CURRENT NUMBER: : Tally (Unofficial) Of States And Provinces Filing Actions Or Issuing Investor Alerts Against Profitable Sunrise
EDITOR’S NOTE: These numbers are unofficial. They are culled from media reports and/or news releases from enforcement agencies. As the PP Blog reported yesterday, the Profitable Sunrise website appears to be down. The reason why is unclear, although there are Ponzi-forum reports that the “opportunity” is switching servers, perhaps to Hong Kong.
For background, consider that the Zeek Rewards “program” operating in North Carolina until the SEC filed a Ponzi action last year allegedly planted the seed that it provided a return of about 1.5 percent a day. The bizarrely named “Long Haul” plan of Profitable Sunrise — with its purported Easter payout — purported to pay 2.7 percent a day. Indeed, the HYIP Ponzi universe has served up another doozy. Some of the Stepfordian promoters appear to have no concern at all that such “programs” undermine faith in legitimate markets and raise serious concerns about both national and international security. As noted below, HYIP “programs” are known to trade on themes of religion, patriotism and doing what’s best for a community. Despite all the fluff, the reality is that the “programs” are dangerous. Period.
Current count of state/provincial actions or investor alerts against Profitable Sunrise:
20. (Now 35, with March 15 additions of South Carolina, Alaska, Maryland, Maine, the March 18 addition of New Jersey, the March 19 additions of Louisiana and Tennessee, the March 21 additions of Oregon and Missouri, the March 25 addition of New Hampshire and the March 28 addition of West Virginia. The District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) issued a warning on March 19. It was added to this list on March 27. Georgia issued a cease-and-desist order on March 14. It was added to this list on March 27. Idaho issued an Investor Alert on April 15. It was added to this list on April 16. Manitoba, in Canada, issued an alert on March 15. It was added to this list on March 21.)
In Canada: New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba.
In the United States: Kentucky, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Nevada, Minnesota, California, Indiana, New Mexico, Texas, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alaska, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, Louisiana, Tennessee, Oregon, Missouri, New Hampshire, District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.), Georgia, West Virginia, Idaho.
Regulators in New Zealand (FMA) and the United Kingdom (FSA) also have issued warnings against Profitable Sunrise.
Here’s a sampling of what securities officials are saying:
From the office of David Goodman, director of the Ohio Department of Commerce (italics/bolding added):
The Division is concerned that these businesses could be targeting religious-based organizations. The company’s website includes Bible quotations and options for donating investment returns to charity. The website also describes various investment plans that claim to offer returns between 288% and 648% for investment periods between 180 days and 240 days. The website claims the investments are “risk-free” with “no chance of default” and provides short-term business loans in the United States.
The website also includes apparent traits of a pyramid scheme. It provides details about a “referral program” where individuals can become regional representatives for an investment group. The regional representatives are offered five percent commissions from those who join the referral program under that representative’s name.
From the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR):
To attract interest in its investment offerings, Profitable Sunrise and its sub-companies may be attempting to exploit investors’ religious affinities. The organization is believed to be engaged in a marketing campaign which makes conspicuous use of biblical quotations.
From the Division of Securities at the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI):
Investors in other states were informed that their money would be used to fund short-term loans to businesses and that “all funds deposited with (Profitable Sunrise) are insured against loss” by a leading investment bank. Investors were instructed to wire money to financial institutions in Eastern Europe, including one bank that was located in the Czech Republic.
From the office of Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller:
Securities officials are also concerned that the company is using a related website for the “Profitable Sunrise Team” to entice people to bring in additional investors for a commission. Secretary Miller cautions Nevada residents that “investment products must be registered or exempt from registration to be sold in Nevada, and generally those selling an investment must be licensed.”
There have also been reports that Profitable Sunrise has directed investors to wire transfer funds to a bank in the Czech Republic. Secretary Miller warns investors that it can be extremely difficult for an investor to recoup funds invested through banks in foreign countries.
From the New Brunswick Securities Commission:
Investors are warned not to send money to an offshore company called Profitable Sunrise, an entity that claims to provide high-yield investments through short-term bridge loans to businesses. The New Brunswick Securities Commission is issuing this warning following similar warnings by several Canadian and American securities regulators.
From the office of Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson. (Editor’s note: Indiana officials are describing some of the Profitable Sunrise talking points used to disarm skeptical investors. Scams often trade on patriotic themes and claims that investors are helping drive the economy. The AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme (and many others) have used similar talking points):
Profitable Sunrise founder, Roman Novak, states that the investment model is based on providing short-term loans to small businesses throughout the United States. Profitable Sunrise makes investments attractive by not only touting risk-free, high returns but also by stating that by helping these United States companies, investors are also helping revitalize the national economy and create more desperately needed jobs in the United States.
From the office of Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman:
Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman ordered Profitable Sunrise and its operators, Roman Novak and Radoslav Novak, and Minnesotans William Nilsson (a/k/a Chad Nilsson) and Casey Dorian, today to cease and desist from selling securities in the State of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce, in conjunction with 19 jurisdictions throughout the United States and Canada, took coordinated action against Profitable Sunrise, an international entity allegedly operating an internet scheme to defraud investors. The Commerce Department’s investigation found that two individuals in Minnesota, Chad Nilsson and Casey Dorian, were allegedly participating in the investment scheme, currently soliciting investors but are not licensed to sell securities in the state.
(Editor’s Note: When the SEC moved in August against the alleged $600 million Zeek Rewards Ponzi- and pyramid scheme, the state of North Carolina warned about “reload scams.” Chad Nilsson may not have gotten the message, something that’s not unusual in the world of MLM. From WhoIsChadNilsson.com: “Of course we are all waiting patiently for our Zeekler Refunds, but now, in the meanwhile, there is a company out that is better than Zeek Rewards every [sic] was! A six year old company has just launched a new program that is even better. They are paying 2.15 percent daily and you can pull your profit out every day if you want, right from day one. If you were to put $200.00 into this new program, in 170 business days, your money would have grown to $7500.00!)
See this story/comments thread for more info on actions/alerts against Profitable Sunrise.