SEC bars firm offering ‘double your money’

Published February 5, 2021, 6:00 AM

by James A. Loyola

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered Chiyuto Creative Wealth Documentation Facilitation Services to stop soliciting investments from the public through a double-your-money roulette game.

In an order, the Commission directed Chiyuto, which registered as a sole proprietorship and later on as a one-person corporation (OPC), to cease and desist, under pain of contempt, from selling or offering securities in the form of investment contracts until it has filed and secured the necessary license. 

The SEC also barred Chiyuto and Creative Wealth OPC from transacting business involving funds in its depository banks and from transferring, disposing, or conveying any related assets to ensure the preservation of the assets for the benefit of affected investors.

The order covers Chiyuto’s owner, principal, proprietor and sole stockholder-director-president Patrocenio C. Chiyuto, Jr., nominee Judy B. Pajarillo and alternate nominee Felomina L. Andrada.

It also extends to other officers, representatives, salesmen, solicitors, agents, uplines, enablers and influencers, including Maricris Can Chiyuto, Maria Christina Chiyuto Canobida, Naneth Barruela, Aureliza Apa-Ap, Capiz Buy and Sell Anything, Kiaka Avel Cho, and Santiago City Online Market.

The SEC issued the order after finding that Chiyuto has offered investments to the public with promised returns of 100 percent in one day, 30 days or 45 days, depending on the outcome of the roulette, without securing a secondary license.

Under the scheme, an investor places as low as P1 to as much as P1 million. Chiyuto will then spin the roulette to select the payout schedule and issue a promissory note to the investor with the corresponding return and day when the guaranteed earnings could be claimed. 

In addition, Chiyuto has offered a 5 percent referral commission and held raffles with brand new cars and motorcycles as prizes to attract more investors.

The SEC said the scheme involves the sale and offer of securities to the public in the form of investment contracts and this needs a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the Commission.

Chiyuto has never secured a secondary license from the Commission as issuer of securities or broker dealer nor registered any securities for public offering pursuant to the SRC. 

“Clearly,Creative Wealth OPC’s members were lured to invest their money not for an existing legitimate business enterprise but simply because they are guaranteed a 100% return of the same within a definite period,” the order read. 

It added that, “[T]he act of Creative Wealth OPC and Chiyuto in selling/offering unregistered securities operates as a fraud to the public which, if unrestrained, will likely cause grave or irreparable injury or prejudice to the investing public.” The SEC emphasized that the certificate of registration granted to Chiyuto explicitly prohibited it from soliciting, accepting, or taking investments or placements from the public, as well as issuing investment contracts, without securing a secondary license.