SEC issues Cease and Desist Order to Forsage Philippines

Investigation concludes the company is committing fraud among its investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission has formally issued a Cease and Desist Order to Forsage and Forsage Philippines for continuing unauthorized investment schemes despite their heavy warnings.

In a published memorandum at the SEC’s website, the order was issued last September 17 to Forsage Philippines’ key people including Rich Alex Apuntar, Vhellpoe Forlares Garves, Yuka Kuroyanagi, Christopher Doroliat, Iam Kim, Jairra Fab Teoxon, Mark Nicole Escabarte Valerio, Myra Cris Sapar, Romnick Melailez and Vel Cabalza. After investigation, the government agency found these key points as reasons:

  • Not qualified to operate as a crowdfunding entity in the Philippines as it must be duly organized under Philippine laws
  • Forsage does not appear among the registered companies engaged in digital assets with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (“BSP”) in accordance with BSP Circular No. 944, or the Guidelines for Virtual Currency Exchanges, which requires all entities engaged in virtual currencies in the Philippines to obtain a Certificate of Registration to operate as a remittance and transfer company.
  • There were no certifications issued for Forsage to operate as a financial institution. “

Overall, the report concluded that Forsage is committing fraud among its investors. “In many Ponzi schemes, the perpetrators focus on attracting new money to make promised payments to earlier-stage investors to create the false appearance that investors are profiting from a legitimate business. It is not an investment strategy but a gullibility scheme, which works only as long as there is an ever-increasing number of new investors joining the scheme,” it read.

The SEC also announced in June that Forsage is not authorized to do business, citing that they are not registered with any government institution such as the SEC and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and they involve themselves to a supposedly “Ponzi-like scheme” with its lucrative investment contracts for huge returns. A maximum fine of ₱5 million or imprisonment of 21 years, or both, await those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers, or agents of entities engaged in unauthorized investment schemes, for violation of the Securities Regulation Code (RA8799), among others.

Forsage claims to be a Crowdfunding International Platform or a Smart Contract Crypto Earning Program based on the blockchain technology Ethereum, promising passive income with investment schemes. This reached Ethereum’s co founder, Vitalik Buterin, who then tweeted that he wants them to “not pollute the Etherum ecology” and leave their base alone. You can read the full decision of the SEC here.

Carl writes for WalasTech when he's not working full-time. Give him tips and/or leads at [email protected].