Regulators to Unity Premier: Stop soliciting investments

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered Unity Premier Business Group OPC to stop soliciting investments from the public through its beauty product business.

In an order dated August 16, the SEC directed the company, which also operates under the name UnityPremier Beauty and Wellness Products Trading, to desist from offering investment schemes as it does not have the necessary license.

The agency issued the order after the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD) found that Unity Premier has been touting itself as a financial institution that can provide its members the opportunity to start their own e-commerce and affiliate platform and beauty product business.

Unity Premier was found to be offering investment packages worth P100 to P50,000 each, with promised returns ranging from P3.50 to P1,750 daily. Investors only needed to create an account through Unity Premier’s website and pay for the investment package of their choice.

Investors were also promised a 15-percent commission if they recruit more people into the system.

The scheme involves 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.

“At the outset, the Commission notes that contrary to the primary purpose of Unity Premier of direct selling beauty products, there is no information or evidence showing what products are for sale, product description, prices per product as well as where the products are being sold,” the SEC said.

“What is evident in Unity Premier’s advertisements is the focus on the sale and/or offer for sale of various investment packages with an insignificant inclusion of soap products.”

In its investigation, the EIPD also found that Unity Premier has been consciously misrepresenting itself to have acquired a secondary license from the agency, supposedly reinvesting money from its investors in the stock market, foreign exchange market, and cryptocurrency trading.

While Unity Premier is a duly registered corporation with the SEC, it has never secured a secondary license as issuer of securities or broker dealer nor registered any securities for public offering.

“It is clear from the facts and evidence presented that the Unity Premier business model, which promises a high return of investments, as high as 200 percent guaranteed return on investment is not sustainable, and can only be carried out as long as new investors continue to come in,” the order read.

“This is a fraudulent scheme which will likely cause grave or irreparable injury or prejudice to the investing public.”