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SEC Issues Advisories vs Unlicensed Investment Schemes

Photo for the Article - SEC Issues Advisories vs Unlicensed Investment Schemes

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a new series of warnings targeting unlicensed entities. The Commission emphasized that the operations of these firms resemble Ponzi schemes. It also pointed out that one entity is offering investments in cryptocurrency.

SEC February Advisories

DIGIVAULT TRADING

According to the SEC, Digivault Trading, allegedly represented by a certain Zyrille Abad, is illegally soliciting investments from the public.

The Commission highlighted that its online postings indicate that it offers six Digivault Package Plans, ranging from ₱50 to ₱500,000, with promised returns ranging from 15% to 357% after various timeframes. 

PackageInvestment Amount (PHP)Returns (%)Return Duration (Days)
PEARL5015%5
AMETHYS50026%10
SAPPHIRE5,00055%15
EMERALD50,00085%30
RUBY100,000180%55
DIAMOND500,000357%75

Additionally, investors may earn direct referral bonuses of 5% to 25% depending on the plan chosen. 

PLOTOUS

The Commission pointed out the connection between Ploutos and individuals associated with Reveal Marketing, which has previously been cautioned by the SEC. The advisory noted that the firm, represented by Willyn Morla and Lady Lyn Sinfuego, portrays itself as an investment management firm on social media, introducing a “shareholder’s program” reminiscent of Reveal’s setup.

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Ploutos offers two share options: the Starter Plan, promising a 40% return in 10 days with a minimum investment of ₱1,000, and the Advanced Plan, ensuring a 100% return in 20 days with the same minimum investment.

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Moreover, the Commission also mentioned that Ploutos operates a registration page directing the public to deposit funds into various bank accounts owned by Lady Lyn Sinfuego. 

ALTSTRADE

The SEC stated that it has received reports that individuals associated with Altstrade, led by CEO Junel Zamora, are enticing the public to invest in the entity, promising substantial returns. 

Altstrade offers investments starting from ₱1,000.00, with potential profits ranging from 30% to 500% within a lock-in period of 7 days to 2 months. Additionally, investors can earn a 10% direct referral commission and a 1% indirect referral commission from the 2nd to the 10th level.

Investment AmountExpected ReturnLock-in PeriodReferral Commission
₱1,000P1,300 (30% Profit)7 days10% Direct, 1% Indirect (2nd – 10th level)
₱1,000P1,800 (80% Profit)15 days10% Direct, 1% Indirect (2nd – 10th level)
₱1,000P3,000 (200% Profit)30 days10% Direct, 1% Indirect (2nd – 10th level)
₱1,000P6,000 (500% Profit)2 months10% Direct, 1% Indirect (2nd – 10th level)

TIME TO TRADE

As per the advisory, Time To Trade/Time To Trade Philippines is under the leadership of CEO Karissa Alviar. The SEC emphasized that based on information received, the entity is enticing the public to invest.

According to the Commission, the organization offers investment opportunities beginning at ₱500 per account, enticing with potential profits varying from 35% to 125% within 10, 15, or 30 days. Moreover, investors can also receive a 10% direct referral bonus for encouraging others to invest in Time To Trade.

MARSY LUXURY STAYCATION REALTY

The advisory revealed that while Marsy Luxury Staycation is actively seeking investments from the public, it is not registered as a corporation or partnership with the Commission, according to the database. 

According to the SEC, the organization offers accommodations with amenities through online booking platforms for a unit located in San Juan, Metro Manila. Additionally, it is promoting investment opportunities with a minimum capital requirement of ₱50,000, guaranteeing investors a stable monthly income of 5% during lock-in periods of either six or twelve months.

Consequently, the SEC emphasized that despite being a registered business name under Rachel Marsy Avelino Diego, Marsy Luxury Staycations Realty / Marsy Luxury Stayscation lacks the necessary registration or license to solicit investments.

VIRTO/VIRTUAL CRYPTO TRADING VENTURE

According to reports gathered by the Commission, Virto/Virtual Crypto Trading Venture, led by Michaela Francesca Togonon, is soliciting investments from the public without a license. 

Additionally, the entity is said to provide services related to asset trading, investment advisory, marketing strategy, and business analysis. Currently, aside from the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) there are still no other regulations on entities providing digital asset services. 

Read: Interview: SEC to Launch Digital Asset Security Service Provider Rules by Q1 2024

Virto/Virtual Crypto Trading Venture offers three investment packages: Trial, Mid, and Pro Plans, ranging from ₱500 to ₱500,000. Investors can earn referral bonuses of 15% from 1st-level referrals’ activations and 1% from 2nd to 10th-level subscriptions.

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In addition, the SEC noted that the entity additionally runs a website, enabling members to register and track package maturity and Referral Commission Bonus at www.virto2k24.com or https://app.virto2k24.com.

JVP TRADING EXPERT INVESTMENT

AS per the Commission, the advisory was issued based on reports and findings indicating that a group led by Jumar Velasquez Puzon, known as Puzon Jumar on Facebook, is encouraging public investment through social media platforms in JVP Trading Expert Investment. 

The SEC noted that the entity claims involvement in poultry farming and asserts earnings from various fund sources: 60% from Poultry Farm, 10% from Lending, 10% from Paying based, and 20% from Backup Funds. 

In addition, JVP Trading Expert Investment is enticing the public to invest with a minimum amount of ₱100, with potential earnings through three different schemes: COMPLAN J, offering 100% monthly profit with daily payouts totaling 100% per month; COMPLAN V, providing 200% monthly profit with payouts every five days totaling 200% per month; and COMPLAN P, ensuring 300% monthly gain with payouts after one month totaling 300% return on investment.

SEC Reminder

The Commission stressed that the schemes employed by these entities exhibits characteristics of a potential “Ponzi Scheme,” where funds from new investors are used to pay fabricated profits to earlier investors, primarily benefiting top recruiters and initial risk takers while potentially harming subsequent members in case of a shortage of new investments. 

The SEC emphasized that offering and selling securities through such fraudulent schemes is not eligible for registration, and the Commission will not issue a License to Sell Securities to entities engaged in this business or scheme. 

Moreover, the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act prohibits investment fraud, including Ponzi schemes and other deceptive investment solicitations. 

Therefore, the public is advised to refrain from investing in or continuing to invest in the investment schemes offered by these entities and their representatives. 

Individuals involved in promoting or soliciting investments in these schemes may face criminal liability under relevant laws, including fines of up to Five Million Pesos (₱5,000,000.00) or imprisonment of up to 21 years. Additionally, the names of all those involved will be reported to the Bureau of Internal Revenue for appropriate action.

Recent SEC Investor Alerts

This article is published on BitPinas: [Investor Alert] SEC Advisories Against Seven Investing Schemes

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