THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned investors anew to avoid dealing with Kapa-Community Ministry International in the face of its alleged revival under a new name.

The country’s corporate regulator said it found several posts on social media claiming that Kapa will be relaunched under the name KAPA Worldwide Ministry Association soon.

It noted that KAPA Worldwide is not registered with the commission as a corporation or a partnership, nor does it have a secondary license that will authorize it to solicit investments from the public.

“The Commission notes that KAPA could have not successfully registered another corporation, given its history of defrauding investors and a pending criminal complaint against it and its officers and promoters,” the SEC said in a statement.

The SEC revoked Kapa’s certificate of incorporation as a non-stock corporation last April for “serious misrepresentation of what it was doing or could do to the great damage or prejudice of the public.”

This arose from its solicitation of investments under the guise of donations, where people can invest at least P10,000 in exchange for 30% returns, or what it called a monthly blessing or love gift.

Investors under this scheme had to do nothing but invest and wait for the guaranteed returns every month.

Kapa had allegedly collected about P50 billion from the public, based on its supposed membership of five million people and the minimum investment of P10,000.

The SEC said Kapa’s activities resembled that of a Ponzi scheme, where early investors gain profits off the investment of newer investors.

Fraudulent transactions, including the so-called Ponzi scheme, are prohibited under the Securities Regulation Code (SRC). It also prohibits persons from engaging in the buying or selling of securities as a broker or dealer, unless they are duly registered with the SEC.

As per the SRC, those acting as salesmen, brokers, or agents of the group may be held criminally liable and pay a fine of up to P5 million or be imprisoned by up to 21 years.

The commission has since lodged 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. — ABF