Call Now For a Free Consultation:
(614) 532-4576
Nationwide Representation

SEC Issues Warning over Paid-to-Click Scams

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued an investor warning regarding online paid-to-click scams that promise easy cash in exchange for purchasing a membership upfront.

The SEC warns that some of these programs may be nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, with minimal revenue beyond the membership fees of sales of “ad packs”. An enforcement case was recently unsealed in federal court in Florida, where the SEC alleged that an estimated 99 percent of the “profits” paid to investors were from buy-in fees from new investors. The SEC also alleged that the alleged person running this scheme spent millions of dollars of the invested money to fund other businesses, purchase private plane charters, cars, and a luxury home.

The SEC filed their complaint against Pedro Fort Berbel, who was based in Miami, as well as his company Fort Marketing Group which operated under a number of different names including MLM Shop, The Business Shop, and Fort Ad Pays. According to the complaint, investors were solicited through online videos and posts that they could earn investment returns reaching 120 percent if they purchased an ad pack and clicked on four banner ads per day. According to the SEC, Berbel and his company received more than $38 million from 150,000 or more investors.

“As alleged in our complaint, these companies had no viable source of revenue besides income from investor membership fees and the sale of ad packs, so this boiled down to an ad packs Ponzi scheme in which the promised investment returns to earlier investors were not possible without using funds from new investors,” said Eric I. Bustillo, Director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office.”

If you were the victim of a scam, our investment fraud attorneys at Meyer Wilson are ready and waiting to provide you with the experienced legal representation you need. Over the years, our firm has recovered more than $350 million in verdicts and settlements, and we continue to fight for each new client who walks through our doors. Call us at one of our offices located across the United States, or fill out our online form to request a free case evaluation today.

Related Posts:

The information contained in The Firm’s posts on its blog, fraud alerts, investigations or elsewhere on the site is based upon information obtained from other sources including, but not limited to, news outlets and federal, state, and regulatory agency filings. All suspects and subjects of postings herein are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law or administrative action and any and all crimes are alleged until a court or regulatory agency finds otherwise .

Share This Story
If you found the information provided by this article useful, consider sharing to your social media channels to help others in their search for reliable resources.
Consult with Our Legal Team
There is never a cost associated with a consultation
Atlanta Office

945 East Paces Ferry Road, Suite 2275
Atlanta, GA 30326
Columbus Office

305 W. Nationwide Blvd
Columbus, OH 43215
Meyer Wilson
New Orleans Office

900 Camp Street 
Suite 337
New Orleans, LA 70130
Los Angeles Office

2029 Century Park East,
Suite 400N
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Cleveland Office

4781 Richmond Rd.
Suite 400
Warrensville Heights, OH 44128
Bloomfield Hills Office

41000 Woodward Ave.,
Suite 350
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Quick Links
The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from this site, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient's state. Read More
The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.
Read More
chevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram