The Batangas City Regional Trial Court Branch 2 has convicted seven officers of the Batangas-based One Dream Global Marketing, Inc. allegedly involved in an investment scam.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a statement said the Batangas RTC, in a decision handed down on July 14, found the seven executives of the One Dream Global Marketing guilty of illegally soliciting investments from the public, which is a violation of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).
They were identified as Arnel Gacer, Jobelle De Guzman, Judith Itoh, Marlon De Guzman, Louie De Guzman, Belinda De Guzman, and Jun De Guzma.
They were also sentenced to pay fines totaling P2.8 million and serve up to 20 years in jail, or a total imprisonment of 140 years for the group.
The court likewise issued a warrant of arrest against accused Ariel De Guzman, Richard Ramos, Jay-ar De Guzman, and Joel De Guzman, who remain at large.
The cases stemmed from complaints filed by nine investors against for syndicated estafa with the Department of Justice on July 21, 2015. Two other investors filed complaints against the group with the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department on August 3, 2015.
The complainants accused the respondents of offering investments worth P888, with the promise of a P1,300 payout after four days, excluding a 10 percent tax.
Investors were allowed to pay for up to 31 slots, or a total of P27,528, in exchange for P39,022.80 after four days. The group also supposedly promised freebies and a commission of P44 for every referral.
The court ruled that it was “undisputed” that the accused through the company One Dream solicited investments from the public, enticing investors with the promised profit of 46.4 percent every four days, plus P44 for every referral.
“The investment scheme employed falls within the definition of ‘securities’ under the SRC and that the same constitutes a ‘fraudulent transaction’ under Section 26 of the same law because it involves the purchase and sale of securities by the use of a scheme that is intended to defraud the investing public which is prohibited by Section 26,” the court held.
Section 26 of the SRC states that it shall “be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, in connection with the purchase or sale of any securities to… [e]mploy any device, or scheme, or artifice to defraud.”
The court added: “It also turned out that One Dream had in fact no financial capacity to repay the loans as it had an authorized capital stock of only P1 million and paid-up capital of only P100,000. Clearly the representations regarding its supposed financial capacity to meets its obligations to the private complainants were simply false.”