SEC orders closure of 2 firms for investment fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered the closure of Fast Track Worldwide Inc. and JOCALS688 Beauty and Wellness Products Trading Inc., two entities flagged for fraudulent investment schemes.
In separate orders issued on May 28, the SEC ordered Fast Track and JOCALS688 to immediately cease and desist, under pain of contempt, from soliciting investments from the public or engaging in similar activities.
Fast Track and JOCALS688 were likewise barred from transacting any business involving funds in its depository banks and from transferring, disposing or conveying in any manner all related assets to forestall grave damage and prejudice to all concerned and to ensure the preservation of the assets for the benefit of the investors.
The cease-and-desist orders cover operators, partners, directors, officers, salespersons, agents, representatives, promoters and all persons, conduit entities and subsidiaries claiming and acting for and on behalf of these entities.
According to the SEC, Fast Track and JOCALS688 engaged in the sale and offering of securities in the form of investment contracts without prior registration and the corresponding permit in violation of Republic Act No. 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code.
Based on the case SEC versus CJH Development Corp., the Supreme Court ruled that the act of selling unregistered securities would necessarily operate as a fraud on investors as it deceives the investing public by making it appear that the company has authority to deal on such securities.
Fast Track was incorporated by Rey Aldwin Bautista Valeriano, James Rhyan Espinosa Guillera, Clive Christopher Cortez Llora, Jeneil Santos Aguilar and Jay Piscadero Gregorio in 2019 primarily “to engage in direct selling of goods and merchandises to consumers.” However, the certificate of incorporation issued to Fast Track expressly prohibited it from soliciting, accepting or taking investments from the public or issuing investment contracts.
However, evidence gathered by the SEC showed that Fast Track actually offered investment packages bundled with health, lifestyle and nutrition products for P1,499 to P49,999.
Investors were guaranteed with returns of as much as P3 million a year as well as commissions and bonuses when they recruit more people to invest in the company.
JOCALS688 was registered as a corporation in 2019 to engage in the sale, distribution, marketing and trading of goods, commodities and merchandise such as beauty and wellness products, coffee, juice and herbal products. INQ
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