora Capalad, Mabelle Tumala, and more— named a certain John Erwin Castro, who is affiliated with Crypto Moon Trading. The accusation levied against Castro was that he ran away with confirmed investments totaling over ₱72 million from more than 70 investors.
Favis stated that he himself was one of the investors, having contributed ₱22 million, noting that this was a pooled fund from other influencers that invested.
In 2023, Favis participated in the Bull or Bear: Online Debate (BoB Cebu Side Event 1) titled “THE LIMITS OF DYOR: A Debate on Web3 Influencers and Promotions.”
Favis said he initially met Castro in June 2021, discussing cryptocurrency trading. After 7 months, Castro approached him again to showcase his trading strategy—Favis noted that he looked at Castro’s method and affirmed his ability. Subsequently, they collaborated to present the strategy on his YouTube channel, ultimately assisting Castro in attracting investors.
“Kahit ako, in-approach n’ya na rin ako na p’wede rin ako sa kanya mag-invest since wala na rin akong time mag-trade personally dahil may mga traditional business na rin. So, ako rin po mismo nag-invest na rin ako sa kanya and doon na rin po nagsimula na dumami na rin nang dumami ‘yung nag-invest sa kan’ya,” Favis stated.
[Translation: Even I, he approached me, saying I could also invest with him since I no longer have time to trade personally due to my traditional businesses. So, I also invested in him, and that’s where more and more people started investing in him.]
According to the investors, Crypto Moon Trading initially promised a 25% return over a 3-month period but subsequently revised it downward to 20%. The investors indicated that they executed a contract, which was presented as a loan agreement. The other investors on the show stated that some of them received only one contract payment and then none after that.
“Nag-announce s’ya sa Facebook kung sino ‘yung gustong mag-invest. Nung una po 30% (yung offer), sino ba naman (hindi) maeengganyo sa 30%?” one of the investors shared.
She also mentioned receiving interest initially, but it gradually decreased to only 10%, and her initial capital was not returned.
[Translation: He announced on Facebook who wanted to invest. At first, it was 30% (the offer), who wouldn’t be enticed by 30%?]
The other investors echoed this stating that their contracts ended without receiving their investments back and the interest payout was halted.
What went wrong?
“Ang totoo po n’yan, Attorney, marunong naman po sana talaga mag-trade si John, ‘yun nga lang, nag-traditional business s’ya. ‘Yung traditional business n’ya, imbis na sa trade n’ya ginagamit ‘yung pera—which is ‘yung skill n’ya talaga—doon naipasok sa traditional business n’ya ‘yung mga pera namin,” Favis said,
They revealed that Castro is the owner of “Motobike PH,” a motorcycle dealership with 12 branches nationwide and an office situated in Quezon City. Upon verification through its Facebook page, BitPinas discovered that the company had announced on January 15 the appointment of a new CEO.
The investors reported that their final interaction with Castro occurred in August, during which he requested leniency to facilitate the return of their invested capital. However, since then, Castro has ceased responding to their messages and negotiations.
Apart from Castro, the group also named his partner Rayla Rebuste, her sister Raya Rebuste, and his sister Jenila Castro as the main perpetrators of the fraud. The names and faces of these people were shown in the episode.
The episode ended with the group agreeing to file an estafa case in the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) Anti-Organized and Transnational Crime Division.
SEC Advisory on Investment Scams
The SEC has previously issued multiple advisories concerning entities and people enticing others to give their money to them in return for the principal money plus investment. (See list of SEC advisories here.)
Crypto Investment Scams in PH
Last October, well-known Filipino toy collector and influencer Yexel Sebastian, along with his wife Mikee Agustin, faced allegations of swindling around ₱200 million, primarily from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Victims claim they were lured into investing large sums with promises of monthly payouts of 3%-5%. Some were asked for a ₱1 million minimum deposit, while others had a ₱200,000 minimum.
The couple abruptly left for Japan amid the investigation, departing before any legal actions were taken against them. The Bureau of Immigration confirmed their departure during the ongoing scam allegations.
Moreover, last October, celebrity pair Mikee Quintos and Paul Salas, along with seven others, lodged an estafa complaint, claiming an ₱8 million scam by Cronus Holding Corporation.
This article is published on BitPinas: Crypto Content Creator Falls Victim in Crypto Investment Scam
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