By Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte, Reporter

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) flagged four unregistered entities luring the public to participate in their respective investment programs, despite lacking the needed license to collect investments from the public.

In four separate advisories, the SEC is warning the public against Crypto Asset, Clearway Energy, Inc., Shopee888, and Meta Trading Corp., which also goes by One Meta Trading Opc.

Crypto Asset is led by a certain Janus Alfonsus Alvez Tisalona, who acts as the entity’s president and chief executive officer (CEO). It has been operating for a year and is said to be funded.

Investors can join Crypto Asset’s programs for as low P1,000.

The entity has four investment programs, namely: silver, which promises a 5% return within 7 days; gold program, which guarantees 10% within 12 days; platinum, where investors can get a 20% return on investment in 20 days; and executive program, where investors can earn 50% within 40 days.

“The money invested will be used by Crypto Asset in its crypto trading through UNLITRADE platform and GPU (graphics processing unit) mining farm activities,” the SEC said in its advisory dated Dec. 14.

Meanwhile, Meta Trading is said to be founded and headed by a certain Mario Bontilao Abellanosa, Jr., who also acts as the entity’s CEO and president. The SEC said the names of those involved with Crypto Asset will be reported to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Meta Trading is luring investors to the scheme through offering passive income, where they can earn “a total of accumulated interest of 550% in just 50 days,” and through its active income programs.

On top of being unregistered with the commission, both Crypto Asset and Meta Trading are also not registered as virtual asset services providers (VASP) with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and both also lack the required Certificate of Authority as a money service business.

Neither of the two CEOs could be reached for comment as of press time, while a Facebook search for the Crypto Asset official would show posts from victims of the investment scam.

Meanwhile, Clearway Energy and Shopee888 were flagged by the SEC as having investment programs that resemble a “Ponzi scheme.” The regulator said investment programs under the scheme are not registrable security.

Ponzi schemes work in favor of top recruiters and those who invested earlier in the scheme. The money from new investors is used to pay the “fake profits” of old investors. 

Clearway Energy tells prospective investors that it is developing a solar power station in the country.

“The said company claims to be investing in power generation components, from which prospective investors will derive different benefits from in accordance with their chosen investments,” the SEC said in a separate advisory dated Dec. 14.

“Their platform includes soliciting investment for the production of solar panels and the electricity generated thereon will be sold to the government, major mines, and to different enterprises, and from that, their prospective investors will automatically generate profits daily,” it added. 

Clearway Energy is not registered with the commission and it also lacks the needed license to collect investments from the public. The regulator also noted that its investment program indicates that it is an “advance-fee scam,” where a person promises a big amount of money in exchange for a small payment.

“If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invests a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears,” the commission said.

The SEC said that the entity “does not appear to be connected” to US-based Clearway Energy, Inc., which is traded at the New York Stock Exchange under “CWEN” and “CWEN.A.”

Meanwhile, Shopee888 or Shpoee888 is luring the public to invest in its scheme through its website and e-mail and The commission said in its advisory dated Dec. 21 that investors may earn by accomplishing tasks according to their “VIP levels,” on top of a “tier bonus” and from a direct bonus.

The commission warned that people involved in unlicensed investment schemes may be prosecuted and held criminally liable under the Securities Regulation Code. They may be fined a maximum of P5 million and/or a penalty of 21 years of imprisonment.