SEC warns vs. 5 more investment schemes amid Covid-19

SEC warns vs. 5 more investment schemes amid Covid-19
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued advisories against five more groups soliciting investments from the public without the necessary licenses.
In separate advisories dated April 7, the Commission warned the public against investing in Cryptec, CryptoPeso, V2R Trades, Lao Razon Trading and/or Lao Razon Marketing, and Sakto Online Advertising.
Cryptec is a non-licensed offshore cryptocurrency broker, which started operations in September 2019 using the http://cyptec.io domain. It is operated by Point Place, Ltd. In the Commonwealth of Dominica.
It offers different trading accounts promising a 50 percent to 150-percent trading bonus along with a 1:10 to 1:40 leverage. One may open a trading account with an investment ranging from $250 to more than $500,000.
Cryptec uses the leverage system as an investment strategy by retaining a portion of the investor’s money as securities and using it for other businesses or ventures.
As an additional tactic, Cryptec’s account managers will frequently and persistently converse with investors online in order to solicit bigger amounts in exchange for higher returns.
CryptoPeso, on the other hand, solicits investments online in the guise of a mobile token wallet and payment application. It is operated by Blockxperts, Inc. of Larrimar Espiritu Tia, who also serves as chief innovative officer of Indigen, the corporation that introduces the Unilevel Marketing Program in the CyptoPeso application.
This year, the new version of the CryptoPeso mobile application was launched with the PHPc Staking Program, which requires an investment of at least PHP2,000 from members plus a PHP500 activation fee.
The amount invested will be converted into CryptoPeso, or PHPc, which will be staked and locked in for three to 24 months. The profit would depend on the amount invested and the lock-in period selected by the investor. For instance, a minimum investment of PHP2,500 could supposedly earn PHP15,000 after three months.
In addition, CryptoPeso offers affiliates commissions for every recruit who registers and invests using the referral link under its Unilevel Marketing Program.
V2R Trades likewise solicits investments online. It offers compensation packages worth PHP5,700 to PHP285,000 and promises a 33 percent monthly return. An investor may receive PHP50 to PHP5,000 daily rewards, 10 percent referral rewards, as well as 7 percent to 10 percent match rewards.
Lao Razon Trading and/or Lao Razon Marketing operates a similar scheme. The group headed by John Luis Razon as president and headquartered in Dumaguete promises a 30 percent to 500-percent compounding income within a one- to six-month period for an initial investment of PHP500 to PHP5 million.
Under its hybrid booster program promotions, Lao Razon Trading also allows members to supposedly earn as much as PHP28,000 by purchasing products worth PHP2,000 at the minimum. In addition, it guarantees a 5 percent direct referral and a 1 percent interest referral commission bonus.
Under its hybrid booster multiplier incentives, meanwhile, Lao Razon Trading promises rewards such as laptops, motorcycles, sedan cars, SUV vehicles, sports cars, and houses and lots.
On the other hand, Sakto Online Advertising entices the public to buy packages of “amazing” detergent powder worth PHP198 to PHP13,986 and resell them or simply recruit members to make profits. The group was founded by a certain Rosulo Vigilia Cabusora Jr. in Santiago City, Isabela.
Based on the Commission’s records, Cryptec, Point Place, CryptoPeso, Blockxperts, Indigen, V2R Trades, Lao Razon Trading and/or Lao Razon Marketing and Sakto Online Advertising have not secured the necessary licenses to solicit investments from the public, as required by Republic Act 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code.
Those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents of fraudulent investment schemes may be held criminally liable and penalized with a maximum fine of PHP5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both under the Securities Regulation Code.
In addition, Republic Act 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, penalizes those participating in cyber incidents that make use or take advantage of the current crisis to prey on the public through scams, phishing, fraudulent emails, or other similar acts with two-month imprisonment or a maximum fine of PHP1 million or both.
The public is advised to report any unauthorized investment solicitation activities to the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD) through email at epd@sec.gov.ph. (PR / PNA)

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