GNI BECOMES THIS YEAR’S ASD: Autosurf/HYIP Pimps Continue To Cheerlead Ponzi Schemes As Bank Failures Pile Up In The United States
The new year is starting out like the year that just passed. Banks are failing, unemployment is high, money is not trickling down to small businesses that need capital to expand and create new jobs — and the Ponzi pimps are still putting lipstick on pigs, pushing autosurfs and HYIPs and cheerleading for them even when they fail.
Gold Nugget Invest (GNI) quickly has become this year’s equivalent of last year’s early season favorite, AdSurfDaily (ASD), among the apologists. As was the case a year ago with ASD, the GNI faithful and delusional members of the failed HYIP have emerged to lead the cheers, make the excuses, confuse the issues, sabotage legitimate discussions and set the stage for even more people to lose tremendous sums of money to practiced online schemers.
Web records suggest that at least 57 percent of funds directed at GNI originated in the United States, and there are claims that GNI had 11,000 members. GNI tanked earlier this month, directly on the heels of an HYIP known as “Cash Tanker,” which used images of Jesus Christ in its marketing materials.
Yes, even an HYIP that called itself Cash Tanker and used a revered figure as though he were just another hamburger salesman on TV was able to collect untold sums from investors by relying on HYIP cheerleaders to spread the gospel of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
First, a brief look at the banking environment.
Five U.S. banks failed Friday, bringing the year-to-date total to 15. That’s ahead of last year’s pace. Through Feb. 14, 2009, 13 U.S. banks had failed. Twenty-five failed in all of 2008, and only three failed in 2007.
By the time the banking bloodletting had ended in 2009, a total of 140 banks had failed. With 15 failures already this year, the United States is on pace to record 180 in 2010. The FDIC insurance fund fell into the red last year under the weight of the failures, and the agency is replenishing the fund by requiring banks to prepay fees for insurance.
A Year Ago
Most notable among the Ponzi pimps a year ago at this time were the promoters of ASD and its offshoot, the AdViewGlobal (AVG) autosurf. They hailed AVG as a cure for what ailed the U.S. economy, even though ASD had been implicated in a wire-fraud, money-laundering, securities fraud and Ponzi scheme that resulted in the federal seizure of tens of millions of dollars.
AdViewGlobal, which tanked in June 2009, formally launched a year ago this week. It was pushed by ASD members who positioned AVG as an “offshore” alternative.
Almost a year ago, the Pro-ASD Surf’s Up forum led a campaign to Sen. Patrick Leahy that sought the Senate’s endorsement of Ponzi schemes — it seems incredible, but it’s true — and also sought to have the Senate investigate the prosecutors and agents who were investigating the alleged ASD Ponzi scheme.
Incredibly, last year’s Surf’s Up campaign, which piggybacked off a campaign by ASD mainstay “Professor” Patrick Moriarty, came to the fore during a time in which 13 U.S. banks were failingÂ in the opening days of the year; the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme ($65 billion) was still a fresh news item; the Tom Petters’ Ponzi scheme ($3.65 billion) was in the news; the alleged Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme ($8 billion) was in the news; the alleged Arthur Nadel Ponzi scheme ($350 million/$400 million) was in the news; the alleged Paul Greenwood/Stephen Walsh financial scheme ($553 million) was in the news; and the alleged Nicholas Cosmo Ponzi scheme ($370 million) was in the news. There were others, of course.
At the same time the events cited in the paragraph above were making fresh news, autosurfs and HYIPs also were falling like dominos and taking investors’ money with them. Notable among them were MegaLido, Noobing, Frogress, Daily Profit Pond, Premium Ads Club and Aggero Investment. All of them were pushed by promoters who also were pushing AVG (and had pushed ASD).
Some of the promoters simultaneously tried to sanitize the “industry” through the letter-writing campaign to Leahy, asserting, for example, that the schemes actually were legitimate opportunities and that the government did not understand the technology or the math behind the schemes.
Despite the headlines of spectacular Ponzi fraud in the mainstream press, despite the fact that it was impossible to miss news about Ponzi schemes unless you lived a life of blissful ignorance or had chosen to be willfully blind, despite the fact that sites such as Scam.com and WorldLawDirect and the PP Blog had published tons of information on autosurf and HYIP Ponzi schemes, despite the fact that the U.S. and other governments had published warnings about the frauds and had filed both civil and criminal cases against the fraudsters, despite the fact that no autosurf or HYIP ever has stood the test of time and survived, the schemers closed ranks and continued to shill and shill and shill and shill.
They’re still shilling a year later.
GNI Becomes The New ASD In Opening Days Of 2010
This year’s early season ASD is GNI. Instead of writing letters to Leahy, though, some of the apologists are saying that the HYIP critics and doubters in the GNI ranks should quit complaining and starting donating money to Haiti earthquake relief. As was the case with ASD, all of the cheerleading is occurring blindly. Not a shred of evidence has emerged that anything about GNI was real.
And instead of Madoff, Nadel, Cosmo, Stanford and the other Ponzi notables cited above being the preeminent contextual backdrop a year after the Surf’s Up campaign, figures such these have replaced them: alleged Ponzi schemers Trevor Cook and Christian radio host Pat Kiley ($190 million); proven Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein ($1.2 billion); proven Ponzi schemer Milton Retana ($62 million/$3.2 million in cash found in back of religious bookstore);Â proven Ponzi schemer Gold Quest International (about $29 million; ruled a Ponzi and a pyramid scheme by Canadian authorities); proven Ponzi schemer and former Christian clergyman Brian David Anderson ($4 million, link to Flat Electronic Data Interchange (FEDI), whose operator, Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, also known as â€œMichael Mixon,â€ was convicted in September 2009 of financing terror and fleecing investors in the FEDI scheme); alleged Ponzi schemer Arthur Leroy Heffelfinger ($2.02 million, including alleged theft from woman in 90s with dementia): alleged Ponzi schemer Mariana Montes (at least $682,000 in combo Ponzi and fraud case, including alleged theft from 90-year-old widow); proven schemer John Anthony Miller ($15 million, tried to flee United States by using identity of deceased Catholic school classmate); proven schemer Bradley L. Ruderman ($25 million, mostly from family and friends); alleged schemer Edmundo Rubi (operated $24 million â€œKnights Expressâ€ Ponzi scheme earlier in decade, sentenced to prison, emerged from jail with new scheme targeting original customers); proven Ponzi schemer Marcia Sladich ($15 million, scheme targeted churchgoers); alleged Ponzi schemer Steve Salutric (at least $1.8 million, including more than $400,000 from 96-year-old widow with dementia).
There are others, of course, and the names constantly change. What hasn’t changed is that the autosurf and HYIP shills continue to shill and shill and shill, even as one bank after another is failing and one Ponzi schemer after another is making one headline after another.
We can’t think of anything that matches the level of disconnect or demonstrates the same level of greed and wanton criminality — not even Rothstein’s Bugatti and collection of other fine automobiles purchased with Ponzi proceeds.
And not even Cook’s alleged submarine.