Actor’s wife faces charges for Facebook gold scam
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a complaint against a woman who has been using social media to allegedly sell illegal gold investments operated by companies related to the Emgoldex group.
In a 14-page criminal complaint filed at the Department of Justice on Tuesday, the SEC sued Mary Grace Miranda Lapid along with other John and Jane Does for unauthorized selling of investments. The corporate regulator noted Lapid had neither registration nor license as a capital market professional.
Lapid was described as an active agent of Global Intergold (GIG) and Prosperous Infinite Philippine Holdings Corp. (PIPHC), companies related to Emgoldex, which was previously exposed as an alleged operator of a gold investment scam. A source from SEC said Lapid is the sister of Kevin Miranda, main respondent of an earlier complaint filed by the SEC against Emgoldex, GIG and PIPHC in Nov. 2015, and the wife of actor Jess Lapid.
In the petition, the SEC alleged Lapid was “actively promoting, advertising and posting through Facebook the marketing program of GIG and PIPHC as well as some photos of other members of GIG and PIPHC especially Kevin Miranda, who is a renowned ‘grand upline’ of GIG and PIPHC.”
The SEC cited the affidavit of complainant Gloreyna Reyes, who was reportedly lured to invest P36,000 for a promise of huge profits totaling P180,000. Reyes was allegedly told that a prospective client had to buy gold through an online shop in the amount of P36,000, which was equivalent to one share of GIG.
She was then told to invite two other investors and must be able to exit from the “main table of orders.” Once the main table of orders is completed, the member will receive a reward of P180,000, the supposed actual value of gold purchased.
Reyes did not receive the profits and discovered that a cease-and-desist order was issued by the SEC against Emgoldex on Nov. 5, 2015.
The SEC also said the investment scheme supposedly asked for a membership fee of P1,042 to P36,500 for Emgoldex and GIG Marketing Program and P2,100 for PIPHC.
The funds from investors were then supposedly pooled together and deposited to the account of an Emgoldex/GIG upline or PIPHC corporate bank account. The upline recruiters supposedly bought the gold in a commodities exchange market abroad.
“However, there is no truth to Emgoldex and GIG’s claim that they operate an online gold store and retailer. Global IGold UK, allegedly the mother company of Emgoldex and GIG, has denied any connection with the latter and has disowned any acts of GIG attributing affiliation to them,” the SEC said.