A multi-level marketing (MLM) firm in Bukidnon, Mutual Universe, has been ordered to stop business. According to a Sun Star CDO report, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered Malaybalay City-based MLM company Mutual Universe to stop soliciting investments from the public for suspicion that the company is allegedly engaged in “pyramiding,” or in a Ponzi scheme.
SEC Northern Mindanao regional manager Atty. Renato Egypto said Mutual Universe Corporation is not authorized to solicit investments from the public. Egypto said that Mutual Universe is only authorized to sell food supplements, wellness products, and gold but not receive investments.
Egypto explained that flagged corporations like Mutual Universe Malaybalay do not have secondary licenses from SEC to solicit investments from the public, which carries a requirement for the firms to deposit P50 million as paid-up capital.
Mutual Universe Corporation has been blacklisted by the SEC starting July 28, 2015.
According to Wikipedia, a Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation where the operator, an individual or organization, pays returns to its investors from new capital paid to the operators by new investors, rather than from profit earned by the operator.
For their part, Mutual Universe President Rene Pañares has denied that Mutual Universe Bukidnon is operating a scam. He also said that they have coordinated with SEC to revise their compensation packages.
According to their website, Mutual Universe Malaybalay’s office is located at Western Union – Yap Travel and Booking, corner Grema Subdivision, KRV, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
* Photos used in this post are all from the Mutual Universe website – www.mutualuniverse.com – which is still online as of this posting