SEC flags partnership for illegal investment scheme

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it revoked the registration of Katuwang Poultry Chicken Egg Producing Co. as a partnership due to its illegal investment scheme.

The SEC said in an advisory posted on Wednesday that Katuwang Poultry had been publicly offering securities to the public through Facebook without license or permission from the commission.

The partnership’s activities constituted serious misrepresentation as to what it can do, to the great prejudice of or damage to the general public, a ground for the revocation of its certificate of registration, according to the order.

In September last year, the commission warned the public against investing in Katuwang Poultry.

“Katuwang Poultry has been offering investment packages worth at least P50,000, with promised returns of supposedly 48% to 120% within six months, depending on the amount invested,” the regulator said.

“For instance, investors with P50,000 to P99,000 in capital can receive monthly dividends worth 8%, while those who invested more than P500,000 can earn monthly dividends of 20% over the course of six months. Investors can also earn referral commissions worth 10% for every new member they invite into the system,” it added.

Katuwang Poultry’s scheme involves securities, particularly an investment contract, whereby a person invests his money in a common enterprise and is led to expect profits primarily from the efforts of others, according to the SEC.

“As a form of security, investment contracts must be registered with the SEC before they can be sold or offered within the Philippines,” it added.

The commission said that Katuwang Poultry is a registered partnership, but it has never secured a secondary license to operate as a broker or dealer of securities, nor is it a registered issuer of any securities.

“Based on the evidence gathered, Katuwang Poultry is engaged in the offering, solicitation and sale of securities to the public without the required registration statement duly filed and approved by the SEC,” the advisory read.

“The investment scheme of Katuwang Poultry also operates to defraud investors as it deceives the investing public by making it appear that it has the authority to deal in securities,” it added.

The SEC also noted that the group was using the certificate of registration issued by the commission to “disguise itself as a legitimate investment.”

“This amounts to serious misrepresentation as to what it can do or is doing to the damage and prejudice of the investing public,” it added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson