DUBIOUS MILESTONE: ‘Profitable Sunrise’ Website Has Been Offline For 10 Days; ‘All Is Good,’ Pitchman Tells Conference-Call Listeners; Wild, Unverified Claims Made On Facebook And Ponzi Boards That ‘Program’ Will Resurface As 4-Percent-A-Day Scheme
UPDATED 11:33 A.M. EDT (APRIL 1, U.S.A.) On April 1, the PP Blog published a story that informs Profitable Sunrise participants on how to contact state and provincial securities regulators in the United States and Canada.
That story is here.
April 1 was the date the Profitable Sunrise “Long Haul” plan was supposed to pay out. That didn’t happen.
Here, below, our March 25 post . . .
Now the subject of Investor Alerts or cease-and-desist orders in at least 30 states and provinces in the United States and Canada, the Profitable Sunrise HYIP has passed a milestone of sorts: Its website has been offline for 10+ days.
Despite the extended outage, wild, unverified reports have surfaced on Facebook and the Ponzi boards that Profitable Sunrise will resurface in Hong Kong, restarting with a 4-percent-a-day scheme.
Even if Profitable Sunrise still has control over servers — and even if it relaunches with a 4-percent-a-day scheme — history cannot be taken off the table. Part of HYIP history includes the renaming and relaunching of schemes designed to give scammers access to new cash to sustain the Ponzi deception. The “trick” has been used so many times in HYIP Ponzi Land that it has become a virtual cliché.
The AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme appears to have operated under at least three different names, all the while positioning itself as a “Christian” enterprise. An HYIP scheme bizarrely known as Cash Tanker once was promoted on the pro-ASD “Surf’s Up” forum. Cash Tanker, which promised a Profitable Sunrise-like 2 percent a day and used an image of Jesus Christ in promos, later collapsed.
On March 6, the PP Blog observed information in a nonEnglish, international forum that strongly suggested an ASD promoter had become a key pitchman for Profitable Sunrise. The information suggested that the ASD promoter had assembled a “group” that carried a purported balance of more than $18.8 million in Profitable Sunrise.
ASD collapsed in 2008.
Because Profitable Sunrise traded on Bible verse and images of Jesus Christ and was promoted by self-identified Christians, the scheme now has caused divisiveness in the Christian community. Among the key unanswered questions: Who would benefit from such divisiveness and was Profitable Sunrise deliberately structured to turn Believers against each other?
Cheerleading for the “program” continues. On a conference call last week, a Profitable Sunrise pitchman assured listeners that “all is good” with the enterprise. The claim appears to have been based on second- and third-hand reports that morphed into a purported “consensus” among leaders/members given to confirming their own biases.
“Everyone agrees that the Easter gift from the [Profitable Sunrise] Long Haul [plan] is on,” the pitchman said. “It’ll be given on schedule.”
One speaker on the same call claimed “[w]e can do what we want,” despite government warnings and even legal proceedings to the contrary.
“[W]e’re not selling any securities and we’re free citizens,” the speaker intoned.
Separately, a claim was made on the MoneyMakerGroup Ponzi forum that the Howey Test from a famous Supreme Court case in 1946 does not apply to Profitable Sunrise because the “Howey Test is for Private Real Estate Loans.”
Like many things surrounding Profitable Sunrise, the claim about the purported inapplicability of the Howey Test is absurd. The Howey Test is a key test of what constitutes an investment contract. Profitable Sunrise itself positioned the “program” as an investment opportunity. Meanwhile, various members of the “program” — including ones who continue to support it — have written or spoken publicly about their “contracts” that purport to pay up to 2.7 percent interest a day through a plan bizarrely known as the “Long Haul.”
After he was charged criminally in 2010 for his role in the ASD Ponzi scheme, ASD President Andy Bowdoin argued that the Howey Test did not apply to ASD, a purported “advertising” company that purported to pay 1 percent a day.
Despite Bowdoin’s Howey argument, a federal judge ruled that “these alleged facts smack of an investment.”
And, the judge ruled, “Based on the allegations set forth in the Indictment, the evidence already before the Court, and the government’s proffers of expected trial evidence, the Court finds that the allegations, if proven, would be sufficient to permit a jury to find that ASD members were investing.”
Bowdoin later pleaded guilty to wire fraud. He was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison.