SEC Issues Advisory Against Autotrade International

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Last Wednesday, April 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the public about investing with Autotrade International/Autotrade Computer Software Trading as well as transacting with individuals representing the said entity. The Commission emphasized that Autotrade International does not have the license and authority from the SEC to solicit investments from the public.

“AUTOTRADE INTERNATIONAL is not registered with the Commission as a corporation or partnership. However, it has been granted a Certificate of Business Name Registration by the Department of Trade and Industry’s under the name of AUTOTRADE COMPUTER SOFTWARE TRADING which is owned and operated by JHANEL BERNARDO “Mr. Hayagan” HAYAGAN,” SEC wrote in a statement.

According to Hayagan, Autotrade offers investments where investors’ money are being transferred to a Binance wallet and the “bot” will automatically trade in whatever cryptocurrency. Through this trading scheme, Autotrade International promises investors to earn 50% in just 15 days. 

“The scheme of Autotrade International falls within the definition and category of Ponzi scheme as there seems no clear legitimate source of income from where the promised earnings to its members shall be generated except from the membership fee or investment of incoming members,” the Commission noted.

The SEC emphasized that Autotrade International/Autotrade Computer Software Trading is not authorized to solicit investments from the public as these entities are not registered with the Commission. It also cannot therefore secure prior registration and/or license to solicit investments from the Commission—including those who promote the entity to potential investors, as prescribed under Section 8 of the Securities Regulation Code. Violators will also be penalized with a maximum fine of ₱5 million or imprisonment of 21 years. 

The Commission also pointed out that Autotrade International is not registered as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and does not have a corresponding certificate of authority as a Money Service Business (MSB) required under the Guidelines for Virtual Asset Service Providers.

Last month, BitPinas reported that the SEC also issued an advisory against MetaProfit and ALGOSCALP. MetaProfit offers deposits and withdrawals based on interest from cryptocurrency; its website claims that the entity has a “platform that can help optimize profit using blockchain.” While AlgoScalp entices investors to invest in their “fully automated system that allows investors to trade the markets without lifting a finger.”

As they always remind the public, the SEC emphasized that the investors must be cautious in dealing with digital and cryptocurrency investments, he stressed this during the webinar organized by the Philippine Stock Exchange last January 30. (Read more: SEC Advises Public to be Cautious on Crypto Investments)

At the beginning of 2022, the SEC already flagged and warned the investing public against four crypto trading entities; Crypto Asset, CryptoStakers, CryptoPayz and Outrace Play-to-earn.

This article is published on BitPinas: SEC Issues Advisory Against Autotrade International

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.

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