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Goking warns public as SEC red flags illegal sites

By LITO RULONA
Correspondent .

Council’s Trade, Commerce and Industry chairman Councilor George Goking has issued warning to social media users and business sectors not to engaged online business after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regional office – 10 reportedly issued a red flag advisory against Freedom Traders Club and its virtual currency product they call as “Ploutus Coins.”

Goking issued statements after he personally observed that a lot of facebook users and any other social media had been inviting people to join or invest on the said offer called “Ploutus Coins”.

He said the SEC red flag advisory was coming from the central level in Metro Manila and was pass-on to SEC-10 regional director Atty. Renato Egypto who coordinated with the city council committees who engaged on business transactions and programs.

Part of the advisory reads: “Accordingly, those who invite or recruit other people to join or invest in this venture or offer investment contracts or securities to the public may be held criminally liable or accordingly sanctioned or penalized in accordance with the Supreme Court decision in the case of SEC vs. Oudine Santos (G.R. No. 195542, March 19, 2014).”

The SEC urges anyone who has knowledge or information about any business transaction involving these securities or investment opportunities to report such activity so that appropriate actions could be taken through the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department at (02)818-6337 or (02)818-6047 or email at epd@sec.gov.ph.

“Daghan karon diri sa Cagayan de Oro ang nag-apil ani kay hussle free daw pero wala sila kahibalo nga scam diay kini. I myself was being invited to join pero when we made some verification migawas kini nga order,” he added.

The notice sent to the committee also relates that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has received information that Freedom Traders Club through its founder Mark Freeman, are offering a crypto currency called PLOUTOS COIN to the public.

Per SEC records, the Freedom Traders Club is not allegedly registered as a corporation or partnership and is not authorized to solicit investments from the public.

Freedom Traders Club did not allegedly secure prior registration and/or license to solicit investment from the Commission as prescribed under Section 8 of the Securities Regulation Code. Based on information gathered by the Commission, Freedom Traders Club has been conducting orientation seminars throughout the Visayas and Mindanao region to promote the grand launching of Ploutos Coin.

In the said orientation seminars, Ploutus Coin was advertised and promoted as an investment vehicle where coin holders can earn a profit by merely holding the said coins. Likewise, in the said orientation seminars, the following representations were made.

On 8 July 2018, an event called the “The Ploutos Coin Grand Launching” was held at the Atrium Limketkai, Cagayan de Oro City to publicly launch the “initial coin offering” of  Ploutus Coin.

Since this scheme involves the sale of securities to the public, the SRC requires that the said securities offered are duly registered and that the appropriate license and/or permit to sell securities to the public are issued to the corporation and/or its agents, pursuant to the provisions of Section 8 of the SRC.

Likewise, those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents of these companies in selling or convincing people to invest in the investment scheme being offered by these “cryptocurrency” mining companies including solicitations and recruitment through the internet may likewise be prosecuted and held criminally liable under Section 28 of the Securities Regulation Code and penalized with a maximum fine of Five Million pesos (P5,000,000.00) or penalty of twenty-one (21) years of imprisonment or both pursuant to Section 73 of the SRC.

 

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