THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) refuted claims by alleged investment scam Kapa-Community Ministry International that it has filed for a license to solicit investments from the public, noting that its incorporation papers remain suspended.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the country’s corporate regulator said Kapa has been making false claims on social media that it has submitted an application for a secondary license that will allow it to offer and sell securities to the public.

“The Commission has not received any application for a secondary license from Kapa, as verified by the SEC Company Registration and Monitoring Department,” the SEC said.

It added that Kapa cannot apply for a secondary license since its certificate of incorporation has been revoked last April for “serious misrepresentation of what it could do or was doing to the great prejudice of or damage to the general public.”

Kapa was also found to be posting information that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has approved its investment scheme, even questioning delays on the part of the SEC.

The BSP has already denied this claim, according to the SEC.

Kapa was previously registered with the SEC as a nonstock corporation, but its incorporation papers were revoked after the commission found that it has been illegally soliciting investments from the public.

In a press conference earlier this year, SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said that the group may have taken at least P50 billion worth of investments from the public, based on a membership of five million people with a P10,000 investment each. The capital was solicited in the guise of donations, with the promise of a 30% “monthly blessing” or “love gift” for life.

Mr. Aquino said this type of scheme is not sustainable and would eventually collapse.

“We enjoin the investing public to be more discerning with and critical of any promises and persuasions made by fraudsters,” Mr. Aquino said in a statement.

“When presented an investment opportunity, take time to verify the legitimacy of the company, especially their authority to solicit investments from the public, and to understand how the promised returns will be generated and delivered.”

Kapa’s activities are prohibited under the Securities Regulation Code, and could face a fine of up to P5 million or a 21-year sentence, or both.

A criminal complaint against Kapa, its founder and president Joel A. Apolinario, trustee Margie A. Danao, corporate secretary Reyna L. Apolinario and other promoters of the investment scam, is currently pending. — Arra B. Francia