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Friday, February 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

The Oldest Trick in the Book

ATLANTA (CN) - Profitable Sunrise defrauded thousands of people of tens of millions of dollars in an Internet-based pyramid scheme and sent the money to Eastern Europe and China, the SEC claims in court.

The SEC sued Inter Reef Ltd. dba Profitable Sunrise in Federal Court.

Profitable Sunrise is based in the United Kingdom. It operates, the SEC claims, for the profit of four other defendants, based in the Czech Republic: Melland Company S.R.O., Color Shock S.R.O., Solutions Company S.R.O., and Fortuna-K S.R.O.

"Defendant [Profitable Sunrise] has directed investors to send their money to these companies," the SEC says in the complaint.

The SEC claims that Profitable Sunrise "has been conducting an Internet-based offering fraud and pyramid scheme since at least December 2012, targeting citizens of the United States."

The complaint continues: "Through its website, social media, and numerous promoters in the United States, Profitable Sunrise has been promising investors returns of between 1.6 and 2.7 percent per day, representing that it generates profits by making loans to businesses at higher rates. Those representations are false. The scheme also offers incentives for those who solicit additional investors.

"On information and belief, tens of thousands of investors have invested at least tens of millions of dollars in Profitable Sunrise.

"The investments that Profitable Sunrise offered and sold were 'securities' under federal securities law. The securities were neither registered nor exempt from registration.

"Profitable Sunrise operates for the benefit of unknown individuals and/or organizations doing business through companies formed in the Czech Republic and using bank accounts in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia and China, among other places."

The SEC seeks disgorgement, penalties and an injunction and wants four bank accounts frozen in Budapest and Prague.

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