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SEC flags ‘deceitful’ Pigdeals for unauthorized investment scheme

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revoked the registration of Pigdeals International Holdings, Inc. for deceiving the public with an unauthorized investment scheme.

“Particularly vile is the deceitful representation of Pigdeals to the public that it has secured a secondary license from this commission under the name of Pigdeals International Holdings, Inc. and that its primary license is procured from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under the name of Pigdeals Agriventures Hog Farming Trading,” the commission said.

The SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (SEC EIPD) said it received several inquiries regarding Pigdeals’ business operations.

Pigdeals was offering potential investors a plan involving a minimum P2,500 investment for one piglet, which will be raised by Pigdeals. The group promised a return of P4,500 after three months.

“The investment scheme offered is [the] same as [the] 90-day challenge,” one inquiry commented. “They also claimed that they are an official supplier of Monterey. They informed [me] that the farm is situated in Sitio Cumba, Batangas and [the] office address is located in Metrowalk, Pasig City.”

Further investigation by the commission’s Markets and Securities Regulation Department (MSRD) revealed that Pigdeals has not registered any securities as required under the Securities Regulation Code. The group also does not have a permit to sell securities.

The MSRD said that Pigdeals has not filed and does not have pending applications to sell securities.

Meanwhile, the Corporate Governance and Finance Department also said that the entity is not registered as an issuer of mutual funds, exchange traded funds, and proprietary or nonproprietary shares. Pigdeals is also not an authorized issuer of membership certificates and timeshares.

The SEC’s Company Registration and Monitoring Department certified that Pigdeals is registered with the commission.

However, the entity does not have a secondary license nor does it have a pending application to be authorized as a lending company, broker and/or dealer of securities, dealer in government securities, investment adviser of an investment company, investment house and transfer agent.

The SEC issued an advisory against Pigdeals in October last year.

The commission warned that although the entity is registered with the DTI as Pigdeals Agriventures Hog Farm Trading, it still lacks permits.

“Further, although Pigdeals’ secondary purpose pertain to operating agricultural lands, animal farms, ranches, poultry, hatchery and feed mills, and breeding, crossbreeding, laying eggs, raising, growing, pasturing, it does not have the necessary permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry,” the commission said.

“Despite the public warning by this commission, Pigdeals did not bother to refute the issued advisory against it. And upon the issuance of the SEC advisory against it, Pigdeals started to slow down with its business activity until eventually, by the latter part of 2019, it just abandoned its office in Metrowalk, Pasig City,” the SEC added.

The corporate regulator said it issued a show-cause order against the entity and its stockholders, directors, and incorporators in November last year. However, the SEC did not receive any reply from company officials as they had abandoned their office.

The commission also said it tried tracking several of the entity’s officials, but found that the names and the addresses provided on paper were dupes.

“On the other hand, Barangay 356 One 36 District III Office of the Barangay Chairman certified that 17 Antipolo St., Brgy. 356, Santa Cruz, Manila, the supposed address of incorporator, Jane Ashley Velasco San Miguel, does not exist in their barangay,” the SEC said.

“Further, Barangay West Kamias Tanggapan ng Punong Barangay certified that both Rocky Manalo Gonzales and Kenneth Carl Arguilles Villaverde, who both represented that they are residents of 67 Chico St., West Kamias, Quezon City, are not residents therein. Lastly, the purported address of Dwayne Ramos Walberg at 12 Edison St., Bel-Air, Makati City is a wrong address,” the commission added.

The commission concluded that the activities of Pigdeals, which include offering of securities and investments to the public, “constitute [to] serious misrepresentation.” — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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