SEC warns public vs investing in BNP Client Project

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THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the investing public against companies headed by Armando G. Gabriel and Jay C. Galang for their illegal solicitation of investments.

In an advisory posted on its website, the SEC called out Mr. Gabriel’s LDT Agro Industrial Hub Corp. (LDT) in partnership with Mr. Galang’s Nutriwealth Multipurpose Cooperative (NMPC)/VCM-NW Corp. (VCM-NW) for offering investments online through what they called “The BNP Client Project.”

The BNP Client Project’s advocacy is supposedly to provide high-quality rice to all.

The commission found LDT was inviting people to invest a certain amount through the BNP Client Project with a lock-in period of five years, in which time they will receive 10% returns on the first year up to 30% in the fifth year.

The money will allegedly be used to finance the farm cost of LDT’s farmer-client for the entire year. It then buys the farmer-client’s produce higher than its prevailing farmgate value, giving investors “high-quality rice at a very affordable price plus an option to earn 100% interest as reward.”

The interest may be paid out in cash, cavans of rice, or a combination of rice and cash. LDT also promises investors that their money will double in five years’ time.

The SEC noted that such investment scheme is considered an investment contract, which requires a secondary license from the commission. The securities to be sold must also be authorized by the SEC.

“LDT and VCM-NW are not authorized to solicit investments from the public as the above-mentioned corporations did not secure prior registration and/or license to solicit investment from the commission as prescribed under Section 8 of the Securities Regulation Code,” the corporate regulator said.

The commission warned that those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers, or agents of the companies may be prosecuted and held criminally liable with a fine of up to P5 million or penalty of up to 21 years in prison. — Arra B. Francia