IntellaShares, a collapsed “program” with a presence on the Ponzi boards and purportedly prepping for “relaunch,” now is under scrutiny by Save the Children.
Jeremy Soulliere, a spokesman for Save the Children USA, confirmed the inquiry to the PP Blog this morning. Save the Children USA is an arm of Save the Children Federation Inc., the internationally prominent charity.
“We are going to look into this matter further,” Soulliere wrote.
The PP Blog reported yesterday that IntellaShares was publishing a graphic of a check on its website that implied a donation of $478 had been made or will be made to “Save The Children Foundation.” The memo line of the check reads, “Charity Spotlight – Feb/2015.”
Text accompanying the check reads, “The Following Amount Will Be Donated For the Period Feb. 17-28/2015. Thank You To All Members For Making This Possible!”
Another page on the IntellaShares website claims that the “program” donates “20% of Total Collected Membership Fees to THE FEATURED CHARITY.”
This potentially means that Save the Children will not be the sole nonprofit whose name gets dangled by IntellaShares. The site suggests that the Global Music Project was the featured charity last month.
Separately, BehindMLM.com, which covers emerging MLM frauds, reported yesterday that IntellaShares appeared to be threatening “disputers” and people who asked too many questions with entry on a “BLACKLIST” that “will be available to program owners only.”
Precisely who controls the purported blacklist wasn’t specified by IntellaShares. The language, however, was menacing.
“So be careful what you do now it could result in loss of ability to become a member of any program in short order,” IntellaShares advised members, according to BehindMLM.
A post on the MoneyMakerGroup Ponzi forum today includes content attributed to IntellaShares. It declares “[t]oday is a beautiful day in the internet world” because “INTELLASHARES WILL BE OPEN FOR NEW SIGN UPS AND FUNDING TODAY!”
This hashtag was attributed to IntellaShares: “#TOOBADABOUT30PEOPLEWEREBLACKLISTED.”
At least one Ponzi-board poster was not amused.
“They think that threatening people can suppress peoples opinion, that doesn’t sound like people that are for the people,” the poster ventured. “Sounds like facism to me. What a joke.”
Scams trading on the Ponzi boards and on social-media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are infamous for trying to enforce rigid thinking and mute criticism — sometimes by threat. At the same time, it is not unusual for such schemes to use the names of a famous charity or famous for-profit business as part of a bid to create a veneer of legitimacy.
IntellaShares, which plants the seed “program” participants will receive $3.25 for every $2.50 they send in, appears to have collapsed shortly after launch earlier this year.
Thuggery is not unusual in the HYIP sphere of MLM or network marketing.
In early 2014, a “program” known as Banners Brokers threatened to lock the accounts of members “found to be contributing to the negativity on the Internet.” Participants further were threatened with a forfeiture of earnings and encouraged to report doubters to management.
Banners Broker tried to sugarcoat its thuggery by calling it an effort to implement a “Community Watch” program.
By October 2014, documents filed by the the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in July 2014 surfaced. These documents described Banners Broker as a “pyramid scheme that over time evolved into a straight Ponzi scheme in which new victims were recruited to stave off requests for withdrawals and complaints from older ones.”
Investigative documents in Canada describe Banners Broker as a “criminal enterprise.” The U.S. Secret Service used the same phrase when describing the AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme.
Like Banners Broker and ASD, IntellaShares purports to be an “advertising” program.
IntellaShares may be trying to skirt securities laws by claiming on its website that “REVENUE SHARING IS NOT GUARANTEED.”
ASD, which once purported to have gifted 100,000 “ad packs” to a charitable venture, made a similar claim in 2008 . So did the Zeek Rewards scheme in 2012.
Both ASD and Zeek collapsed after interventions by law enforcement.
The SEC yesterday declined to comment on IntellaShares.