‘Ploutos scam’ leader falls; founder still in hiding

AT THE heels of government law enforcement agencies targeting investigation and closure of “investment scams,” comes the apprehension of one of the leaders of a supposed cryptocurrency firm, the Freedom Traders Club (FTC).

The Cagayan de Oro City police have arrested, Kent Troy Sly Ortega Lagang, 26, a resident of Matilde-Neri streets, after serving issued by Regional Trial Court 10.

Police captain Tessie Lleva, Police Station 2 commander, said Ortega was arrested 10 p.m. at a mall here.

Lagang was allegedly one of the “core leaders” of FTC which offers a virtual currency Ploutos Coins, alongside FTC founder Mark Steven Freeman.

Lagang denied he was a core leader, saying he was only a member of the investment scam. Freeman also has a warrant of arrest but is currently in hiding.

FTC became controversial in August last year, after some investors in the city and other parts of Mindanao, begin questioning the company’s income and the security of the money they invested. Freeman was reported saying that he will return the investments, however, it has yet to be materialized up to now.

One of the complainants Geo Paulo Burdeos, an investor from Butuan City, filed an estafa case against FTC founder Mark Freeman at a court in the said city last Friday, July 20. The complaint before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-Northern Mindanao was filed on July 17. Syndicated estafa charges is a non-bailable offense.

Burdeos said he decided to press charges against Freeman after the latter failed to release the promised return of investment and questionable delays of payouts.

The activities of Ploutos Coins from FTC, which is under probe in the Cagayan de Oro City Council last year, may have reached to as far as the Visayas and Southern Mindanao regions with over 40,000 members.

Meanwhile, the SEC-Northern Mindanao earlier maintained that FTC did not even apply for registration, prompting the commission to issue a red flag advisory warning the public to be cautious in dealing with the FTC or its representatives.


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