UPDATE: Neither Asteria Philanthropic Foundation Nor Asteria Foundation Listed As Charities In Virginia Database, State Says

UPDATED 3:35 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) There are no listings in a state database for either the Asteria Philanthropic Foundation or the Asteria Foundation, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said this morning.

The agency, which did not respond immediately to a request for additional comment on Club Asteria-related matters, oversees charitable entities in the state.

An undated “press release” on the Asteria Foundation .org site uses a dateline of Reston, Va. An FAQ’s page on the site claims the foundation “is a charitable, tax-exempt 501©(3) organization. Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS rules and regulations.”

Why the copyright symbol — as opposed to the lowercase letter “c” — is used in the IRS claim on the site is unclear. Like the state of Virginia, the IRS database of charitable entities appears to have no listing for either the Asteria Philanthropic Foundation or the Asteria Foundation.

Separately, a state database in Maryland that tracks charities had no listing today either for the Asteria Philanthropic Foundation or the Asteria Foundation. Web-domain registration data for the .org site list an address in Maryland.

The foundation is an offshoot of Club Asteria, according to the .org site. Claims about Club Asteria came under fire in May by CONSOB, the Italian securities regulator. Separately, the American Red Cross said last week that it was opening a probe into claims Club Asteria had a tie-in with the Red Cross.

The Red Cross logo and name have been used in repeated promos for Club Asteria and the purported foundation. The foundation’s .org site lists a street address in Hong Kong and a fax number in Virginia.

Last week, the Virginia State Corporation Commission, which oversees the Virginia Division of Securities & Retail Franchising, declined to say whether a probe into the business activities of Club Asteria was under way.

However, the state did say that neither Club Asteria nor Asteria Corp. — Club Asteria’s apparent parent company — were registered in Virginia state to sell securities.

Club Asteria was popularized in part by promos on well-known Ponzi scheme forums. Members claimed the firm paid out up to 10 percent weekly. Club Asteria first slashed payouts, and then eliminated them. Those acts followed on the heels of the CONSOB probe and the suspension of Club Asteria’s PayPal account.

Multiple Club Asteria promoters were promoting multiple “programs” on the Ponzi boards, leading to questions about whether the firm had come into possession of fraud proceeds.

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One Response to “UPDATE: Neither Asteria Philanthropic Foundation Nor Asteria Foundation Listed As Charities In Virginia Database, State Says”

  1. I did an interview with these people. All very suspicious.

      (Quote)

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