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- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has significantly amplified its efforts against financial misconduct, currently prosecuting 375 individuals in a total of 56 cases.
- Two high-ranking officials of Rigen Wellness Product Marketing have been sentenced to life imprisonment for syndicated estafa, following unsustainable investment promises that have led to penalties amounting to over ₱2 million.
- In a joint operation with the PNP-ACG, the SEC successfully targeted and disbanded an illegal online lending operation, Realm Shifters BPO Services/FESL BPO Services, resulting in the arrest of eight individuals involved.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently increased its campaign against unauthorized lending activities and investment scams, to make sure the public is informed and the scammers are penalized.
In a recent email to BitPinas, the SEC mentioned that they are currently prosecuting 375 individuals in 56 cases for violations of the Securities Regulation Code, as well as three cases for violations of the Revised Penal Code.
Rigen Marketing Executives Sentenced to Life Imprisonment
In one development, the chief executive officer and auditor of Rigen Wellness Product Marketing, Rico John Colorines Garcia and King Paul Bryan, were recently sentenced to life in prison by the Tagum City Regional Trial Court Branch 2 for the crime of syndicated estafa.
Rigen Marketing, which promised up to 400% returns within 30 days, was deemed unsustainable by the Court. As a result, they were ordered to pay ₱2.01 million in actual damages, ₱120,000 in moral damages, and an additional 6% per annum interest.
It was in May 2019 when the SEC issued an advisory warning against Rigen Marketing. Rigen Marketing, according to the SEC, claimed to provide “a concrete system that would allow ordinary people to have a solid additional income.” However, the Commission’s investigation revealed that Rigen Marketing’s investment opportunity was illegal under the law, as the firm lacked the necessary license to solicit investments from the public.
SEC Intensifies Campaign Against Unauthorized Lenders
In a joint operation with the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG), the SEC was able to obtain a warrant against online lending operator Realm Shifters BPO Services/FESL BPO Services in Pasig City. The operation resulted in the arrest of eight individuals affiliated with Realm Shifters/FESL. This crackdown signifies the SEC’s campaign to regulate the online lending landscape and ensure legal operations.
New Penalties Under FCPA Highlighted by SEC
The SEC also warned of new penalties under Republic Act No. 11765, known as the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act (FCPA), especially for those engaging in abusive debt collection practices. Violation of FCPA provisions could lead to a maximum fine of ₱2 million, a five-year imprisonment, or both.
The Commission is currently prosecuting 375 individuals in 56 cases for violations of the Securities Regulation Code, as well as three cases for violations of the Revised Penal Code.
Investors and borrowers are encouraged to verify the legitimacy of financial service providers by visiting the ‘Lending and Financing Companies’ section on the SEC’s official website.
This article is published on BitPinas: 375 Individuals Facing Prosecution in Investment Scam Clampdown
Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.