BAGUIO CITY – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) en banc recently issued a cease and desist order (CDO) against Satarah Wellness Marketing and Satarah Wellness International under pain of contempt from further soliciting, or otherwise offering or selling unregistered securities in the form of investment contracts to the public.
Lawyer Annie Gonzales-Tesoro, Director of the SEC Baguio Extension Office, cited the cease and desist order’s coverage are investment contracts, pooling of funds, investment trust, or similar forms, and in connection therewith, soliciting, accepting or receiving from others, money for the purpose of trading in any future contract.
The CDO was served by the members of the Anti-Investment Scam Task Force to the management of Satarah Wellness Marketing and Satarah Wellness International Tuesday and the same was posted in the premises of the company’s building in Quezon Hill.
“We are now closely monitoring the activities of the two companies that were involved in the mass solicitation of investments from the public and we also encourage the people to actively participate in the stoppage of operation of the different Ponzi investment companies by reporting to the members of the task force such illegal activities for the conduct of the appropriate operations to stop them from fooling the public and eventually carting away their hard earned money,” Tesoro stressed.
While it is true that there are also notices posted in the premises of Satarah that the companies are no longer accepting investments from the public, she cited there is still a need to conduct an in-depth investigation on their on-going activities to verify reports that the companies are reportedly continuously pursuing the solicitation of investments from innocent and willing individuals from different parts of the region.
Last March, the SEC issued an advisory to the public to refraim from dealing with the management of the two companies because they do not have the secondary license to solicit securities from the public in the form of investments with a promised high interest and return of investments in a short period of time.
Numerous investors recently complained to concerned government agencies that Satarah was unable to timely release their investments and the corresponding interests on the prescribed dates and that they are being compelled to sign agreements resetting the release of their money which is two to five months from the expiration of their original contracts among others.
Tesoro said the public must take into consideration eight reminders before investing in the operation of individuals and corporations to prevent them from being divested of their hard earned money.
“A Ponzi scheme is a type of investment fraud wherein an operator promises high financial returns that are not expected from traditional investments. Instead of investing the victims’ funds, the operator pays the original investors with the money given by subsequent investors. Usually, enough money is returned to the original few investors to make them believe that profits are actually realized. These original investors then are expected to “recruit” new investors, with their testimonials that they have indeed received their “profit,” Tesoro stressed.
She said some of the features of Ponzi investment schemes are that the individual or corporation has No SEC Registration, or with SEC Registration but NO secondary license to act as broker or dealer in securities; the individual or corporation Offers or guarantees a huge profit in a very short period and the individual or corporation Utilizes a binary network (i.e. upline and downline) to earn commissions.
Furthermore, Ponzi investment schemes are also characterized by a Provision for a lock-up period where an investor cannot touch the investment (i.e. 60 days); Assures pay-off of investments in a short time; Uses high pressure methods to convince investors to reinvest their earnings; Unknown principal office, address, founders, directors or officers and Orientation seminars are conducted informally.
“These investment schemes ordinarily collapse as fast as they are created while leaving its investors behind and unable to recoup their investments,” Tesoro added.
She explained a company engaging in a Ponzi scheme is engaged in unauthorized offering, solicitation and placement of investments from the general public without the necessary license.
According to her an entity may show the public a registration certificate from the SEC or the DTI, but this certificate of registration is not the authority of these entities to engage in the unauthorized selling of securities.
“Securities are shares, participation or interests in a corporation or in a commercial enterprise or profit-making venture and evidenced by a certificate, contract, instrument, whether written or electronic in character. The essential trait of a security is that it is a participation in a profit-making venture with various elements,” she said.
She disclosed the elements are an investment of money, in a common enterprise, with an expectation of profits and primarily from efforts of others.
Tesoro appealed to the public to report any offer of investment made by persons or entities using similar modus operandi to the SEC for appropriate enforcement actions.
By Herald Express News Team