THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned against investing in White Dragon Investment Group, which is not authorized to solicit investments from the public.

In an advisory dated Aug. 22 posted on its website, the SEC said that White Dragon Investment Group is not registered with the commission based on the agency’s records.

“The public is advised not to invest or stop investing in any investment scheme being offered by White Dragon Investment Group as well as in other entities having the same or similar schemes and to exercise caution in dealing with any individuals or group of persons soliciting investments or recruiting investors for and on behalf of white dragon investment group,” the agency said.

“Moreover, the securities in the form of investment contract that it is offering to the public are likewise not registered with the Commission in violation of Sections 8, 26, and 28 of the Securities Regulation Code,” it added.

According to the SEC, White Dragon is engaged in programs related to the expansion and development of sectors including real estate, food and beverage, franchising, leisure and gaming services, poultry and egg, and private investments. 

White Dragon is allegedly recruiting investors by offering investments to the public for a minimum amount of P100,000 for 3% monthly interest or a total of 36% annual return on investment. 

“Such investment opportunity being offered through Justin Arvin Santon Atendido is a form of securities as the elements of investment contract are present in the investment offering, hence, must be registered pursuant to the provision of Section 8 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC),” the SEC said.

The commission said the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act (FCPA) also forbids investment fraud, which is defined as “any form of deceptive solicitation of investments from the public which includes Ponzi schemes and such other schemes involving the promise or offer of profits or returns sourced from the investments or contributions made by the investors themselves and the offering or selling of investment schemes to the public without a license.” 

It also warned that violators of both the FCPA and the SRC could be penalized with a separate maximum fine of P5 million or a penalty of 21-year imprisonment or both.

BusinessWorld sought the comment of White Dragon but has yet to respond as of deadline time. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave