Closed by Michelle
07 Mar 2006 08:44
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We are sure that many of you are aware of the recent controversy with Charis F. Johnson and other “Auto-Surf websites”. The funds of those merchant’s and specifically Charis F. Johnson have been locked in their StormPay accounts as investigations are ongoing into what appears to be massive illegal Ponzi schemes. Any payments you may have received from these “Auto-Surf’s, that were still within the StormPay system have been restored back to the accounts’ of those ‘Auto-Surf’s where the funds are protected and preserved in an effort to try and refund customers who may have been victims of these programs. We can confirm that there will not be enough money available to get everybody reimbursed but we are formulating an orderly plan to reimburse victims to the limited extent that may be possible.
The problem we are seeing is that customers are viewing their "earnings" from the “Auto-Surfing” websites’ and believe that StormPay Inc. is holding funds sufficient to cover those "earnings". StormPay is not holding funds sufficient to cover the alleged "earnings" or "payments" or "payouts" that are reflected on the Auto-Surf’s website (we suspect we are holding only a small fraction of what is being reflected as "owed" to customers on the websites). Some customers that received a "payout" from these “Auto-Surf’s received that at the expense of somebody else who contributed to the program but who may have never received any "payout". Consequently, the reason that we have restored funds back to the accounts of these so called “Auto-Surfs” that represent payments that some members received was so that we can attempt to reimburse as many people as possible. In the usual Ponzi scheme, if you received a payment from the program it had to have come from the payments that another member made to the program. Therefore, if you have received a payment, you received someone else's money. That is the problem with a Ponzi scheme, once it collapses a lot of people get hurt. There is no way to make everybody “whole” and most people will lose money as there simply won't be available funds to make everybody “whole.” The reason that is, once people withdraw their “payouts” or “earnings” out of StormPay, that represents other peoples money, and if the only money coming in is from new “investors” (and not any other source), there is no “new” money available to make payouts or even refunds to some members.
Assume you have a customer (customer #1) who funds their StormPay account with $1000 and sends that money to one of these “Auto-Surf’s”. Then customer #2 follows up by funding their StormPay account and thereafter sends $1200 to the same “Auto-Surf”. Thereafter, the “Auto-Surf” sends $1200 to customer #1 for their percentage of promised “return” on their original “payment" and thereafter, the program shuts down as it did in these cases. In a Pyramid type operation/program/scheme there is no longer any new money coming into the program to pay back customer #2. Customer #2’s payment was what was used to pay customer #1. If this is not a Pyramid operation there should be money to refund customer #2 but there is not in this case. StormPay Inc. cannot allow customer #1 withdraw the money in his StormPay account (which was received from the “Auto-Surf”) into his own personal bank account, since it is really the money belonging to customer #2. The only solution is to reverse as many of the funds as possible so that many more victims of the ponzi/pyramid schemes can be reimbursed their original “investment”. Keep in mind that many of the first people into the schemes have already withdrawn the funds rightfully belonging to the later participants. Despite our best efforts to correct the seemingly wrong doing of these “Auto-Surfs”, there simply will not be enough remaining monies to make everyone “whole”. Again, this is due to those admins and other participants of the programs’ who have withdrawn monies rightfully belonging to others. StormPay Inc. is currently undergoing an audit, near completion, and done with our absolute and complete cooperation, which will show that every penny of money we have ever had control of can and has been accounted for.
StormPay does not permit the processing of payments for any illegal program and our Terms of Service expressly prohibit the processing of any payments for any illegal Ponzi or Pyramid scheme. Our Terms of Service do expressly provide:
“17. Get Rich Quick" Schemes: Get Rich Quick Schemes are prohibited resell items by StormPay. Get Rich Quick schemes include any type of self-employment, start-up businesses, or investment opportunity where the claims of profit or returns on investment are unrealistic or unsupported. By law, if a business opportunity costs $500.00 USD or more, the promoter is required to support any claims regarding earnings or profits with written documentation.
Pyramids don't pay. StormPay Inc. and the Federal Trade Commission caution consumers about clubs or programs that promise quick money for recruiting new members. Don't bank on the pyramid promise that someone else will pay you. For more information on get-rich-quick schemes, visit the FTC at www.ftc.gov.”
There are claims afloat that StormPay Inc. has performed unauthorized charges from customers’ bank accounts or credit cards. StormPay can, and will prove to any and all investigators that all charges made were made from each individual’s own computer, or a computer from which the customer has accessed, and was an authorized charge by that customer. StormPay Inc. intends to investigate each and every assertion wherein it has been claimed that StormPay Inc. initiated and unauthorized bank or credit card debit, and will prosecute those persons, and seek recovery of, all funds wrongfully charged back, including all costs involved to do so.
StormPay Inc. would like to take this opportunity thank it's customers for their continued support - past, present, and future. We very much look forward to the time in which all investigations have been completed and the truth is revealed to the public and our valued customers.