Nick Smirnow of P2P on the run:
Report the Pathway 2 Prosperity Scam
Administrator Nick Smirnow
In late 2008, the red flags surrounding Nicholas Smirnow and his Pathway 2 Prosperity "investment program" grew out of control. Despite the fact that payments had completely ceased, many loyal investors continued to cheer Pathway to Prosperity and it's suspicious owner / operator, Nick Smirnow, onward to a prosperous future. However, the P2P party ship is officially on the verge of sinking, and many P2P investors are starting to fully understand the nature of this deceitful program.
Details about P2P's operations and the signs pointing toward a failing ponzi scheme can be found in the February article here.
Nick Smirnow busted by the SEC
Nick Smirnow and all corresponding agents of Pathway 2 Prosperity were served a cease and desist order from the Securities Department of North Dakota in October of 2008. The order forbids Nick from soliciting investments from North Dakota residents because he was essentially selling unregistered securities. It also accuses Nick of operating a scheme designed to mislead and defraud investors and implies that harsh penalties are imposed for such offenses.
The remaining states have a similar criteria, and Nick Smirnow was clearly in violation of the law when accepting investments from all United States citizens. The same is true for Canadian citizens. However, now that Nick has vanished on the basis of a long series of nonsensical excuses, the red flags shine through and highly suggest that Mr. Smirnow was not only selling illegal securities; he was running a massive ponzi scheme.
Detective Andy Muller and the Police Investigation
After several complaints about Nick Smirnow's behavior, the Ontario Provincial Police became involved. After a brief investigation, Detective Andy Muller of Huntsville, Ontario released a questionnaire urging all Pathway 2 Prosperity victims to participate. Andy Muller's actions were followed by Jacob Gholson, a United States postal inspector, asking all U.S. based victims to contact him and forward the questionnaire to his office as well.
Paul Perrard's so-called
"Truth" website about P2P
Soon after the intense investigation began, Paul Perrard, a shady individual claiming to be the "CEO of Pathway 2 Prosperity," started his own website known as "p2p-the truth." Paul Perrard attempts to refute the claims and evidence against Nick Smirnow and P2P, and posts the copies of his conversations with Andy Muller. However, the responses appear entirely emotional instead of logical. Most of the absurd arguments also contain too many lines of desperate defense, and some P2P victims have agreed that this mysterious "Paul Perrard" resembles the former persona of Nick Smirnow.
"Mr. Perrard" insists that no Ponzi Scheme activity was ever conducted by P2P, and claims that the Administrator, Mr. Nick Smirnow himself, is currently attending to business activities in Argentina. The months of silence from P2P administration, including nearly all current members waiting for payouts, indicate that this "excuse" is erroneous. Current P2P contenders suggest that Nick Smirnow and his wife, Diane, are hiding in the Philippines.
The Payment Processors Cooperate: SolidTrustPay & AlertPay
The two major payment processors involved in members' transactions with Pathway 2 Prosperity, SolidTrustPay (STP) and AlertPay (AP), are cooperating with the Ontario Police investigation. Stella Hiemstra, Head Administrator of Solid Trust Pay, has already announced that P2P investors' former deposits into Nick Smirnow's STP account were never withdrawn; i.e. Nick could not have been using them for "investing" of any sort.
If members' deposits continued to accumulate and sit still in Nick's account, the only potential method of paying his investors such high levels of "interest" would have been through a basic ponzi scheme model. Some relentless P2P supporters argue that the STP funds do not account for all of Nick's assets. However, if one account shows obvious signs of the ponzi scheme model, usually all assets undergo the same element. Also, from a legal standpoint, a program that uses even 1% of new investors' funds to pay out former contributors is considered an illegal ponzi scheme.
Ignore the Ramblings of Persistent Cheerleaders
Despite the substantial evidence against Nick Smirnow and his Pathway 2 Prosperity scam, many members continue to carelessly support him. As the police investigation took a positive turn, some of the more aggressive, reckless cheerleaders started to disappear from HYIP and investment related forums and blogs. Nonetheless, desperate Nick Smirnow supporters continue to insult the P2P contenders and urge current members to wait for Nick to be "faithful."
Taking advice from delusional Nick Smirnow supporters is obviously not sensible. Current victims of this failed ponzi scheme are advised to cooperate with the current investigation and fight back against this scam and its primary operators and agents.
Take Action Against Nick Smirnow!
If you are a victim of Nick Smirnow's Pathway 2 Prosperity, don't sit back and remain silent. Help the investigators end this fraud and bring the crooks to justice. Don't let this crime and your loss be forgotten - If people do nothing, that's exactly what will happen!
Tell your story and alert the authorities and other similar victims to this scam! You can do this in 2 ways:
1. Send the completed questionnaire to the authorities
Make sure you do this if you haven't already. As more angry victims come forth, the hunt for Mr. Smirnow will grow stronger. If nothing else, this action sends a record of your losses to the proper authorities, helping to qualify you for refunds if they are possible.
