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SEC renews warnings against PhilHelp, flags Yumboss investment scheme

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued new warnings to the public regarding unauthorized investment schemes.

The corporate regulator renewed its warning to the public against investing in unregistered entity PhilHelp Administration of Financial Marketing/PhilHelp International Lending Company, which began to operate under PhilHelp Micro Financing, Inc. after the commission’s initial public advisory.

PhilHelp, through its president Reynaldo Cheng Pamen, has continued to collect unauthorized investments. The entity is now using a new name and claims to be under registered company 3005 Levels Corp.

3005 Levels registered with the SEC in June 2019 to engage in buying, selling, leasing, renting, leased property, or to invest, own, or develop small-scale housing, subdivide and operate any real estate and properties.

The SEC said 3005 Levels does not have a secondary license to participate in investment-taking activities, nor is it allowed to engage in financing activities.

PhilHelp is offering a new scheme called Project 200 with 3005 Levels, where the new scheme offers investors other ways to earn through several packages, which still depend on referrals.

“PhilHelp Micro Financing, Inc., PhilHelp Administration of Financial Marketing, PhilHelp International Lending Company, and 3005 Levels Corp. are engaged in unauthorized lending activities and entice the public to invest as a lender with a guaranteed interest of 100% or double-your-money in 45 days,” the commission reported.

PhilHelp was also found to be continuing its peer-to-peer lending program, which offers up to 180% profit growth through putting in a capital as low as P2,000 to P5 million. Returns may bump up through direct and indirect referrals.

The commission clarified that neither entities are authorized as a crowdfunding intermediary or a funding portal under the SEC Memorandum Circular No. 14, Series of 2019 or the Rules and Regulations Governing Crowdfunding.

Meanwhile, Yumboss Corp., which also identifies as Yumboss Putok Batok or Fresh Smart Super Store, Inc., was also flagged by the SEC for being involved in unlicensed investment-taking activities.

Yumboss offers a co-ownership program for its restaurants.

A minimum investment of P350,000 all-in promises a monthly return of P16,000, while an investment worth P500,000 promises P20,000 in monthly earnings for the next three years.

The program also offers investors a 25% discount rate at any Putok Batok restaurant.

“While Yumboss Corp. and Fresh Smart Super Store, Inc. are registered with the commission as corporations, however, they are not authorized to offer, solicit, sell, or distribute any investment/securities to the public,” the SEC said.

The commission reminds the public that penalties will be imposed on those caught involved in illicit investment activities, which include those who act as recruiters, salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents representing unauthorized entities.

Names of those involved will be submitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue so that appropriate penalties and/or taxes will be assessed. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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