• SEC: 3 marketing firms told to stop operations

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    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued cease and desist orders against Success200 International Corp., Goldextreme Trading Co. and Grandtime Automobile Inc. for engaging in illegal forms of multi-level marketing” known as a pyramiding scam.

    Success200 International Marketing Corp.’s (Success200) supposed primary purpose, among others, is “to engage in the business of manufacture, distribution and marketing of value products such as pharmaceutical grade medicinal products, foods, supplements, health and wellness products.”

    The incorporators and directors of Success200 include Alberto Monzuela, who is also the treasurer.

    In a motion for cease and desist (CDO), the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD) alleged that it received various emails revealing the investment scheme of Success200.

    One of the messages noted Success200 claims it “can turn an investment of P1,800 to P10, 000.”

    The website of Success200 and a Facebook page of a certain Ann Fevreir SJ Santiago were found to be doing promotional activities for Success200.

    The Facebook account entices potential investors to purchase a product on the low-end for P1, 800 “ . . . invite two only, exit two or three weeks.” The account also shows how an investor could “exit” from the scheme.

    The investigating team, posing as interested clients, alleged that Monzuela told them that for P1, 8000, a member can earn P10, 000 once he or she completes “one board,” which consists of 15 members.

    Monzuela told investigators that P1, 800 is considered as the “low-end” level and that a member may invest on the “high-end” level for P36,000.

    A “high-end” investment supposedly gives a pay-out of P200,000 once the member is able to exit the scheme.

    On the other hand, Goldxtreme Trading Co. (Goldxtreme) is a partnership registered with the SEC on March 6, 2015. It was organized by Gavin Tan and Romell Tan.

    Its primary purpose is “to engage in the business of wholesale and retail sales of such products as gold jewelry, but not limited to products such a fashion accessories, cellphone loads, prepaid cards, scents and other related products.”

    However, EIPD also received e-mail inquiries on the legality of Goldextreme.

    The SEC found out Goldxtreme requires investors to pay an initial investment of P5,000 to get slot in a table of orders. The table comprises 15 slots, which will be filled up by new recruits.

    Once the table is full, the investors can exit with P25, 000 in earnings, minus a 10- percent withholding tax deducted by the company.

    All investors are advised to recruit other investors to fill up the table of orders. They also get a P500 referral bonus.

    Another company supposedly offering get-rich-quick schemes is Grandtime Automobile Inc. (GTA). It was supposedly organized “to engage in, carry on and operate the business of driving school and other related services is also engaged in “an illegal form of multi-level marketing,” company.

    On its Facebook page, GTA promises a P12, 000 payout after an investor pays a fixed “entry fee” of P1,200 and is able to recruit four others into the scheme.

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