June 24, 2024

The Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered Forsage and Forsage Philippines to stop soliciting investments from the public through a crowdfunding platform based on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain technology. 

In an order issued Sept. 17, the SEC directed Forsage to cease and desist from selling and/or offering securities in the form of investment contracts and to cease its internet presence until the requisite permits are duly issued.

The SEC further ordered Forsage to refrain from transacting any business involving funds in its depository banks, and from transferring, disposing, or conveying in any manner all related assets to ensure the preservation of the assets of the investors.

The order covers Forsage and its operators, representatives, salesmen, and agents, including Rich Alex Apuntar, Vhellpoe Forlares Garves, Yuka Kuroyanagi, Christopher Doroliat, Iam Kim, Jairra Fab Teoxon, Mark Nicole Escabarte Valeria, Myra Cris Sapar, Romnick Melañez, and Vel Cabalza. 

The SEC issued the order after finding Forsage has solicited investments from the public under a scheme promoted through its website and social networking sites as a crowdfunding platform with a smart contract based on the ETH blockchain technology. 

Under the scheme, Forsage offers two commission programs or cycle tiers, namely Forsage X3 and Forsage X4, that promise payouts to investors. The programs require a minimum investment of 0.05 ETH, equivalent to about P600, and allow a maximum investment of 51.2 ETH, equivalent to about P600,000.

Forsage X3 and X4 programs have 12 income slots each that an investor may activate, with each slot having endless referral incomes, indicating boundless income potential for investors. It also promises income through “spillovers,” which are overflows or surplus of referrals gathered by a passive member’s sponsor or downline. 

The scheme involves the sale/offer of securities to the public in the form of investment contracts, where 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.

Section 8 of Republic Act 8799 or The Securities Regulation Code 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.   – Press release