URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: Club Asteria Promoters Blocked By CONSOB, Italian Equivalent Of SEC; Agency Issues Suspension Order; Is ‘Opportunity’ Described As ‘Passive’ Investment Being Targeted At Deaf?

BULLETIN: UPDATED 7:35 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) The Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB), the Italian equivalent of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is conducting a probe into claims made about Club Asteria and has issued a 90-day suspension order that bars promoters from trading in Italy.

Club Asteria is based in Virginia. Members say it also conducts business from Hong Kong.

Promoters in Italy positioned Club Asteria as an investment company that “guaranteed” returns, CONSOB said in preliminary findings.

CONSOB’s action is detailed in Resolution No. 17790.

“Asteria Corporation presents itself as a company that ‘started as a U.S. financial company, with the aim of offering . . . humanitarian, educational and financial support in the poorest countries in the world, proposing an investment program with the slogan: ‘How to Invest € 15 After a year and earn 1200 Euros a month and a half for ever!'” the Italian regulator said. (Italian-to-English conversion by Google Translate.)

The translation uses the phrase “sign language,” giving rise to questions about whether Club Asteria members were targeting the deaf. Investors were encouraged to use PayPal to join.

Club Asteria reported a problem with its PayPal account last month, claiming promoters had misrepresented the company. A website apparently operated by promoters in Italy appears to have been stripped of content.

It was not immediately clear if CONSOB removed the content or caused it to be removed from a domain name that ended with an .it extension. The website now carries this message:

“Il sito à momentaneamente chiuso” — or “The site is temporarily closed.”

CONSOB said there also were “several” Italian forums in which Club Asteria and the possibility of getting “easy money” from monthly payments were discussed. Word about Club Asteria also was spreading through social-media sites such as Facebook, the regulator said.

ClubAsteria has been promoted in English on the TalkGold and MoneyMakerGroup forums, both of which are referenced in U.S. court filings as places from which Ponzi schemes are promoted.

Scores of Club Asteria promoters — not just in Italy — have positioned the firm as a seller of a “passive” investment program that pays $400 a week based on a payment of $19.95 a month.

Such claims also were made in Italy, CONSOB said.

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12 Responses to “URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: Club Asteria Promoters Blocked By CONSOB, Italian Equivalent Of SEC; Agency Issues Suspension Order; Is ‘Opportunity’ Described As ‘Passive’ Investment Being Targeted At Deaf?”

  1. Curious that the Italian Authorities have acted, whereas the US hasn’t. This atop of the PayPal cutoff may just disable this thing.

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  2. If CA had put up a couple of porn sites in their list of goodies, the SEC would have found it.

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  3. laidback: Curious that the Italian Authorities have acted, whereas the US hasn’t. This atop of the PayPal cutoff may just disable this thing.

    Hi laidback,

    The SEC and CONSOB have a Memorandum of Understanding whose scope is intended “to provide each other the maximum assistance possible” under the agreement.

    I’d say there is good reason to believe the SEC is aware of Club Asteria, which operates from Virginia. The CONSOB action notes the U.S. presence.

    I agree that the PayPal action as outlined by Club Asteria members and referenced on the Club Asteria website is a big red flag. There are others, of course: the flogging on the Ponzi forums; the other “programs” Club Asteria members are pushing; the lack of verifiable info about Club Asteria; the incongruities (Andrea Lucas has been described as a former “Director” of the World Bank, a former “chairman,” a former “vice president” and even a “Saint”); the AdViewGlobal-like propensity to blame members; the fact payments seem to be issued from Hong Kong; the ASD/AVG-like scoldings on forums for calling Club Asteria an “investment”; the “revenue sharing” explanation and the purported sudden slashing of the payout rate coinciding with the PayPal news; the target audience; the syruppy remarks attributed to Lucas; the use of processors linked to Ponzi schemes; Club Asteria-related messages at odds with themselves in many, many promos; claims about 501(3)(c) status.

    Personally I find it interesting that Club Asteria and Imperia Invest have key consonants and vowels in common — ERIA — and a sort of regal theme. Promoters also used ASD-like spreadsheets and, in AVG-like fashion, devastating news such as the PayPal suspension has been spun as just another business challenge and members have been instructed that new products/services will be introduced on dates uncertain.

    And there are ASD/AVG-like Club Asteria “matching bonuses,” too.

    It also looks as though some of the troops are trying to dump their Asterios, which may remind longtime observers of PIPS: Just numbers on a screen.

    Meanwhile, it seems as though plenty of Club Asteria promoters have provided ASD-like rebates to ply members to join and that entire downline groups have used private rebates as a tool. If this is the case, the members who provided the rebates now find themselves in the untenable position of having fronted money to prospects to lure them to join based on the expectation that the Club Asteria “revenue share” would retire their costs and put them in “profit” over time.

    Downline-funded rebates likely led to an early cash infusion for Club Asteria, contributing to a cash-flow mirage. That mirage may be lost like a punctured vision of an oasis in the Sahara as more and more Club Asteria members “pull” their rebates offers, knowing that such offers only put them in a hole.

    On a closing note, consider the example of the SEC’s recent prosecution of Commodities Online. The agency issued subpoenas PRIOR to knowledge of the probe becoming public.

    That CONSOB issued a public statement on Club Asteria does not necessarily mean that the SEC hasn’t acted or isn’t acting. CONSOB, though, has acted publicly now — and it would seem to be wise for Club Asteria prospects to consider that information before joining, along with the other information described above.

    One of Club Asteria’s greatest perils is its own members and the association of its name with the Ponzi boards. I don’t see how any member could be confident that Club Asteria’s revenue stream is not polluted by Ponzi proceeds — and that may only be the beginning of the problems.

    Patrick

    P.S. These developments also remind me of the MPB Today MLM. Things got truly weird in that one, especially after some promoters told their prospects that MPB Today had liars in its midst — and urged prospects to make sure they joined under an honest upline.

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  4. I’m still waiting on a plausible reason that PayPal closed your account because of something done by people who sent you money. At best they might freeze the funds from those “few bad members” as they call them. Methinks it more likely that when they freeze you from accepting payments, its because of what you might be doing to a few members, not what members have done.

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  5. I dunno, I’m still waiting on a plausible reason that PayPal closed your account because of something done by people who sent you money. At best they might freeze the funds from those “few bad members” as they call them. Methinks it more likely that when they freeze you from accepting payments, its because of what you might be doing to a few members, not what members have done.

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  6. Not too surprising this resembles ASD/AVA because Hank and Andrea were in them. Birds of a feather?

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  7. Club Asteria is the most amazing concept ever developed in the history of the internet. The membership grew too fast because of the appealing concept that the administrators could not keep pace. This organization will never close down. The necessary changes are being made and new products are being developed. The new ipad cum iphone cum etc etc is already out. Right now the offer is only for members. Don’t listen to people who wanted to make money without doing any work. The members who are putting in efforts are happy and successful. The concept of club asteria is ” Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, Give him a fishing line and teach him to fish and you empower him to feed himself and others for life”. Check the touching stories of members and how much the success of club asteria means to them. Copy paste this link into your browser and press enter [URL Deleted By Admin]

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  8. josina,

    Have anything to say about the CONSOB probe, the PayPal freeze and the “I got paid” posts on the infamous Ponzi forums — or do you just plan to spam your Club Asteria talking points?

    Patrick

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  9. josina,

    Does the same concept of “teaching a man to fish” carry over into teaching a man to defraud? Inquiring minds want to know!!!!! Club Asteria is a scam, always was.

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