SEC Files Money Laundering Case Against Silverlion

SEC Files Money Laundering Case Against Silverlion

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a money laundering complaint against Silverlion Livestock Trading Corp. This move comes after the corporation was discovered soliciting investments from the general public unlawfully.

In a joint effort with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the SEC, through its Deputized AMLC Financial Investigators, formally lodged a complaint against Silverlion on October 5 for violating Section 4(b) of Republic Act No. 9160, known as the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).

Prominent figures implicated in the complaint include Silverlion’s CEO, Ryan Cagod Ladoing; President, Renan Lara Ladoing; VP, Michael Villalobos Berja; and Master Bagman, John Paul Lopez. Rose Marie Alvarez Guzman and Nena Ewayan Algoy were also named, as they were identified promoting Silverlion’s investment solicitation activities.

Section 4(b) of AMLA delineates that any individual, who knowingly involves themselves with monetary instruments or property linked to the proceeds of any illicit activity, is committing money laundering.

The SEC has alleged that Silverlion met all four prerequisites of money laundering: the existence of an illicit activity, proceeds from the illicit activity, knowledge of the activity, and possession of its proceeds. Notably, Silverlion’s act of offering investments to the public without the essential licenses was a blatant violation of Republic Act No. 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code (SRC). The firm had purportedly offered investments ranging from P50,000 to P100,000, promising a lucrative return of up to 2.3% daily.

During a raid in Silverlion’s offices in Zamboanga City, authorities seized P17.89 million, which the SEC claims are the proceeds from the unlawful activities.

Given the company’s history and several cases lodged against it for similar offenses at the Regional Trial Court of Zamboanga City, it cannot claim ignorance of its illicit activities.

Those found guilty of money laundering can face a prison sentence ranging from seven to 14 years and a minimum fine of P3 million, which can escalate depending on the amount involved in the offense.

This complaint follows the SEC’s decision to revoke Silverlion’s corporate registration this past January due to its unregistered investment solicitation endeavors. Additionally, a cease and desist order had previously been issued against the corporation and its affiliates. Separate criminal cases concerning SRC violations are currently pending with Branch 12 of the Regional Trial Court of Zamboanga City, originating from the inquest complaint filed by the SEC in November 2022.

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