Crypto Fraudsters Face Jail Time, Warns Philippines Securities Regulator SECApril 18, 2018 5:09 pm
Fourteen cryptocurrency investment schemes seeking to attract consumers in the Philippines have been officially warned by the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about their actions, CoinDesk reported Wednesday.
In the advisory statement, the SEC listed the names of 14 investment projects, including Onecash, which was already put on notice last month, the report said.
The effort by the SEC signals the body’s intention to scrutinize cryptocurrency activities in the country, CoinDesk reported.
Deemed by the SEC as unregistered securities, the agency said these investment projects usually tout “unrealistic returns ranging from 10 percent to 200 percent per month” and claim to invest in cryptocurrencies to “justify their earning capacity,” the report said.
The SEC said anyone acting as a salesperson, broker or dealer for these investment projects may be subject to prosecution resulting in a maximum penalty of 5 million pesos (or $277,000) fine or imprisonment of 21 years, the report said.
Although the SEC has not directly called out these investment projects as Ponzi schemes, CoinDesk reported, the regulator explained how to differentiate potential internet-based scams with criteria that appear similar to its description of the captioned projects in the statement.
The warning also comes a time when the country’s lawmakers are involved in expediting bills seeking to toughen penalties for crimes that involve cryptocurrencies, sparked by a recent police crackdown on a domestic bitcoin fraud that hoaxed $50 million from domestic victims, the report said.
– WN.com, Jack Durschlag