THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered Chiyuto Creative Wealth Documentation Facilitation Services to stop soliciting investments from the public until it has secured the necessary license.

In a cease-and-desist order posted on Feb. 1 on its website, the corporate regulator said it had ordered Chiyuto to stop offering or selling securities in the form of investment contracts via a double-your-money roulette game.

According to the SEC, the order covers Chiyuto’s owner Patrocencio C. Chiyuto, Jr., nominee Judy B. Pajarillo, and alternate nominee Felomina L. Andrada.

It added that the order includes other people and entities involved with Chiyuto, namely: Maricris Can Chiyuto, Maria Christina Chiyuto Canobida, Naneth Barruela, Aureliza Apa-Ap, Capiz Buy and Sell Anything, Kiaka Avel Cho, and Santiago City Online Market.

“Chiyuto and Creative Wealth one-person corporation are further enjoined from transacting business involving funds in its depository banks and from transferring, disposing, or conveying any related assets to ensure the preservation of the assets for the benefit of affected investors,” the SEC said.

The order was issued after the commission found out that Chiyuto had been offering the public with investments that promise returns of 100% in one day, 30 days or 45 days, subject to the result of the roulette, without acquiring a secondary license.

“Under the scheme, an investor places as low as P1 to as much as P1 million. Chiyuto will then spin the roulette to select the payout schedule and issue a promissory note to the investor with the corresponding return and day when the guaranteed earnings could be claimed,” the SEC said.

“In addition, Chiyuto has offered a 5% referral commission and held raffles with brand new cars and motorcycles as prizes to attract more investors,” it added.

The SEC said that based on Republic Act No. 8799 or the Securities Regulation Code, securities cannot be sold or offered for sale within the Philippines without an approved registration statement.

Chiyuto initially registered with the Department of Trade and Industry as a sole proprietorship and subsequently with the SEC as a one-person corporation.

“However, it has never secured a secondary license from the Commission as issuer of securities or broker dealer nor registered any securities for public offering pursuant to the Securities Regulation Code,” the SEC said.

According to the SEC, it has issued warnings to the public against investing in Chiyuto and other entities involved in unauthorized investment-taking activities since Aug. 18 last year and via an investor alert in its official Facebook page on Oct. 23.

BusinessWorld sought the comment of Chiyuto regarding the SEC’s order, but has not received a response as of press time. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave