UPDATE: No Updates On Club Asteria Blog Since Oct. 15, No ‘News’ Site Updates Since Sept. 12; Firm Continues To Publish Red Cross Logo In House Organ And On Purported ‘Philanthropic’ Site Despite Cease-And-Desist Letter; 2008 Cash-Gifting Video With Hank Needham Emerges

In this frame from a cash-gifting video dated May 3, 2008, then-AdSurfDaily pitchman Hank Needham opens an envelope from a cash-gifing scheme -- and five $100 bills purportedly from "George" spill out. The date on the video coincides with a period of time in which Needham's image appeared in an ad for ASD. Needham later would emerge as a Club Asteria principal and purported owner of the "program," which suspended cashouts earlier this year and caught the attention of regulators in Italy.

Is anybody at home at Club Asteria and the purported Asteria Philanthropic Foundation? And where, precisely, is home?

The Club Asteria Blog on a .US domain has not been updated since Oct. 15. In the recent past, the Blog had been updated approximately every three (or so) days, according to the date notations on the site. Updates were posted on Oct. 15, Oct. 12, Oct. 9, Oct. 6, Oct. 3, Sept. 30, Sept. 27, Sept.  24, Sept. 21, Sept. 16.

Fifteen full days have passed since the most recent update.

Separately, the Club Asteria “News” page on its .com domain has not been updated since Sept. 12, a period that encompasses more than a month and a half.

Although the American Red Cross sent the Asteria Philanthropic Foundation a cease-and-desist letter six days ago amid concerns of brand leeching, Club Asteria continues to publish the Red Cross logo and name in its October house organ. The firm uses the publication, an emagazine, for recruiting.

It is common for fraud schemes to plant the seed they are affiliated with a legitimate entity.

Meanwhile, the Asteria Philanthropic Foundation, which also is known as the Asteria Foundation and uses street addresses in the United States and Hong Kong, also continues to publish the Red Cross name and logo on the foundation’s .org site.

Before suspending member cashouts earlier this year, Club Asteria issued payments via wire from a purported Hong Kong entity known as Asteria Holdings Limited, according to “I Got Paid” posts on infamous Ponzi scheme forums.

Last month, Club Asteria removed from its house organ an image and purported “interview” with actor Will Smith. A “JOIN NOW” button had been placed near the Smith-related content. In this month’s house organ, a “JOIN OUR MISSION” button was placed inside a quotation from Mahatma Gandhi, the slain Indian champion of freedom. Gandhi’s name was misspelled in the promo.

Virginia authorities said on Oct. 20 that Club Asteria was not registered as an issuer of securities in the state. They declined to say whether a Club Asteria probe was under way.

In May, CONSOB, the Italian securities regulator, banned promos for the firm in Italy.

In a video dated May 3, 2008 — prior to the apparent formation of Club Asteria and the Asteria Foundation but during a period of time in which Club Asteria principal Hank Needham’s image appeared in a promo for AdSurfDaily — Needham appeared in a video for cash gifting, the PP Blog has learned.

Needham is seen in the cash-gifting video opening an envelope from a courier service that contained a smaller envelope. The package purportedly was sent by “George.”

When Needham opened the smaller envelope, five $100 bills spilled out.

“Thank you, George, ” Needham said.

Needham then fanned the bills in front of the camera.

In August 2008, the U.S. Secret Service seized tens of millions of dollars in the ASD case, amid Ponzi allegations. It is known that some ASD members also were cash-gifting enthusiasts. After the ASD-related seizures, some ASD members sought to recruit others for cash-gifting, autosurf and HYIP schemes, claiming the schemes were excellent ways to make up for ASD losses while highlighting the purported “offshore” locations of some of the “programs.”

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2 Responses to “UPDATE: No Updates On Club Asteria Blog Since Oct. 15, No ‘News’ Site Updates Since Sept. 12; Firm Continues To Publish Red Cross Logo In House Organ And On Purported ‘Philanthropic’ Site Despite Cease-And-Desist Letter; 2008 Cash-Gifting Video With Hank Needham Emerges”

  1. Quick note: EXTREME CAUTION WARRANTED. There may be a security issue with a Club Asteria-related site. I’m not sure about the full meaning of this, but extreme caution is warranted.

    A site dubbed club-asteriareview just gave me a browser warning that the site was using an “invalid security certificate.”

    A post on the site is titled “Hope to live better.”

    Here is part of what it said:

    “When I promised her that I did not know that there is such a project as Asteria… But I’m looking for a solution – I found it! My friend told me about this project and I immediately realized how it can help me and my family! So I took on additional debt, and put them in this project. First joined the club Asteria himself, and yesterday signed my grandmother! I have already listed the first money for the grandmother and when she called, her voice heard in the joy! She thanked me for the modest money that I sent her yet!”

    It is signed “Vyacheslav.”

    Patrick

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  2. admin: There may be a security issue with a Club Asteria-related site.

    It looks to me that the numpties have used an SSL cert from their web host instead of getting their own. I think it’s incompetent web design. I could be wrong.

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