SEC orders beauty and wellness company to stop operations

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered JOCALS688, a beauty and wellness company, which has an office in Cagayan de Oro City, to stop its operation and its "fraudulent investment schemes."

In a 14-page Cease and Desist Order (CDO) issued on May 28, SEC ordered JOCALS688 "to immediately cease and desist, under pain of contempt, from soliciting investments from the public or engaging in similar activities."

"JOCALS688 Beauty and Wellness Products Trading Inc., its managers, leaders, officers, agents, representatives, conduits, assigns, and any and all persons claiming and acting for and in their behalf are likewise directed to cease from promoting the corporation's investment scheme through internet websites and any social media platforms," the order said.

SEC further prohibited JOCALS688 from transacting any business involving funds in its depository banks and from transferring, disposing, or conveying in any manner all related assets to forestall grave damage and prejudice to all concerned and to ensure the preservation of the assets for the benefit of the investors.

JOCALS688 has its office at Tomas Saco Scapes Business Complex in the city but its principal address is in Zamboanga del Sur.

It was registered as a corporation last October 2019 as trading market of beauty and wellness products, coffee, juice and herbal products. However, sometime in August 2019, SEC's Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD) already received reports that an alleged investment-taking activities, solicitation and networking schemes are happening within the entity.

Last April, the Commission issued an advisory against JOCALS688 and the CDO was subsequently released.

The CDO was issued after the commission found that JOCALS688 has been engaging in the sale and/or offering of securities in the form of investment contracts without prior registration and the corresponding permit.

“We urge everyone to stop investing to JOCALS688 especially today that the Commission has ordered cease and desist order against them already. To continuously keep our mandate which is to protect the investing public against these fraudulent schemes, please verify it with the Commission first before parting your money to an entity which you are not sure if it’s licensed and regulated with SEC,” lawyer Renato Egypto, SEC-CDOEO director, said in a statement.

Prior to issuing the CDO, SEC has advised the public to avoid or stop placing their hard-earned money in JOCALS688.

“We have done all sorts of information dissemination campaigns to inform and caution the public about JOCALS688 over radio interviews, sending emails directly to local officials and, releasing of information through our partners in the government and the media networks particularly about the issuance of advisory against the said entity before," Egypto added.

The company located in Zamboanga del Sur named Joshua A. Calderon, Echochen M. Calderon, Noemie C. Ponce, Hanz R. Paler and Nino S. Agad-ad as directors in its Articles of Incorporation.

In a Certificate of Incorporation issued to JOCALS688 provides that the corporation “shall not solicit, accept or take investments/ placements from the public neither shall it issue investment contracts.”

The EIPD, however, found that JOCALS688 enticed members to deposit a minimum of P10,000 to earn P13,000 after a month. Alternatively, one could become a member by purchasing a package of products for P3,800.00.

Members could earn by selling the products. However, they could supposedly receive bigger returns by simply recruiting more people into the scheme.

“Clearly, JOCALS688's business model and capitalization cannot sustain the promised returns of investment, especially if no new investors will come in,” the SEC noted.


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