The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the public anew of more groups peddling fraudulent investments.

In a statement on Wednesday, SEC noted five groups, namely: Cryptec, CryptoPeso, V2R Trades, Lao Razon Trading and/or Lao Razon Marketing and Sakto Online Advertising, for operating without licenses.

These added to the list of groups it earlier flagged for trying to lure the public into unauthorized investment activities since the coronavirus outbreak started last month.

The offshore cryptocurrency broker Cryptec, operated by Point Place, Ltd. in the Commonwealth of Dominica, offers trading accounts with 50-150% trading bonus for those opening with an investment ranging $250 to more than $500,000.

CryptoPeso, meanwhile, seeks investment via mobile token wallet and payment application. Its latest program CryptoPeso (PHPc) Staking program requires an investment of at least P2,000 from members, plus a P500 activation fee.

The group is run 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.  

Another group, V2R Trades, operates online offering compensation packages worth P5,700 to P285,000 and promises a 33% monthly return. SEC said an investor may receive P50 to P5,000 daily rewards, 10% referral rewards, as well as 7% to 10% match rewards.

Dumaguete-based Lao Razon Trading and/or Lao Razon Marketing also operates a similar scheme, the corporate regulator noted. The group promises a 30-500% compounding income within a one- to six-month period for an initial investment of P500 to P5 million.

Further, Sakto Online Advertising, founded by a certain Rosulo Vigilia Cabusora, Jr. in Santiago City, Isabela, sells packages of “Sakto Amazing Detergent Powder” worth P198 to P13,986 and resell them or simply recruit members to make profits. 

“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 P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both under the Securities Regulation Code,” the statement read.

SEC reminded the provision in the recently passed Republic Act No. 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which 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 P1 million or both. — Adam J. Ang