SEC warns investors against 5 online, crypto firms

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued advisories against five more crypto-currency soliciting investments from the public without the necessary licenses.

In separate advisories dated April 7, the SEC warned the public against investing in Cryptec, CryptoPeso, V2R Trades, Lao Razon Trading and/or Lao Razon Marketing, and Sakto Online Advertising.

Cryptec is a non-licensed offshore cryptocurrency broker, which started operations in September 2019 using the domain. It is operated by Point Place Ltd. in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

It offers different trading accounts promising a 50% to 150% trading bonus along with a 1:10 to 1:40 leverage. One may open a trading account with an investment ranging from $250 to more than $500,000. Cryptec uses the leverage system as an investment strategy by retaining a portion of the investor’s money as securities and using it for other businesses or ventures.

As an additional tactic, Cryptec’s account managers will frequently and persistently converse with investors online in order to solicit bigger amounts in exchange for higher returns.

CryptoPeso, on the other hand, solicits investments online in the guise of a mobile token wallet and payment application. It is operated by Blockxperts Inc. of Larrimar Espiritu Tia, who also serves as chief innovative officer of Indigen, the corporation that introduces the unilevel marketing program in the CyptoPeso application.

This year, the new version of the CryptoPeso mobile application was launched with the PHPc Staking Program, which requires an investment of at least P2,000 from members plus a P500 activation fee. The amount invested will be converted into CryptoPeso, or PHPc, which will be staked and locked in for three to 24 months.

The profit would depend on the amount invested and the lock-in period selected by the investor. For instance, a minimum investment of P2,500 could supposedly earn P15,000 after three months.

In addition, CryptoPeso offers affiliates commissions for every recruit who registers and invests using the referral link under its Unilevel Marketing Program.

V2R Trades likewise solicits investments online. It offers compensation packages worth P5,700 to P285,000 and promises a 33% monthly return. An investor may receive P50 to P5,000 daily rewards, 10% referral rewards, as well as 7% to 10% match rewards.

Lao Razon Trading and/or Lao Razon Marketing operates a similar scheme. The group headed by John Luis Razon as president and headquartered in Dumaguete promises a 30% to 500% compounding income within a one- to six-month period for an initial investment of P500 to P5 million.

Under its Hybrid Booster Program Promotions, Lao Razon Trading also allows members to supposedly earn as much as P28,000 by purchasing products worth P2,000 at the minimum. In addition, it guarantees a 5% direct referral and a 1% interest referral commission bonus.

Under its Hybrid Booster Multiplier Incentives, meanwhile, Lao Razon Trading promises rewards such as laptops, motorcycles, sedan cars, SUV vehicles, sports cars, and houses and lots.

On the other hand, Sakto Online Advertising entices the public to buy packages of “Sakto Amazing Detergent Powder” worth P198 to P13,986 and resell them or simply recruit members to make profits.

The group was founded by a certain Rosulo Vigilia Cabusora Jr. in Satiago City, Isabela. Based on SEC records, Cryptec, Point Place, CryptoPeso, Blockxperts, Indigen, V2R Trades, Lao Razon Trading and/or Lao Razon Marketing and Sakto Online Advertising have not secured the necessary licenses to solicit investments from the public, as required by Republic Act No. 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code.

Those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents of fraudulent investment schemes may be held criminally liable and penalized with a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both under the Securities Regulation Code.

In addition, Republic Act No. 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, penalizes those participating in cyber incidents that make use or take advantage of the current crisis to prey on the public through scams, phishing, fraudulent emails, or other similar acts with two-month imprisonment or a maximum fine of P1 million or both.

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