THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a cease-and-desist order against Royal O’ Consultancy Services OPC and related entities for offering unlicensed investment schemes to the public.

The SEC has previously released advisories warning the public not to invest in Royal O’ Consultancy and its affiliates, which are said to be owned by a certain Princess Joana Jo Alfajid Campos and led by Gretchen Aguas, its president.

Royal O’ Consultancy is said to be registered with the SEC as a one-person corporation (OPC) with Company Registration No. 2021010005460-01.

The cease-and-desist order also covers Royal O’ International Import and Export OPC, also registered with the commission as a one-person corporation with Company Registration No. 2021010005106-10, and Oromagnet International E-Games OPC with Company Registration No. 2020100002972-12.

All three entities have articles of incorporation explicitly stating that “the corporation shall not solicit, accept or take investments/placements from the public, neither shall it issue investment contracts.”

“The complaints submitted by the EIPD (Enforcement and Investor Protection Department) show that a considerable number of investors were enticed, and have actually parted with their hard-earned money, on the basis of the guaranteed high return of their investments that were promised to them,” the SEC said in an issuance.

The other individuals involved in the scheme, which are named by the regulator, are one of its agents Scelnna M. Jimenez, leader and offeror Christopher “Toffy” Dimaguila, agent Christopher “Ace” Tundag, and Team Malacash Group Chat Administrator Honeylyn Grace Israel.

Two of Royal O’ Consultancy’s affiliates are registered with the Department of Trade and Industry — Plasmatech Medical Supplies Trading with Certificate No. or Business Name No. 1864944 and Bacolod-based Royal O’ Dry Goods Trading with No. 1864944 and 2391576 and 2316919.

Meanwhile, Princess Joana Jo Alfajid Campos Foundation is said to be an unregistered foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Royal O’ Consultancy lures investors in its scheme by branding it as a “co-ownership of funds to cater to various businesses involved with, among others, in operation of macro and micro-businesses, trucking, importation, and exportation of goods, etc.”

The entity and its affiliates were offering investment schemes to the public via business presentations on Zoom, Facebook posts, and YouTube, the SEC said.

Royal O’ Consultancy and its affiliates also do not have the necessary licenses to sell securities. The entity also did not file nor does it have a pending application for registration to sell securities to the public.

“The inescapable conclusion is that the sources of Royal O’s profits which were used to pay the guaranteed returns of its investors were derived not from legitimate businesses activities, but solely from the unauthorized investment taking activities of Royal O,’” the commission said.

Royal O’ Consultancy’s scheme is said to also resemble a Ponzi scheme, which promises investors big returns with little or no risk at all and where the investments of new investors are used to pay off the “profits” of old investors. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte