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SEC warns public vs three investment entities

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THE COUNTRY’S corporate regulator has advised the public against three entities which have been soliciting investments without the necessary licenses.

In separate advisories posted to its website on Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) classified the following groups as entities that may turn out to be “fraudulent investment schemes”: NutriWealth Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Bibli Online Store and KAPA Community Ministry International, Inc.

For NutriWealth, the SEC found that the cooperative has been offering investments under several names such as Nutriwealth Producer’s Cooperative, Nutriphysics Wellness Association, Inc., Nutriwealth Wellness Association, Inc., Nutriwealth Manufacturing Plant, Inc., Nutriwealth School of Wealth & Wellness Foundation, Inc., Minviluz Farmers and Fishermen Integrated Livelihood Association, Inc. and Value Chain Methodology (VCM).

NutriWealth was found to have conducted a Financial Literacy Caravan Israel, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Italy, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar, targeting overseas Filipino workers in the area.

Here, the group offered investments dubbed as savings, where the public can deposit P1,000-P100,000 per month for a fixed term of five to 35 years. Investors are then promised an annual interest income of 12%.

NutriWealth also has VCM, which invites the public to invest in the Dragon Fruit Global Project, Poultry Farm Project, and Manufactured Herbal Coffee and Rice Production, which assures investors of as much as 10 times the amount of their investments for a fixed period of five to 20 years.

The commission warned the public that NutriWealth and the corporations and associations connected to it do not have licenses or permits to solicit investments from the public.

Meanwhile, Bibli Online Store was found to be inviting people to sign up in its affiliate’s website, mybiblios.com, after which they are instructed to purchase an activation code worth P800 and activation pin worth P295.

Investors can then get a compensation plan which allows them to earn from P100 for every person they recruit into the system, up to P75,000 worth of down payment for a brand new car of their own choice.

There is however no record of Bibli Online Store being registered as a corporation or partnership with the SEC. With this, it is further unauthorized to solicit investments from the public.

The SEC further advised people to stop investing in KAPA Community Ministry International, Inc., a non-stock corporation operating in Pangyan Glan and Alabel, Sarangani Province, Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, and General Santos City, South Cotabato.

The group representative by a certain Joel Apolinario was found to be inviting people to invest in their company every month for as long as they please, in exchange for a 30% interest income at the end of the month. The investment is then labeled as a Deed of Donation or Certificate of Membership.

The SEC said KAPA Community does not have a secondary license to solicit such investments.

Entities who act as salesmen, brokers, or agents of NutriWealth, Bibli Online, and KAPA Community may be prosecuted and held criminally liable as per Section 28 of the Securities Regulation Code. They may also be penalized with a maximum fine of P5,000,000 or imprisoned by up to 21 years, or both. — Arra B. Francia