Philippine Daily Inquirer



The Department of Justice (DOJ) has recommende­d the filing of criminal charges against Kapa-community Ministry Internatio­nal and its key officials for allegedly perpetrati­ng a Ponzi scam.

In a resolution issued on Sept. 25, state prosecutor­s found probable cause to charge Kapa, its founder and president Joel Apolinario, trustee Margie Danao and corporate secretary Reyna Apolinario for multiple violation of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).

They also indicted Marisol Diaz, Adelfa Fernandico, Moises Mopia and Reniones Catubigan for promoting and participat­ing in the unlawful public offering or selling of securities by Kapa, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said in a press statement on Tuesday.

The SEC, which filed a criminal complaint against Kapa in June, said the group perpetrate­d the Ponzi scheme, an investment program that offers impossibly high returns and pays investors using the money contribute­d by other investors.

30-percent ‘blessing’

Kapa has enticed the public to invest at least P10,000 in exchange for a 30 percent monthly “blessing” or “love gift” for life, without having to do anything other than invest and wait for the payout.

“The indictment of Kapa, along with its founder, officers and promoters, is an affirmatio­n of our unwavering commitment to championin­g investors and tackling abuses in the corporate sector,” SEC Chair Emilio Aquino said.

“This should also serve as a stern warning against other groups engaging in unlawful investment-taking activities and other predatory practices to the detriment of the investing public,” Aquino said.

The Kapa scheme involves the sale and offering for sale or distributi­on to the public of securities, in the form of investment contracts, as defined under Section 3 of the SRC, according to the SEC. These were disguised as “donations.”

Code violations

Ponzi scheme qualifies as a fraudulent transactio­n prohibited under Section 26 of the SRC.

Offenders face a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonme­nt of seven to 21 years, or both.

The SEC has pushed for a penalty one degree higher, considerin­g the use of Facebook and Youtube in the illegal investment scheme.

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