SEC orders firm to stop operations

Published May 18, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By James A. Loyola

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered CROWD1 Asia Pacific, Inc. to cease and desist from soliciting and accepting investments from the public under a scheme disguised as a digital marketing business.

In an order, the Commission directed CROWD1 to the sale of securities in the form of investment contracts or other similar schemes without prior registration and permit to sell.

The SEC also ordered CROWD1 to stop promoting its investment scheme in social media and other online platforms.

Furthermore, the Commission prohibited CROWD1 from transacting any business involving funds in its depository banks, and from transferring, disposing, or conveying in any manner all related assets for the benefit of the investors.

The cease and desist order covers the corporation’s operators, partners, directors, officers, salespersons, agents, representatives, promoters, and all persons, conduit entities and subsidiaries claiming and acting for and on its behalf.

The SEC issued the cease and desist order after finding that CROWD1 has operated “a fraudulent investment scheme consisting of the sale and/or offer of inexistent securities in the form of investment contracts to the public.”

CROWD1 solicits and accepts investments from the public by offering what it describes as educational packages for a minimum of ₱6,000 and as much as ₱240,000.

To entice the public to invest, CROWD1 promises member-investors five different bonuses: Streamline bonus, binary pairing bonus, fear of loss bonus, matching bonus, and residual bonus from games and gambling apps.