SPECIAL REPORT: Like AdSurfDaily And OneX Before It, Alleged TelexFree Pyramid Scheme May Be Engaging In Game Of Payment-Processor Roulette

“While reviewing the ASD website in the District of Columbia, [an undercover agent] found a posting within ASD’s News section, apparently posted by ASD on July 2, 2008. The title of the posting was, “Alert Pay & Direct Deposit are being phased out July 31, 2008.” According to ASD’s posting, “We have notified BOA not to accept cash or personal checks for deposit account – English or Spanish.” ASD further stated, “Please remember that the preferred method of purchasing Ad Packages is by mailing a Check or by Solid Trust Pay . . . Solid Trust Pay is a Canada based money transmitting and payment company that, like the e-Gold system, operates over the Internet. It appears that beginning August 1, 2008, Solid Trust Pay will be ASD’s preferred method for receiving funds from members, and for paying rebates and commissions to members . . . Within the past two weeks, ASD has wired several million dollars to Solid Trust Pay from its BOA Accounts. A TFA also learned that earlier in July 2008, a bank other than BOA closed the last account that was controlled by Bowdoin or family members after that bank determined, and explained to them, that an investigation by the bank determined that Bowdoin appeared to be operating a Ponzi scheme.”AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme forfeiture complaint, August 2008

TelexFree affiliate promos encouraging participants to register for International Payout Systems (I-Payout) began to appear online in recent hours. Just last month, TelexFree affiliates were encouraged to register for Global Payout Gateway, another e-Wallet vendor that supposedly would solve TelexFree's payment problems. There now are reports online that GPG has dumped TelexFree, leading to questions about whether TelexFree is trying to port its alleged fraud scheme to yet another vendor -- I-Payout.

TelexFree affiliate promos encouraging participants to register for International Payout Systems (I-Payout) began to appear online in recent hours. Just last month, TelexFree affiliates were encouraged to register for Global Payroll Gateway, another e-Wallet vendor that supposedly would solve TelexFree’s payment problems as a pyramid-scheme probe moved forward in Brazil. There now are reports online that GPG has dumped TelexFree, leading to questions about whether TelexFree is trying to port its alleged fraud scheme to yet another vendor — I-Payout. Source: Google search results.

In 2008, the U.S. Secret Service effectively accused the AdSurfDaily MLM “program” of playing a game of payment-processor roulette as U.S. law enforcement put the squeeze on certain money-movers, the willfully blind enablers of online fraud schemes.

ASD, a $119 million HYIP Ponzi scheme that led to a 78-month prison sentence for operator Andy Bowdoin, started out by accepting “e-Gold and Virtual Money,” according to a Ponzi-scheme forfeiture complaint filed in federal court in August 2008.

But ASD, according to the complaint, realized e-Gold had come under investigation for enabling the laundering of money, something that could put the heat on ASD.

“Shortly after publicity surrounding the government’s investigation into e-Gold appeared, ASD discontinued using the e-Gold system as a means for receiving member funds,” the complaint alleged.

And even as these events were occurring, according to court filings in the ASD case and in other cases, Robert Hodgins, a supplier of debit cards and the operator of Virtual Money Inc. — now listed by INTERPOL as an international fugitive — came under investigation in Connecticut amid allegations he was assisting in the laundering of narcotics proceeds in Medellin, Colombia, and prepping himself to assist in the laundering of funds in the Dominican Republic.

Virtual Money, whom some ASD members said was supplying debit cards to ASD, also was linked to the PhoenixSurf Ponzi scheme, according to court filings.

In December 2010, federal prosecutors alleged that ASD also had accepted money from e-Bullion, a California firm that processed payments for Ponzi schemes, including the $72 million Legisi HYIP scheme in Michigan that led to prison sentences for operator Gregory McKnight and pitchman Matthew John Gagnon. E-Bullion operator James Fayed has been sentenced to death for ordering the brutal contract slaying of his wife, a potential witness against him. Pamela Fayed’s throat was slashed repeatedly in the shadows of a Greater Los Angeles parking garage, her husband seated on a nearby park bench “like he doesn’t have a care in the world.”

