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SEC warns public against two investment-taking entities

STEVE BUISSINNE-PIXABAY

IN SEPARATE advisories, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned the public not to invest in Tether Pay Ltd. and Ground Zero Poultry Agricultural Corp. as both companies have not secured the license to sell investment contracts.

The commission found out that Ground Zero had been enticing the public to invest in its “poultry farm pursuits” for as low as P20,000 with 36% to 80% “guaranteed” return on investment for a lock-in period of six or 12 months.

The SEC identified the company’s scheme as a way of selling investment contracts wherein funds are placed in a common enterprise with a reasonable expectation of profit derived from the efforts of others.

The Securities Regulation Code (SRC) provides that the offer and sale of securities must be duly registered with the commission and that the concerned entity should have the appropriate license to sell such securities to the public.

The regulator said that although Ground Zero is registered with the commission, it is not authorized to solicit investments as it did not secure prior registration.

It also found out that the company is related to two entities, which it identified only as Hustlin Bullies and Ground Zero Poultry, for which the commission previously posted separate advisories against — on Sep. 14, 2021 and Feb. 8, 2022, respectively.

Meanwhile, the commission also warned against Tether Pay Ltd., which has been soliciting investments for foreign exchange and cryptocurrency trading. The entity also uses the names Tether-Pay and Tether.Pay.com.

Investments in the company range from 10 USDT to 300,000 USDT (or P557.50 to P1,672,500) with a supposed guaranteed 3% to 10% daily profit in 70 days or 210% profit for the same period.

USDT or Tether is said to be a stable-value cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar.

The company also offers a return on investment percent upgrades, which increase by 1% for every 5,000 USDT deposits, 1% for every 30 downlines with more than 1,000 total USDT deposits, or 1% for every 10,000 USDT worth of investments.

According to the SEC, Tether Pay is engaged in a fraudulent scheme of offering unregistered securities that violate Sections 8 and 26 of the SRC.

Section 8 of the SRC states that all securities sold or offered for distribution in the Philippines must be registered with the commission prior to sale, while Section 26 says that it is unlawful for any person who sells any kind of securities to employ any scheme to defraud.

The regulator emphasized that the public should stop investing in the two entities as well as other entities that have the same schemes, and exercise caution in dealing with individuals who solicit investments. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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