UPDATE: PowerPoint Presentation For Club Asteria Says ‘Passive’ Income ’100% GUARANTEED’: Is ‘Ken Russo’ Tone Deaf? Promoter Brags About $321 Payment Sent By Wire While Another Laments Payment Of 30 Cents; Members Say They’ll Contact AlertPay
UPDATED 9:09 A.M. EDT (June 14, U.S.A.) A PowerPoint pitch titled “Asteria Corporation” raises serious questions about the nature of the business “opportunity” and may undermine Club Asteria’s own claims that members alone are to blame for the company’s apparent troubles.
The document is slugged “[ClubAsteriaPresentation]” and attributed to Asteria Corp. and Andrea Lucas. It describes the “program” as one that enables “passive” income and provides a “25% Matching Bonus” — and claims Gold and Silver members are “100% GUARANTEED to Make Money.”
The PowerPoint presentation leads to questions about whether Club Asteria is selling unregistered securities as investment contracts. Meanwhile, it casts doubt on Club Asteria’s claim that members are uniquely responsible for positioning the program as a passive investment opportunity with guaranteed earnings.
Virginia-based Club Asteria identifies Andrea Lucas as its managing director. The program, which members say has slashed payouts and sends money via wire from a Hong Kong company known as Asteria Holdings Limited, is being investigated by Italian authorities. Club Asteria acknowledged last month that its access to PayPal had been blocked, blaming the development on misrepresentations made by members. Member payouts plunged after the PayPal development.
Promoters of Club Asteria routinely trade on the name of the World Bank.
Separately, promoter “Ken Russo” — posting on the TalkGold Ponzi scheme and criminals’ forum as “DRdave” weeks after the PayPal freeze and the developments in Italy — noted he has received by wire $1,632 from Club Asteria since June 2. In separate posts, “Ken Russo” claimed to have received $1,311 on June 2 and $321 on June 12. Both payments came from “Asteria Holdings Limited (Hong Kong),” according to the posts.
Other Ponzi-forum posters claim they were less fortunate than “Ken Russo.” A poster on MoneyMakerGroup, for example, lamented a payment this week of only 30 cents.
“my astrios (sic) stand at almost 1000 and you will be shocked to know that i earned only 30 cents this week, thats (sic) like 4 cents per day for an investment of $1000,” the poster complained.
Another MoneyMakerGroup poster said this: “I made 80 cents from my 2,500 asterios.”
Even TalkGold, which provides the cyberspace criminals and hucksters use to fleece hundreds of thousands of people globally in one Ponzi or fraud scheme after another, is questioning why Russo appears to be doing so well while others have been left holding the bag.
“Something unreal compare[d] to others cashouts amount (sic),” a TalkGold Mod wrote on June 10 about “Ken Russo’s” June 2 claim of a $1,311 Club Asteria payout.
Other forum posters say they plan to retaliate against Club Asteria by filing disputes with Alert Pay, an offshore processor used by Club Asteria.
“This worked for me with genius funds,” wrote one TalkGold promoter, referring to Genius Funds, an international scam promoted on the Ponzi boards that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) said last year stole $400 million.
And the TalkGold poster who’d previously been ripped off in the Genius Funds scam and filed an Alert Pay dispute said he’d do the same thing with Club Asteria — and encouraged others to do the same.
“Yesterday I filed 3 complaints for myself and family and if enough people do it, maybe they will block their alertpay account and share it out to us,” the poster claimed.
He found a receptive audience, and a TalkGold poster who responded to his plea to contact Alert Pay suggested Andrea Lucas was trying to stop members from filing disputes.
“I have contacted to Alertpay too just some days ago,” the TalkGold poster wrote. “Andrea Lucas contacted to me and started whine. Whaiting (sic) message from Alertpay.
“I think their PayPal account was blocked in the same way as it’s going to be with their Alertpay account,” the poster wrote. “Some smart guys did it before us.”
Some Club Asteria members have offered inducements for prospects to join the program, including partial reimbursements of monthly fees. Such members now potentially find themselves in the position of having locked in their own losses by bribing prospects up front and expecting to recapture the expense as the program expanded.
In 2010, “Ken Russo” — while promoting the MPB Today “grocery” program on the Ponzi boards — said one of his downline members was offering up-front payments to incoming prospects to drive business to MPB Today.