Californians are being warned about an online investment scheme 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 company, InterReef LTD, and its principals, identified as Roman and Radoslav Novak.
According to the CDC, Profitable Sunrise falsely claims "risk free" investments with returns of up to 3 percent per day.
CDC spokesman Mark Leyes 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 company is not authorized or licensed to do lending 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.
Similar warnings have been issued in other states, including Alabama, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Jersey and North Carolina, as well as countries like New Zealand.
Californians who've invested with Profitable Sunrise are encouraged to file a complaint at www.corp.ca.gov or call (866) ASK-CORP.