NBI arrests 5 persons in ‘investment scam’

Published July 23, 2021, 3:07 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

National Bureau of Investigation

Five persons, who represented a firm that was not registered to accept investments from the public, have been arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Quezon City.

Arrested during entrapment operations were the alleged owners of Agri-Wealth Farm Ventures, Inc. (Agri-Wealth) Bernie Limpiada and Marvin Ojeda, firm manager Rogelio Fambuena Jr., Glory Ann Pillora and Sison Inocencio.

NBI Officer-in-Charge Director Eric B. Distor said that a check with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed that Agri-Wealth is “neither registered as corporation nor was it issued a secondary license as a Lending Company, Broker, or Dealer of Securities, Dealer in Government Securities, Investment Adviser of an Investment Company, Investment House and Transfer Agent.”

Distor said it was also found, based on SEC records, that “Agri-Wealth has not filed nor has any pending application for a secondary license with SEC.”

The NBI said the five “scammers” who were arrested last July 21 “in the act of accepting investment money” have been charged with violations of Sections 8 and 26 of Republic Act No. 8799, the Securities Regulation Code.

It said the entrapment operations were conducted based on an information relayed by a walk-in informant.

The NBI said:

“According to the informant, Agri-Wealth is offering investment to the public with the promise of 160 percent return of investment within the period of 100 days. Subjects promised investors a daily profit ranging from 1.6 percent to 2.5 percent of the invested amount.

“For each direct referral or recruit that one brings to the company, he gets an additional 5 percent of the invested amount of his referral and additional 2 percent for the second level recruits and 1 percent for the succeeding levels of recruit until the 10th level.

“Agri-Wealth makes this offers appear to be viable and believable by leading their investors to believe that the company owns 20 hectares of high yielding aqua farm of mud crabs and tiger prawns in Hagonoy, Bulacan where they tour their prospective investors.”

Distor urged victims of the suspects to file their complaints with the NBI.