ASD, according to court filings, also used AlertPay and SolidTrustPay, money-movers based in Canada that have been linked to multiple Ponzi schemes, including the alleged $600 million Zeek Rewards Ponzi scheme broken up by the SEC last year.

Not even Bowdoin’s arrest in 2010 stopped him from pitching fraud schemes, according to court filings. Facing serious criminal charges for his actions in ASD, Bowdoin (in 2011) became a pitchmen for the OneX “program,” which federal prosecutors later alleged to be a pyramid scheme recycling money in ASD-like fashion. Among Bowdoin’s fellow OneX pitchmen was T. LeMont Silver, later of Zeek and later of  JubiMax and GoFunPlaces, two MLM “programs” that are suing each other amid allegations of financial fraud.

At one time, OneX claimed to have a relationship with SolidTrustPay. It then claimed to have ended that relationship and to have started a relationship with I-Payout. Earlier, I-Payout had listed the uber-bizarre TextCashNetwork MLM “program” with ties to the Phil Piccolo organization as a “selected client.” TextCashNetwork now appears to have disappeared, but still is operating with the acronym “TCN” — this time as TrueCashNetwork. How the “new” TCN is processing payments is unknown. What is known is that someone associated with the “new” TCN has sent emails to “winners” in the Zeek scheme in an apparent bid to get them to flog for the new iteration, an apparent investment arm of which is being promoted as an opportunity to earn an interest rate of 50 percent.

Now — as incredible as it seems — promoters of the alleged TelexFree pyramid scheme operating in Brazil and the United States now are claiming that TelexFree is using I-Payout, known formally as International Payout Systems Inc. Equally incredibly, this is happening less than a month after TelexFree promoters advised TelexFree participants to register with Global Payroll Gateway (GPG), another eWallet company and supplier of debit cards, as a means of getting paid after payouts to Brazilian members of TelexFree were blocked in Brazil.

Just last month, TelexFree affiliates were encouraging prospects to register with Global Payroll Gateway (GPG). In recent hours --0 and amid reports GPG has given TelexFree the boot -- TelexFree affiliates have been urged to register with I-Payout.

Just last month, TelexFree affiliates were encouraging prospects to register with Global Payroll Gateway (GPG). In recent hours — and amid reports GPG has given TelexFree the boot — TelexFree affiliates have been urged to register with I-Payout. Source: Google search results.

There are reports online, including on Facebook from self-identified members of TelexFree, that GPG gave TelexFree the boot in recent days. No sooner did those reports surface than videos went up on YouTube encouraging TelexFree members to register for I-Payout.

One of the reports that TelexFree suddenly had shifted from GPG to I-Payout is published on the MoneyMakerGroup forum. MoneyMakerGroup’s name appears in U.S. court files as a place from which Ponzi and fraud schemes are promoted. Both FINRA and the SEC have warned that HYIP schemes spread in part through social-media sites such as forums, YouTube and Facebook.

Because international MLM HYIP fraud schemes often have promoters in common — and because the schemes are promoted on Ponzi cesspits such as MoneyMakerGroup and TalkGold —  proceeds from the schemes can flow into banks at the local level, putting them in the position of becoming warehouses for the ill-gotten gains of participants, including winners and insiders. The use of stored-value debit cards such as those in play in HYIP schemes can lead to the quick dissipation of assets, meaning that victims of an HYIP scheme may have limited hope (or even no hope) that a recovery can be made for their benefit.

The most recent incongruous events involving TelexFree are occurring even as at least one judge and one prosecutor involved in the TelexFree pyramid probe in Brazil reportedly have been threatened with death. And, as was the case with ASD, some promoters of TelexFree have claimed an ability to expedite the flow of money to the scheme — perhaps through back-office transactions within the TelexFree system.

Also see report on BehindMLM.com.

 

 

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One Response to “SPECIAL REPORT: Like AdSurfDaily And OneX Before It, Alleged TelexFree Pyramid Scheme May Be Engaging In Game Of Payment-Processor Roulette”

  1. I bet Andy Bowdoin is proud that people pattern new Ponzi schemes after him. Perhaps in the near future the name will be changed, and we will call them a “Bowdoin” scheme?

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