By Jeffrey Damicog
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is expected to conclude, within the month, the preliminary investigation on the criminal complaint filed against Kapa-Community Ministry Inc. over allegations its officials have been engaged in an investment scam.
During Monday’s (August 5) hearing, a panel of prosecutors chaired by Assistant State Prosecutors Zenamar Machacon-Caparros told the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to file this August 15 its reply to the counter-affidavits of the respondents.
After which, the panel told the respondents to file rejoinders in response to the reply by August 27 when the preliminary investigation is expected to be concluded and the case submitted for resolution.
In its complaint, the SEC accused the respondents of having violated Sections 8, 26, 28 of Republic Act No. 8799, the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).
Those who have been named as respondents in the SEC complaint were Kapa founder and president Joel Apolinario, his wife Reyna, Catherine Evangelista, Rene Catubigan, Margie Danao, Marisol Diaz, Adelfa Fernandico, and Moises Mopia.
“Those who sell or offer securities to the public without the necessary license may be held criminally liable and accordingly sanctioned or penalized pursuant to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of the SEC vs. Oudine Santos on March 19, 2014 and within the definition of securities solicitation in the 2015 SRC Rules,” the SEC previously stated.
It said those who would be found guilty “face a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of seven to 21 years, or both.”
The SEC also found Kapa to have employed “a Ponzi scheme, an investment program that offers impossibly high returns and pays investors using the money contributed by other investors.”
“This qualifies as a fraudulent transaction prohibited under Section 26 (26.3) of the SRC,” it stated.
Under the scheme, the SEC explained Kapa “enticed the public to ‘donate’ at least P10,000 in exchange for a 30-percent monthly ‘blessing’ or ‘love gift’ for life, without having to do anything other than invest and wait for the payout.”