SEC stops religious firm KAPA’s illegal investment offering
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a cease-and-desist order to Kapa-Community Ministry International Inc. (KAPA), a religious corporation that was found to be soliciting investments from the public in a manner resembling a Ponzi scheme.
In a press statement on Monday, the SEC said it had uncovered “substantial” evidence that KAPA had been offering and selling securities in the form of investment contracts without the necessary license.
KAPA also operates as KAPA Kabus Padatuon (Enrich the Poor), KAPA KAPPA (Kabus Padutoon), KAPA-Co Convenience Store and General Merchandise, and KAPA Worldwide Ministry.
The SEC order, dated Feb. 14, 2019, covers the religious group’s partners, officers, directors, agents, representatives and all other persons acting for and in their behalf.
It also directed KAPA to stop promoting its investment scheme through the internet and remove promotional presentations online.
KAPA and its people, affiliates and subsidiaries were also barred from disposing of their remaining properties and other assets for the benefit of the investors.
While KAPA is a registered corporation in the Philippines, its certificate of incorporation dated March 3, 2017, explicitly states that it is not authorized to undertake business activities requiring a secondary license, such as acting as broker or dealer in securities, investment house, or closed-end or open-end investment company.
Citing an investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation in Caraga, the SEC noted that KAPA had amassed P7 million from hundreds of investors at some point.
The religious firm mostly targeted teachers in Bislig City in Surigao del Sur, based on complaints received by the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD).
The SEC also took note of the EIPD’s findings that the investment scheme of KAPA had the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme as it promised an exorbitant rate of return with little or no risk at all to investors.
Accordingly, the SEC invoked Section 64 of the Securities Regulation Code, which empowers it to issue a cease and desist order without the necessity of a prior hearing if the act or practice will operate as a fraud on investors or is otherwise likely to cause grave or irreparable injury or prejudice to the investing public.
Those who have invested money or have been invited to join KAPA are encouraged to report the matter to the SEC’s head office or extension offices.
They may also seek the assistance of the SEC-Davao City Extension Office at SDC Building, Purok 13, Maa Road, Maa, Davao City: Call (082) 298-2170 and (082) 298-1893; or send an email at [email protected]
In Cagayan de Oro City, they may visit the Commission at the SEC Building at the corner 14th and Tomasco Del Lara Street: Call (088) 857-4325 and (088) 857-7225; or send an email at [email protected] /atm
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