BULLETIN: Alberta Securities Commission Issues Warning On ‘Profitable Sunrise’ After First Calgary Financial Observes ‘Trend’ Of ‘Suspicious’ Overseas Transactions
BULLETIN: The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has issued a warning on the Profitable Sunrise “program.” The Canadian agency’s move followed on the heels of reports from First Calgary Financial that “several of its Calgary customers have attempted to withdraw significant amounts of funds from their accounts for wire transfers to the Czech Republic,” ASC said.
“Albertans should be aware that Profitable Sunrise and its agents are not registered to sell securities in Alberta,” the agency said.
ASC is Alberta’s securities regulator. The agency noted that the Securities Division of the North Carolina Secretary of State issued a cease-and-desist order to Profitable Sunrise last month, amid allegations that the “program” was selling unregistered securities.
“It’s important for investors to know that there is no such thing as a high return, no risk investment,” said Bill Rice , chair and CEO of the ASC. “If you are persuaded to send money overseas, it may be difficult, if not impossible to get it back if something goes wrong.”
First Calgary is Canada’s ninth-largest credit union. A First Calgary executive said the company contacted ASC after observing unusual transactions.
“Our front-line employees are trained to identify suspicious transactions by members so that we may be able to stop them from becoming the possible victims of an investment scam,” said Debbie Pratt, vice president of retail banking for First Calgary Financial. “In this case, we noticed a trend and a quick call to the ASC allowed us to alert our members.”
Profitable Sunrise lists a business address in the United Kingdom. Regardless, the enterprise is soliciting funds to be sent to Raiffeisenbank AS in the Czech Republic, according to North Carolina investigators. An entity known as Melland Company SRO was listed in Profitable Sunrise wiring instructions as the beneficiary, according to the North Carolina order.
A credit union used by a North Carolina-based Profitable Sunrise investor blocked at least one transaction directed toward the Czech bank, citing suspicions of fraud, according to the order.
Among other claims, Profitable Sunrise purported to offer a “Long Haul” plan that paid 2.7 percent a week with an Easter payout. The Profitable Sunrise “program” is being pitched on well-known Ponzi scheme forums such as TalkGold and MoneyMakerGroup.
Zeek Rewards, which the SEC in August 2012 called a $600 million Ponzi- and pyramid scheme, was promoted in part from the same forums. Some individuals have promoted both Zeek and Profitable Sunrise.