DOJ Files Criminal Case Against Silverlion

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed criminal charges against Silverlion Livestock Trading Corp. and its officers for its unauthorized solicitation of investments from the public, sustaining the findings of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In a resolution dated December 2, state prosecutors found probable cause to charge Silverlion Livestock Trading Corp., its chief executive officer Ryan Cagod Ladoing, incorporator Renan Lara Ladoing its officers and agents identified as Rosemarie Alvarez Guzman, Neña Ewayan Algoy, John Paul Dellara Lopez and Michael Villalobos Berja, for violations of Sections 8, 26.3, 28 in relation to Section 73 of Republic Act (RA) No. 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).

State prosecutors also found probable cause to charge Ryan Ladoing for violation of Section 28.b.g in relation to Sec. 218.c of RA 10591, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

“[Silverlion] falsely represented to the public that it is engaged in the business of trading gold and sale of processed meats, beauty products and other products which are in demand in the market to generate profits to be used as payment for the return of capital to investors together with its high return of interest,” the DOJ resolution read.

“[B]ut in truth and in fact, the high returns paid to the early investors are sourced from the capital contributed by later investors, to the damage and prejudice of later investors.”

Section 8 of the SRC provides that securities shall not be sold or offered for sale or distribution within the Philippines, without a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the SEC.

Meanwhile, Section 26.3 of the SRC states that it shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, in connection with the purchase or sale of any securities, to engage in any act, transaction, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person.

Section 28 further adds that no person shall engage in the business of buying or selling securities in the country as a broker or dealer, or act as a salesman or an associated person of any broker or dealer unless registered as such with the Commission.

“From the offer and promotion of [Silverlion], it is similar to a Ponzi scheme presenting too-good-to-be-true promises, wherein the so-called ‘investment’ offers impossibly high returns and pays these returns to early investors out of the capital contributed by later investor. It is clearly stated in the Articles of Incorporation of [Silverlion] that the certificate does not authorize the corporation to issue, sell, or offer for sale to the public securities,” according to the DOJ resolution.

The SEC Zamboanga Extension Office (ZEO), together with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), filed a criminal complaint against Silverlion Livestock Trading Corp. before the DOJ on November 28, for its unregistered offering of securities to the public.

The filing of the complaint followed the successful implementation of a search warrant against Silverlion by the combined forces of SEC ZEO and NBI, where they were able to seize bundles of cash, vouchers, and other devices that were allegedly supposed to be used for the upcoming payout of profits to its existing investors.

Investigations by the SEC ZEO showed that Silverlion had been offering and selling investment packages to the public with guaranteed returns of 35% within just 15 days. With this, investments ranging from P1,000 to P100,000 could yield returns worth P1,300 to P130,000, respectively.

While charges have been filed against Silverlion Livestock Trading Corporation and its officers and agents, its incorporators Ryan Cagod Ladoing and Renan Lara Ladoing remain at large.

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