The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) central office in Manila has sent down a team of agents to Mindanao to gather names of coordinators and recruiters of a religious group involved in a multi-million-peso investment scam.
The SEC earlier had issued an order revoking the certificate of incorporation of Kapa-Community Ministry International, Inc. (Kapa) for engaging in unauthorized investment-taking scheme in violation of Presidential Decree No. 902-A or the SEC Reorganization Act.
The order covered the partners, officers, directors, agents, representatives and all other persons acting for and in behalf of Kapa.
But Kapa continued to operate despite the revocation of its certificate of registration and issuance by the agency of a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) against the company.
Kapa has lured thousands to cough up millions of pesos in investment on promise of 30% monthly interests.
We will file charges in the various courts once we establish the names of the coordinators and recruiters, said a member of the team of the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department.
The SEC agent adds that SEC central office has also advised legal divisions of its regional offices to prepare to file charges against the coordinators and recruiters in the courts of the provinces and cities where they operate.
Also to be charged is Kapa founder Pastor Joel Apolinario.
As the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department agents were dispatched to Mindanao, SEC has advised the public to report to its head office or extension offices any continued investment-taking activity by Kapa and its allied entities and the names of the coordinators and recruiters.
Kapa lures the public with a 30 percent monthly return on investment. The “investment” however cannot be withdrawn as documents that investors sign showed the investments as “donations” to Apolinario’s Kapa.
Apolinario is already subject of warrants of arrests for the Kapa scam in several courts in the Surigao provinces where it first started operating few years ago.
Earlier reports said that Kapa has closed down its various offices in key cities and municipalities in the Caraga Region, Davao Region, Bukidnon and other parts of Southern Mindanao and the SOCCSKSARGEN area as hundreds of victims of its investment scam demanded return of their investment.
The tsunami of investors demanding their money back developed as the SEC issued the revocation order to Kapa.
Kapa’s other investment arms are the Kapa Kabus Padatuon (Enrich the Poor), Kapa/ Kappa (Kabus Padutoon), Kapa-Co Convenience Store and General Merchandise, and Kapa Worldwide Ministry
The SEC earlier on February 14, also issued a cease and desist order against Kapa.
In its April 3 ruling, the SEC En Banc revoked Kapa’s certificate of incorporation for engaging in unauthorized investment-taking scheme and “serious misrepresentation on what it can do or is doing to the prejudice and damage of the public.”
The revocation of Kapa’s registration is an offshoot of the recommendation of the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department to revoke Kapa’s certificate of incorporation “for offering and selling securities, in the form of investment contracts and in the guise of donations, without the necessary license.”
In its decision , the SEC En Banc described the Kapa investment scam as similar to the Ponzi scheme which is outlawed by Section 6(i)(2) of Presidential Decree No. 902-A, or SEC Reorganization Act.
“Kapa is using its registration with the Commission as a religious corporation as a backdrop to solicit investments from the public knowing that it does not have the requisite registration. Such act is indicative of Kapa’s intent to deceive the public on what it can do or is doing to the damage and prejudice of the investing public,” the SEC En Banc said.
“Despite its lack of authority to offer and sell securities, Kapa recruited and encouraged members to ‘donate’ any amount in exchange for a 30 percent monthly return for life, without having to do anything other than invest and wait for the payout,” it said.