BULLETIN: Italian Securities Regulator CONSOB Issues Warning On ‘TureProfit,’ HYIP That Claims It Accepts Sums From $10 to $500,000

tureprofitlogoBULLETIN: CONSOB, the Italian securities regulator, has issued a warning and suspended the trading of an HYIP “program” known as TureProfit that appears to be operating as both a macro- and a microscam while using the name of Bitcoin.

On its English website in a prompt dated Aug. 17, 2014, TureProfit purports it has “gained huge profit from BitCoin Futures market. As raward [sic], today we have added a special plan: 200% after 1 day . . . Min deposit: $500 . . . Max deposit: $500,000.”

In recent months, HYIP scammers have sought to trade on the name of Bitcoin to loosen purse strings. A number of regulators have issued warnings on scams that use a Bitcoin theme.

TureProfit, which appears to be a reincarnation of a Ponzi-board “program” that surfaced in 2011 and later collapsed, also says it gathers sums as low as $10. This and greater sums purportedly will earn “8% daily for 50 days,” with “compounding available.”

The time of the apparent resurrection may suggest scammers hoped to pick more pockets in advance of the Holiday season. Some “programs” may collect money for months and even make payments — but then suddenly go missing during the holidays. The phenomenon is known as “Back December.”

There is at least one report on the MoneyMakerGroup Ponzi forum that TureProfit was hacked in 2013. (Claimed hackings are part-and-parcel to the HYIP sphere.) By May 13, 2013, a Ponzi-board huckster noted, “looks as if this one is gone.”

But more than a year later — in August 2014 — TureProfit appears to have resurrected itself. Its website claims it is accepting Bitcoin, plus “Perfectmoney, EgoPay, Payeer . . . to ensure maximum safety of your funds. ”

Meanwhile, the “program” says, “Now we accept SolidTrustPay deposit. [T]his is good choice for US investors.”

Text on the TureProfit website bizarrely claims that when “[Liberty Reserve] failed, we had to shut down our program.”

In 2013, federal prosecutors in the United States described Liberty Reserve as a payment vessel that had helped HYIP scammers and other criminals launder $6 billion. A number of Liberty Reserve figures were charged criminally.

From the CONSOB warning (italics added):

Consob has suspended, as a precautionary measure and for a period of 90 days, the offering to the public resident in Italy of the investment programme named “Tureprofit” active via the website www.tureprofit.com (Resolution no. 19070 of 27 November 2014).

The offer is also intended for the public residing in Italy. Despite being prepared in English, the website where subscriptions are collected also features a function to automatically translate the content into Italian. It should also be noted that there is no specific disclaimer stating that the content refers only to residents of countries other than Italy.

The “Tureprofit” offer of financial products has the following characteristics: (a) for the purpose of subscription, a minimum payment of 10 US dollars is required; (b) in exchange for this payment, it promises a daily return, for 50 days, of 8 percent; (c) the client has no independent management. It would therefore appear to satisfy the characteristics of a financial investment, considering the simultaneous presence of: (i) an investment of capital; (ii) an expectation of a return of a financial nature; (iii) the assumption of a risk associated with the investment of capital.

However, in relation to the offer programme, there has been (a) no prior communication to Consob, and (b) no transmission of a prospectus intended for publication. Therefore, there is a well-grounded suspicion that this is an offer to the public of financial products carried out in breach of Art. 94, Section 1 of the Consolidated Law on Finance. As the offer is still underway, the Commission has adopted the precautionary measure of declaring a suspension in accordance with Art. 99, subsection 1, letter b) of said Decree.

(in “Consob Informa” no. 46/2014 – 1 December 2014)

Visit the CONSOB website. (As of today, Dec. 1, 2014, a brief on the TureProfit suspension action appears near the top of the CONSOB site, under the “Warnings” section.)

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