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SEC warns public against illegal lending firms

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned the public against investing in Almasai Finance and Investment and EMMRJ Lending Investors Corp. or EMMRJ Loan Consultancy Corp., saying none of these firms are licensed to solicit investments or act as lenders.

In an advisory posted on its website, the SEC said it received information that EMMRJ Lending has been presenting itself as a lending company despite not being registered as a corporation or partnership with the commission.

EMMRJ Loan Consultancy was also found to be soliciting investments from the public. The entity however does not have the authority to invite investments, as it does not have the necessary secondary license or permit required by law.

With this, the SEC may prosecute and hold criminally liable those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers, or agents of EMMRJ Lending and EMMRJ Loan Consultancy. This entails a maximum fine of P5 million or a penalty of up to 21 years or both, as per the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).

Meanwhile, the SEC also warned the public against investing in Almasai Finance and Investment or Almasai Equity Holdings, Corp., which is being used as an investment vehicle for a non-government organization called Sangguniang Masang Pilipino International Inc. (SMPII). — Arra B. Francia