The Philippines securities regulator has once again halted a digital asset-themed investment project on allegations of fraud. Astrazion Group has been under the regulator’s radar since earlier this year, culminating in a cease and desist order against the firm.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued the order against the Astrazion Global Holdings Philippines, Astrazion International, and Astrazion Noble Task Community Foundation, all collectively known as Astrazion Group. It also issued a ruling against the orchestrators of the scheme.
In its order, which was filed specifically by the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department, the watchdog ordered the company to stop engaging in “unlawful/unauthorized solicitation, offer and/or sale of securities until it has filed the requisite registration statement and secured the necessary approval from the SEC.”
Astrazion has allegedly been offering its native digital currency, AZNT token, through an illegal multi-level marketing platform. Through this platform, the company, its founders, and its hundreds of promoters have been promoting the sale of AZNT for $0.0019.
“The Astrazion Group enticed the public to invest by assuring members that the AZNT Tokens will be registered and listed as a cryptocurrency at Coin Market Cap, and will be traded in the digital currency trading platform Binance. The AZNT token’s value could allegedly rise to $10 each from its current price of 10 cents,” the order read.
Aside from its speculative value, Astrazion claimed that AZNT could earn passive income by holding it, as well as direct referral income distribution.
The SEC determined that the company has been engaging in the sale of securities in the form of investment contracts. And while its three subsidiaries are registered corporations, none of them have secured a secondary license to issue securities or act as a broker-dealer.
This is not the first time that the regulator has called out Astrazion. Back in February, it warned the public against investing in its products or other similar products available in the Filipino market.
“The commission finds that the Astrazion Group is willfully defrauding the investing public in its act of selling and offering AZNT Token and in promising a guaranteed return of 3% daily,” it said.
In the past few weeks, the SEC has called out other similar digital asset-related investment companies for securities violations and outright fraud, including Sengre, which was selling the SGC Coin, and Leefire, which was conducting an ICO.
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