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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

SEC files case vs. Eton Trading for lack of permit

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Friday it filed a criminal complaint with the Department of Justice against Eton Phil Non-Specialized Wholesale Trading for alleged unauthorized investment solicitation.

It also identified in the criminal complaint Eton Trading’s founders Princess Samson-Frias and Elton John Malabarbas and 13 others as respondents to the case.

The SEC said in a statement that based on its investigation, Eton Trading solicited investments from the public without the proper license in violation of Securities Regulation Code (SRC) and the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act (FCPA).

Eton Trading allegedly offered a 20-percent to 50-percent profit monthly with a minimum capital investment of P5,000 and a maximum of P100,000. Earnings would allegedly come from the sale of wholesale products.

“There is sufficient proof that Eton Trading and [its officers] employed fraud and deceit upon the investing public to induce them to invest in this scheme,” the complaint read.

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“Lured by the false promise of quick financial gains on their investments, unsuspecting people readily turned over their hard-earned money to the coffers of Eton Trading,” it said.

The SEC also said Eton Trading was not registered with the commission as a corporation and had no secondary license to sell investment securities to the public.

The SRC prohibits the sale or distribution of securities without a registration duly filed and approved by the commission. Persons found guilty of the provisions of the SRC may suffer a fine of up to P5 million, or imprisonment of up to 21 years, or both.

The FCPA also prohibits investment fraud defined under the law as any form of deceptive solicitation of investments from the public which includes Ponzi Schemes and such other schemes involving the promise or offer of profits or returns sourced from the investments or contribution made by investors themselves and the offering or selling of investment schemes to the public without a license or permit from the SEC.

Violators of the FCPA face separate penalties of a fine of up to P5 million or imprisonment of up to 21 years, or both. 

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