DEVELOPING STORY: Post On EgoPay Blog Claims Hack, ‘Gap In The Cash Reserves,’ Embezzlement And Staff Suspensions; Some ‘Achieve Community’ Promoters Are Pushing Other Ponzi-Board Schemes That Claim EgoPay Tie
UPDATED 1:09 P.M. ET U.S.A. The Blog on the website of the EgoPay payment processor claims in a Jan. 22 post that the company was hacked on Dec. 28. The claims, which the PP Blog cannot confirm, read like a spy novel that marries insidious financial fraud and escalating computer fraud to uber-bizarre palace intrigue.
After the hack, the post claims, EgoPay could trust no one. So it disabled its “transaction interface,” suspended staff, called in an unidentified “investigation team,” let support tickets go unanswered and interacted with “Astropay and Payza as well a few key merchants to gauge interest in helping remedy this situation.”
“Egopay was looking for help to discover the truth of the hack, for funding or liquidity, as well as to help consult on how to resolve this situation,” the Blog post claims.
Whether any “interest” was forthcoming was unclear in the post. Also unclear is how the asserted events would affect a range of schemes on the Ponzi boards.
Given companion assertions on the Blog that EgoPay “owner” Amir Aziz effectively had hijacked EgoPay servers to delete evidence of a crime and that the hack “exposed a gap in the cash reserves of Egopay,” using EgoPay in any fashion would seem an exceptionally risky proposition.
It was unclear in the Blog post whether EgoPay was blaming Aziz for the Dec. 28 hack. The post claimed that EgoPay determined on Jan. 5 that Aziz had been embezzling from the company, but it further claimed that (italics added):
On January 18th, 2015 Amir Aziz social engineered his way with the hosting provider to reset his accesses and grant him access again to the servers which he used in turn to delete his Egopay account from the system (we would assume to cover his scheme) and removed all other Administrative accesses.
The EgoPay Blog, which did not identify who wrote the post describing the hack and the post-hack actions and claims the company is back in full control of the servers, did not say whether it called police or regulatory authorities.
The post further claims that Tadas Kasputis, the onetime CEO of EgoPay, has stepped down, “allowing for a new team to come onboard to make or break this situation.”
The post did not say who was stepping in to fill the asserted leadership vacuum. Nor did it say who currently was running the company. The Blog post is attributed to the “Egopay Team.”
On Friday, the PP Blog reported that the state of Colorado had opened an investigation into “Achieve Community,” a money-cycling scheme with a Ponzi-board presence. Although Achieve appears not to have advertised EgoPay, some Achieve promoters are pushing Ponzi-board schemes that claim to accept EgoPay.
One such “program” is bizarrely called “BRING THE BACON HOME” and has a curious catch phrase of “We Do Bacon Right.” Achieve promoter Rodney Blackburn now is pushing “BRING THE BACON HOME.”
“Are you ready to make some Yummy Money?!” Rodney asks in a text line below his Jan 14 YouTube promo titled “Bring The Bacon Home- Comp Plan and Review!!!” The video has a play time of 14:53.
“Unison Wealth,” another Ponzi-board “program” pushed by Blackburn, also says it accepts EgoPay.
Despite the Jan. 22 EgoPay Blog post asserting the company could trust no one — not even its own staff — the same page on which the post appears contends that “EgoPay.com is your safe way to Pay.”
Here’s how the Blog post on the EgoPay site begins to explain the asserted hacking (italics added):
On December 28th, during the holiday period, Egopay suffered a hack that greatly impacted key merchants and partners. False values were made available in the merchants platform, when no actual value was transmitted in Egopay. This hacker then proceeded to convert this fake value into irreversible currencies all within a one hour window. These merchants believed that this value was in their Egopay account, but unfortunately it was not. Upon discovery, at this point, Egopay immediately put restrictions in place and placed transactions from being automatically completed, to manual review to contain further damage and impact on our merchants. The Shopping Cart Interface (SCI) was also restricted. The impact amount was between 1M to 1.5M total for a handful of merchants.
We concluded, that this hack must have been perpetrated by someone from within who knew the inner workings and had privileged access, so we took immediate actions and suspended everyone that we suspected while this investigation was underway. Unfortunately, this resulted in our support services being delayed or non-existent. Support tickets were not being answered and our transaction interface was taken down to stop any further exploit. Considering the evidence on hand, Egopay was left with no choice but to take these drastic actions.