The cease-and-desist order (CDO) issued against Maria Francesca F. Tan (MFT) Group of Companies, Inc. and Foundry Ventures I, Inc. has been made permanent, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Wednesday.

The Commission En Banc denied the omnibus motion filed by the MFT Group due to lack of merit, the SEC said in a statement.

It also denied the motion to lift the CDO filed by Foundry Ventures for lack of merit, it added.

“Under the resolution, the CDO against the MFT Group and Foundry Ventures was declared permanent with respect to the execution and issuance of new loan agreements and checks/promissory notes, which are securities in the form of investment contracts and/or evidence of indebtedness, without the necessary secondary license from the SEC,” it said.

The CDO was issued on Jan. 16 after the MFT Group, which later on transitioned to Foundry Ventures, was found to have engaged in the unlawful solicitation, offer, and/or sale of securities in the form of investment contracts without the necessary license from the SEC.

“The MFT Group organized public events where it solicited investments supposedly for start-up companies in exchange for a guaranteed return ranging from 12% to 18% per annum. For this purpose, the MFT Group issued postdated checks but the amounts indicated therein were not paid,” the SEC said.

“While registered as corporations, MFT Group of Companies and Foundry Ventures have not secured the required secondary license in the form of an approved registration statement and a permit to sell securities to the public, as required under Section 8 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC), in relation to Section 3 of the 2015 SRC Implementing Rules and Regulations,” it added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave