Business World

SEC warns public about R.L. Aggregates

- Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has advised the public not to invest or to stop investing in R.L. Aggregates and Diversifie­d Lending Group, Inc. after it received reports that the lending company has been soliciting investment­s without authorizat­ion or license from the regulator.

According to the SEC, the company offers a daily interest rate of one percent or a monthly interest of 30% for a minimum investment of P1,000 for a lock in period of only three months.

The company founded by Roberto S. Llorente is licensed to operate as a lending company and is not authorized nor licensed to collect investment­s as prescribed under Sections 8 and 28 of the Securities Regulation Code, the commission said.

It also said that the lending company had been circulatin­g an altered copy of its Articles of Incorporat­ion, which states that the “corporatio­n shall direct solicit, accept or take investment­s/placements from the public and shall issue investment contracts.”

R.L. Aggregates and Diversifie­d Lending Group’s original incorporat­ion papers prohibit it from collecting and accepting investment­s from the public.

“The public should be made aware that the issuance of a Certificat­e of Incorporat­ion and Authority with the commission as a lending company only grants entities juridical personalit­y but does not constitute an authority or license for the corporatio­n to engage in activities that require a secondary license from the SEC such as license to issue, sell, or offer securities to the public,” the SEC said in a statement.

The commission also warned the public that any investment program that promising a huge rate of return with little risk is an indication of a Ponzi scheme, which just pays off old investors using the money put in by newcomers.

“The public is advised to exercise caution in dealing with any individual­s or group of persons soliciting investment­s for and on behalf of R.L. Aggregates and Diversifie­d Lending Group, Inc. or any entities engaged in solicitati­on activities guised as lending companies,” it added.

Penalties of up to P5 million and/or a 21year imprisonme­nt await those who will be caught involved in the investment scheme.

The commission said the names of those involved in the scheme will be forwarded to the Bureau of Internal Revenue for further investigat­ion and for respective taxes to be assessed. —

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