Californians are being warned about an online investment scam run by "Profitable Sunrise," a company that seeks to lure investor victims through biblical references.
The California Department of Corporations recently issued a "desist and refrain" order against the company, its parent firm, InterReef LTD, and its principals, identified as Roman and Radoslav Novak.
According to the CDC, Profitable Sunrise also falsely claims "risk free" investments with returns of up to 3 percent per day.
Since issuing its warning last week, the CDC has fielded about a dozen concerned calls, spokesman Mark Leyes said. He said Profitable Sunrise appears to operate similar to a Ponzi scheme, where new investors' money is used to pay off older investors.
The company advertises a number of investment plans, including short-term "hard money loans" to U.S. and global businesses. But the business is not authorized or licensed to lend or sell securities in California.
Profitable Sunrise is running "a massive, international scheme that takes advantage of religious affinity to deprive investors of their money," said CDC commissioner Jan Lynn Owen in a statement.
Californians who've invested with Profitable Sunrise are encouraged to file a complaint at www.corp.ca.govor call (866) ASK-CORP.
Call The Bee's Claudia Buck, (916) 321-1968. Read her Personal Finance blog, www.sacbee.com/personalfinanceblog.