THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the public against the illegal investment solicitation activities of Leefire Philippines, which has been continuing operations under another name, Sengre.
“The records of the commission show that Sengre is not registered with the commission either as a corporation or as a partnership. Further, it is not authorized to solicit investments from the public since it has not secured prior registration and/or license,” the SEC said in an advisory.
In April, the SEC issued a separate advisory against Leefire Philippines for enticing the public to invest in the company without license or registration.
The commission also reported that Leefire Philippines was not registered as a corporation or partnership and was not authorized to solicit investments, since it did not secure prior registration or license.
Under its new name, Sengre, the unauthorized firm is promising its investors to receive its native cryptocurrency Sengre Coin in an apparent initial coin offering (ICO).
An ICO is the first sale and issuance of a new virtual currency to the public usually for the purpose of raising capital for startup companies or funding independent projects, according to the SEC.
Sengre was found to be offering investments to the public through a website. Signing up entitles investors to get a cash bonus of P150 which can be used to buy corresponding levels of goods.
By accomplishing a higher-level of task, users may earn more commission and rewards. It also rewards users for inviting acquaintances to join.
The SEC said that the described schemes require that the securities be duly registered and that the corporation and its agents have the appropriate registration and license.
The commission found that Sengre is also not registered as a virtual asset service provider with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and does not have a corresponding certificate of authority as a money service business (MSB).
“Further, Sengre’s name does not appear among those listed as registered MSBs as of January 2021 with the Anti-Money Laundering Council under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, as amended,” it added.
The SEC said that salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents involved in selling or convincing people to invest in Sengre may be prosecuted and held criminally liable.
Penalties include a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of up to 21 years.
“The public is advised not to invest or stop investing in any investment scheme being offered by any individual or group of persons allegedly for or on behalf of Sengre and to exercise caution in dealing with any individuals or group of persons soliciting investments for and on behalf of it,” the regulator added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson