The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines has issued a public advisory against Hero Mining International Group for offering unregistered securities to members of the public.
Hero Mining has been offering Filipinos the chance to earn profits on their investments in mining equipment. Investors can earn up to 60% from the profits of invited friends and a staggering 240% via staking on the platform for a three-month period, according to the SEC advisory.
The regulator warns that Hero Mining has failed to register its offering with the body and does not have the required license to offer investment contracts to the public. Citing the Securities Regulation Code, the SEC proved that Hero Mining’s offer was an investment contract because it included the placement of funds in a common enterprise with an expectation of profit from the efforts of others.
Apart from not being registered, the commission warned the public that the firm could be running a fraudulent operation using fake profits to keep the pyramid scheme going. It added that, like every Ponzi scheme, early investors reap the most gains while subsequent investors bear the brunt of the losses.
“The offering and selling of securities in the form of investment contracts using the “Ponzi Scheme” which is fraudulent and unsustainable, is NOT a registrable Security,” read the advisory. “The Commission will not issue a license to sell securities to the public to persons or entities that are engaged in this business or scheme.”
A further warning was issued to brokers and agents of Hero Mining to desist from convincing people to invest in the firm’s offering. The advisory revealed that company agents are staring at the grim possibility of 21 years in jail and the payment of a fine worth PHP5 million ($89,357).
A streak of public advisories
Since the start of the year, the securities regulator has issued over 60 advisory warnings against individuals and firms engaged in selling unregistered securities. In November, it flagged the activities of Cryptogix, Bitbankups, Frutas Comida Zamboanga, and Lodi Coins, among others.
Not satisfied with merely issuing warnings, the commission has also launched successful raids on the offices of defaulters. Last month, the SEC, in conjunction with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), implemented a search warrant for Silverlion’s office amid allegations of running a Ponzi scheme.
Bundles of cash were seized during the raids, which it says was “supposedly scheduled to be used for the upcoming payout of profits to its existing investors.”
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