The Philippines SEC has issued a fraud warning against the Forsage gifting scheme.
They’ve also outed Lado Okhotnikov as owner of the scam.
The SEC’s three-page warning was issued on June 30th.
The regulator writes
The entity operating under the name FORSAGE, headed by LADO OKHOTNIKOV, is found to be engaged in investment-taking activities in the Philippines which is NOT AUTHORIZED by the Commission.
This is a securities fraud warning, owing to Forsage being identified as
a Crowdfunding International Platform or a Smart Contract Crypto Earning Program based on the Ethereum blockchain technology.
In our published Forsage review, BehindMLM identified Forsage as a simple gifting scheme run through a smart contract.
As asserted by the SEC;
FORSAGE is NOT REGISTERED with the Commission and OPERATES WITHOUT THE NECESSARY LICENSE AND/OR AUTHORITY to solicit, accept or take investments/placements from the public nor to issue investment contracts and other forms of securities defined under Section 3 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).
The said scheme employed by FORSAGE clearly shows indication of a possible Ponzi Scheme where monies from new investors are used in paying “fake profits” to prior investors and is designed mainly to favor its top recruiters and prior risk takers and is detrimental to subsequent members in case of scarcity of new investors.
Hence, the public is advised NOT TO INVEST or STOP INVESTING in any scheme offered by FORSAGE or such other entities engaged in smart contracts, cryptocurrencies and digital asset trading that are not registered with the Commission and the BSP.
Locally the SEC singles out the Facebook groups Fosage Philippines Forsage Smart Contracts, as being run by “unscrupulous individuals”.
On YouTube the SEC calls out Christopher Doroliat, Forsage PH and Think Wise Channel.
The SEC warns promotion of Ponzi schemes in the Philippines carries potential criminal prosecution, with
a maximum fine of Five Million pesos (P5,000,000.00) or a penalty of Twenty-one (21) years of imprisonment.
I hadn’t heard of Lado Okhotnikov before. As per Forsage promoter marketing material, Okhotnikov owns and runs Forsage:
On Facebook Okhotnikov identifies himself as a resident of Moscow, Russia.
BehindMLM noted in our Forsage review that whoever was running the scheme was likely fluent in Russian.
Okhotnikov’s recent Facebook posts are geotagged with the location Tbilisi, Georgia.
Update 5th August 2022 – The SEC has filed securities fraud charges against Vladimir “Lado” Okhotnikov. Ten additional Forsage insiders and US promoters have also been sued.
The SEC alleges Forage and its various together formed a $300 million dollar Ponzi scheme.