The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has named Sophia Francisco Holding OPC and BeastnessAllDay Corp. instructed to stop soliciting public investment as they are unlicensed.
In an order, agency Sophia Francisco ordered financial advisory services Sophia-Francisco and Sophia Francisco Trading to stop offering and selling assets to the public without the required license from the SEC.
The order includes, among others, owner and agent Sophia Maria Andrea Francisco, President Gregorio Ramirez, nominee Yolanda Ramirez and Deputy Nominee John Mark Henarez Francisco.
The group was also ordered to close down its internet presence in relation to its investment project. They were also prohibited from doing business with funds in their custodians and transferring, disposing or transferring related assets to ensure the preservation of investors’ assets.
The order was issued after the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD) found that Sophia’s group had been actively publicly offering or selling unregistered securities in the form of investment contracts.
It offered investments worth just P500 with guaranteed returns of up to 3 percent daily for 20 days. There was also a 5 percent finder’s fee for those who can invite new investors into the group.
Although Sophia Francisco is registered with the SEC as a one-person corporation, she has not been granted a secondary license authorizing her to solicit investment from the public, and the group has no pending application for such a license.
Meanwhile, the SEC also issued a cease-and-desist order against BeastnessAllDay, which is led by its owner and CEO Angelo Diaz Parian, for engaging in investment solicitation activities despite not having the authority to do so.
The order was awarded after the EIPD determined that BeastnessAllDay promises 10 to 12 percent monthly returns after a five month period for investors investing P50,000 in the group. The guaranteed returns will reportedly come from its investments, sales of appliances, real estate and personal property, luxury vehicles, shoes and other clothing items.
“However, the products and deals are all a sham and are being used to trick the public into parting with their hard-earned cash,” the EIPD said.
The EIPD also found that Parian was arrested for conducting financial transactions without the required license and for money laundering, according to a Qatar Interior Ministry post.
BeastnessAllDay is an SEC registered company, but has never been issued a secondary license authorizing it to offer or sell investments to the public.
The investment plans of BeastnessAllDay and Sophia Francisco Group both involve the sale and public offering of securities in the form of investment contracts, in which a person invests their money in a common enterprise and is led to expect profits primarily from the efforts of others, according to SEC.
“[I]It is clear that BeastnessAllDay’s business model, which promises a high rate of return, is unsustainable and can only be carried out as long as new investors continue to come in,” said the Commission en banc in its injunction against BeastnessAllDay.
“This is a fraudulent scheme that is likely to cause serious or irreparable damage or harm to the investing public.
Meanwhile, in its order against Sophia Francisco Group, the SEC said: “[T]Sophia Francisco Group’s act of selling/offering securities without the necessary license from the Commission constitutes fraud on the public which, if left unchecked, is likely to cause serious or irreparable damage or harm to the investing public.”
The SEC previously issued separate recommendations against BeastnessAllDay and Sophia Francisco Group on February 3 and September 22, respectively, warning the public against investing in the named companies.