SEC flags Platinum coin, pawnshop scam

February 28, 2023 12:00:00

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the public against transacting with an unregistered entity called Platinum Coin, which the corporate regulator said was illegally soliciting investments supposedly to fund its lending business.

In an advisory on Monday, the SEC said the company, with a business name of Platinumcoin Pawnshop, has no certificate of authority to provide both financial services.

Its investment offering amounts to P1,000 to P650,000, with investors expecting to earn 15 to 50 percent return after 30 days. A one-time outright commission of 5 percent is also given to investors.

"If an investor applies as an official team leader, he/she can earn a passive income of 2.5 percent monthly, cash gift worth P10,000 up to P70,000 (cold cash) and P500 worth of load weekly," the SEC noted, citing the proposition of this entity.

Platinumcoin is also promising yearly bonus of 20 percent.

"Further, the scheme employed by Platinum Coin/Platinumcoin Pawnshop has the characteristics of a ‘Ponzi scheme' where money from new investors are used in paying ‘fake profits' to prior investors..." the regulator stressed.

The SEC emphasized that a Ponzi scheme was "fraudulent and unsustainable." It cannot be registered as a security as well.

The sales persons, brokers, dealers, agents, representatives, operators, promoters and other parties acting on behalf of Platinum Coin may be held criminally liable, the SEC said, citing the Securities Regulation Code.

Penalties for those proven guilty are maximum fine of P5 million or 21 years of imprisonment or both.

The public was urged to report to the SEC any information about the investment solicitation activities of this entity.

Recently, SEC released an advisory of the same nature against E-Ton Trading, which also goes by the names Eton Phil Trading and E-Ton Trading: Profit Sharing.

It was found soliciting investments via Facebook groups without proper registrations. —Tyrone Jasper C. Piad INQ