UPDATE: Blurb For Club Asteria Executive Reappears On Website; Separately, Promoter ‘Ken Russo’ Says On TalkGold Ponzi Forum That The ‘Next Couple Of Months Will Tell The Story’
A blurb for Hank Needham has reappeared on the Club Asteria website after having been missing for days. The blurb appears to have gone missing sometime between June 19 and June 24, but is back on the site today.
Separately, promoter “Ken Russo,” who posts as “DRdave” on the TalkGold Ponzi scheme and criminals’ forum, announced in a TalkGold post dated yesterday that he’d received $400 by wire from “Asteria Holdings Limited (Hong Kong)” yesterday.
The payment was described as a “cashout.” Other members, however, claimed that Club Asteria suspended cashouts last week and had been paying only pennies or low-dollar sums prior to the purported suspension.
TalkGold is referenced in federal court filings by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service as a place from which Ponzi schemes are promoted.
In the month of June, “Ken Russo” has claimed on TalkGold that his Club Asteria cashouts have totaled at least $2,032. The cashouts appear to have occurred after Club Asteria’s PayPal account reportedly was frozen last month and after Italian authorities began to investigate claims made about the company.
Few details are known about the Italian probe. Whether Russo’s purported payments as outlined on TalkGold could be considered ill-gotten gains if a prosecution emerges was not immediately clear.
“The next couple of months will tell the [Club Asteria] story,” Ken Russo opined in his cashout claim on TalkGold yesterday. The post suggests the enterprise is in danger, but “Ken Russo” did not say whether he would return his cashout money voluntarily if authorities in Italy or elsewhere file a fraud action against the firm.
Nor did “Ken Russo” say whether he’d provide refunds for his downline members.
Some ClubAsteria members claim they are filing disputes with Alert Pay in a bid to reclaim money directed at Club Asteria.
A Twitter site in the name of “Hank Needham” claims Needham is the “owner” of Club Asteria. On the Club Asteria website, Needham is described as director of sales and marketing.
After the PayPal freeze, Club Asteria encouraged members to use offshore processors. Many Club Asteria promoters preemptively claimed that the Virginia-based firm was not operating a Ponzi scheme.
How they could be certain never has been made clear, and a cash crisis appears to have engulfed Club Asteria after the claims were made. The company, which trades on the name of the World Bank, may have hundreds of thousands of members globally, including members from Third World countries, developing nations and nations subjected to political dictatorships.
Many Club Asteria members claimed the firm offered a “passive” investment opportunity, which led to questions about whether Club Asteria was selling unregistered securities to some of the poorest people on earth.