THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned the public against investing in a group named Coinmax.ph, which adds to the agency’s growing list of entities operating investment schemes without regulatory clearance.
In an advisory on its website, the corporate regulator said Coinmax.ph is not registered with the SEC and is not authorized to solicit investments from the public as it has no license to do so.
Showing screenshots of the company’s social media posts, the SEC said it found that there are individuals or groups claiming to be from Coinmax.ph and trying to entice the public to participate in its investment schemes.
“The public is advised not to invest or stop investing in any investment scheme being offered by any individual or group of persons allegedly for or on behalf of Coinmax.ph and to exercise caution in dealing with any individuals or group of persons soliciting investments for and on behalf of it,” it said.
Based on its investigation, the SEC found that the group is offering passive earnings through three types of investment packages. A basic account gives a 90% return in 15-25 days, a gold account a 150% return in 40 days, and a premium account a 150% return in 70 days.
The SEC said this is equivalent to selling securities to the public, which is a regulated activity under the Securities Regulation Code. To authorize it, a company must register the securities with the SEC and obtain a license to sell them.
The activities of Coinmax.ph therefore violates the Securities Regulation Code. The people behind the company — salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents — may be penalized with a maximum P5-million fine, or 21 years of imprisonment, or both. They may also incur criminal liability.
Coinmax.ph, through its head as identified in the SEC advisory, was contacted by BusinessWorld for comment on this story, but was not able to reply as of deadline time.
This week, the SEC will be holding an “Investor Protection Week”, during which it will launch an online learning resource center to combat unauthorized investment schemes with lessons on investing in securities. It will also launch a campaign and hold a webinar and a corporate governance forum.
“Our fight against investment scams is anchored on the public’s awareness and empowerment to spot, avoid and expose investment scams,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said in a statement over the weekend.
“While we remain relentless in unmasking and busting investment scams, we also encourage the public to always check with SEC before entertaining any investment opportunity, especially when they are too good to be true,” he added.
The SEC regularly issues advisories on its website against companies that offer unauthorized investment schemes to the public. It has likewise issued several shutdown orders to some groups since the start of the year: Forsage and Forsage Philippines; Fast Track Worldwide, Inc.; JOCALS688 Beauty and Wellness Products Trading, Inc.; Building Our Success Stories Network, Inc.; CROWD1 Asia Pacific, Inc.; Lion City Finance Group, Inc.; and Payasian Pte. Ltd. Corp. — Denise A. Valdez