SEC revokes registration of religious firm

The Securities and Exchange Commission has revoked the certificate of registration of independent religious corporation Kapa-Community Ministry International Inc., which has been found soliciting investments from the public without the necessary license.

The cancellation of its certificate of registration came after the SEC earlier issued a cease-and-desist order stopping the company as well as its officers and agents from promoting an investment scheme through the internet.

The SEC in a decision on April 3 said it was obligated to revoke the certificate of registration of Kapa, citing that it had been been using its registration with the regulatory body as a religious backdrop to solicit investments from the public.

“Such act is indicative of Kapa’s intent to deceive the public of what it is doing to the damage and prejudice of the investing public,” the SEC said.

The SEC also noted that Kapa’s juridical existence was a mere privilege granted to it by the state that could be withdrawn. 

“Kapa misrepresented itself to the public by concealing this investment scheme in the guide of a donation to entice the public to ‘donating’ when truth and in fact they are investing,” the SEC said.

“It is by these acts that Kapa’s certificate of corporate registration should be revoked so that it can no longer perpetrate its fraudulent and misleading acts through the privilege granted to it by the State,” the SEC added.

Kapa was registered with the SEC on March 3, 2017. The company, however, was not authorized to undertake business activities requiring a secondary license, such as acting as broker or dealer in securities, investment house and close-end or open-end investment company.

Despite the lack of authority to offer and sell securities, Kapa led by president and chairman Pastor Joel Apolinario, recruited and encouraged members to “donate” any amount in exchange for a 30-percent monthly return, based on the “Certificate of Membership with Deed of Donation” that they received upon joining.

An investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation in Caraga earlier showed that Kapa amassed P7 million from hundreds of investors at some point. The religious firm mostly targeted teachers in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, according to complaints received by the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department.

Topics: Securities and Exchange Commission , SEC , certificate of registration , Kapa-Community Ministry International Inc.
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