Baguio firm told to stop soliciting investments

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered Baguio-based real estate firm Casa Infini Builders and Realty Co. Ltd., Ray Education Directions Consultancy Services and their affiliated entities to stop soliciting investments from the public in the guise of real estate-related investments.

In an order dated June 8, the SEC directed Casa Infini and its affiliated companies to stop offering and selling investments to the public without the necessary license from the SEC.

Firms include Ray Education, Casa Infini Realty Management Co. Ltd., Ray International Philippines Corp., doing business under the names Ray Education Directions Consultancy Services, Be Unrivaled Productions and Sine Cordillera and Casa Infini Properties and Development Corp.

“[T]he [groups’] unauthorized investment-taking activities warrant the prompt issuance of a cease and desist order as it operates as a fraud to the public which, if unrestrained, will likely cause grave or irreparable injury or prejudice to the investing public,” SEC’s order read.

The order also covers Jennylyn Galletes De Los Santos Floresca, Raffy Palangdan Floresca, Jovielyn Malonzo Mina, Jinky delos Santos Lontoc, Jacqueline Corel Melchor, Peter Omaweng Wasing, Eric M. Pineda, Jerick Bambi Sadernas and Kenjie Millar, along with others such as salesmen, solicitors, agents, uplines, enablers and influencer acting on behalf of the groups.

The entities, all based in Baguio City, identified Jennylyn De Los Santos as either a partner or incorporator.

The SEC also ordered the groups to cease their internet presence relating to their investment schemes. They were further prohibited from transacting any business involving funds in its depository banks, and from transferring, disposing, or conveying any related assets to ensure the preservation of the assets of the investors.

The order was issued after the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department found that Casa Infini has been actively offering or selling unregistered securities in the form of investment contracts to the public.

The groups were found to have enticed the public to invest in their alleged real estate projects in Baguio City either as a buyer-investor or partner financier.

Investments collected from buyer-investors will supposedly finance the real properties claimed to be owned, managed, and operated by the Casa Infini group. Through the projects value appreciation, investors were promised a guaranteed income of more than P33,000 per month for 20 months.

Meanwhile, investors can become partner financiers by entering into real estate development plans or programs, where they will be required to invest P300,000 to P10 million, in exchange for guaranteed passive income ranging from 3 percent to 4.8 percent in a span of eight to 20 months, or as stipulated in the contract.

The SEC said the terms and conditions employed by the groups have the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme, as they promise exorbitant returns with little or no risk to investors.

The SEC found that the groups have so far persuaded more than 600 investors to participate in their schemes.

The investment schemes of the entities, the SEC said, involve the sale and offer of securities to the public in the form of investment contracts, whereby a person invests his money in a common enterprise and is led to expect profits primarily from the efforts of others, according to the SEC.

Casa Infini Builders and Realty and Casa Infini Realty Management are registered partnerships with the SEC , while Ray International Philippines and Casa Infini Properties and Development are registered corporations. Ray Education is a sole proprietorship registered with the Department of Trade and Industry.

The groups, however, have never been issued a secondary license that would authorize them to offer or sell investments to the public.

Further, their common partner or incorporator, Jennylyn De Los Santos, is allegedly the wife of a Raffy Palangdan Floresca, who is the subject of another cease and desist order issued by the SEC last March 16 for being part of an unauthorized investment scheme conducted by the Horizon Players Club.