More details about the questionnaire can be found HERE
2. Send us your testimony
If Nick Smirnow or his agents have taken advantage of you within the Pathway 2 Prosperity network, please send us your testimony to post here at the Ponzi Scheme Alert community. We ask that you please follow these requirements:
Be Specific! There is no "maximum" or "minimum" length required, but detailed explanations are always helpful
Avoid excessive, offensive language. Using an ocassional adjective to properly describe your anger and frustration is perfectly acceptible; however, please be reasonable in doing so
Author's mark is required. You certainly do not have to include your full name along with your testimony, but we do at least require your initials and city of residence.
Example: Terry Johnson - Dallas, Texas; OR: T.J. - Dallas, Texas
Send your testimonies to: Info@PonziSchemeAlert.com
Note: Please mark the subject line with "P2P Testimony - (Your Name or Initials)" to prevent your e-mail from being lost in our records.
P2P Victims & Their Testimonies
I only invested $200.00 through Alertpay by a referral from a friend. I never received any payout from P2P. The big problem now is that Alertpay requires a save image of your account from the website to manage any dispute, and all their website are down. Maybe is too late now, but because of the gag policy imposed by the moderators, I was afraid to even ask. I filed the victim questionnaire wanting to contribute with my 2 cents. Hope this is solved for the people that really invested great quantities.
J.E.M. - Thonotosassa, FL
I invested $100.00 back in november of 2008, went through the normal 60 day investment cycle and rolled it over again in Feb. My investment matured but there are no more roll overs, nor can I get my initial investment or the interest of the investment. I know this is not much but this put a red flag up for me in doing any other online investments. It is truly ridiculous.
O. Tyson - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Hello everyone, My name is Dave
In case nobody has noticed, the website is still up. But, has anyone tried to go to the forum? You can't, it's been gone for quite some time now.
Nick and company are long gone with our money. Why do you think that in the last days that they disabled our ability to send private messages to other members? They didn't want us to band together to "Get Nick".
If they leave the site up, it looks like they are still in operation. It keeps giving people hope that it's not all over even though it is. The lights were left on but nobody is home.
Nick is laughing at you, and me, for being such easy targets. Yes, me too. I lost $13,500 in this ponzi scam. I'm just glad I didn't refer anyone. In a way, I am relieved that I didn't get paid. If I had, I had lots of friend who were going to put even bigger money in. They were just waiting to make sure I got paid. I could not have lived with myself if I had been the "one "responsible for all of my friends losing all of their hard earned money to "Nick the Ponzi King."
I am pretty sure there's nothing I can do about getting my money back, but justice must be served. Nick needs to be tried and put in jail. He can keep his buddy Bernie Madoff company for the rest of his life.
Are we just gonna sit back and let him get away with it? We need to band together and lets figure this thing out.
I read these testimonies here and I thought it wasn't so bad until I got to the part about how much money has been invested by other people. I have invested $7,000. I trusted this because of the people who I have known for a very long time and I trusted that they knew what they were talking about, but I don't blame them because if it was paid like we thought it would, it would have been a different story. But in these cases, when money is concerned, it doesn't last forever. Every thing comes to an end at some point. I just wish they would catch this guy and put him in jail for the rest of his dirty life.
F.B.M. - New York
I invested $100 and I withdrew about $600 before it stopped. I am satisfied that I made a profit in it before it had problems. People who lost so much money were naive enough to invest so much into the thousands into any internet related program. You never know what to expect in these types of programs and you never know what may come up to interfere with the program going exactly as the administration intended it to go.
So, I liked Nick and I think he was trying to help a lot of people...maybe too many people. People must realize that they enter these programs at their own risk, and they have to be able to accept the losses or the profits in them. You should never wager more than you can reasonably afford to in any of these programs offered over the internet, and if you do, then there is no one to blame, but yourself.
I too, have lost money in this scheme. I distinctly remember reading the heavy warnings of prospective members and current members to NOT invest in HYIPS, as they were fraudulent, or words to that effect, and for us all to be patient, and if we couldn't be, then we were not to join at all! Very strong words, I must say, and I guess they were designed to give readers the impression that P-2-P was a legitimate business. I can see why we were told to be patient: patient in waiting for payouts (I invested $2,000 and got absolutely ZILCH in return), patient in the hope that P-2-P would soon be back on deck, and patient even when the site stayed up and the forum could not be accessed (obviously to keep up the hope and faith that soon all would be well again, but cleverly not having the forum accessible to prevent members from voicing their concerns). I had hoped that this program would get me off the invalids benefit (I am arthritic), and feeling better about myself. Shame on Nick and his cohorts for cheating so many people! I really wish I had heeded Nick's words in the first instance, and took them at face value; to NOT invest at all! Patience isn't always a virtue!
A.J.I. - Christchurch
My name is Brenda Franklin in Kampsville, IL. I too have lost $100.00. I got to roll it over and tried to cash it in and it tells you it is closed for the time being for reorganizing. The forums are closed and now the website is gone. My husband and I are on disability and we were trying to get ahead on our medical bills, needless to say that hasn't happened. I talked to a friend and shared this information with him and he told me this was a ponzi scheme from the beginning, but I had to try it anyway. If you see my name on anything run because I trust everyone and I really thought this was the big one. $100.00 dollars is a lot of money to us but its not as much as the person who told us about it. I feel really sorry for her because she was trying to get ahead also, she borrowed a lot of money to do this. Someone needs to put an end to this and we deserve to get our money back. I hope the group who started this goes to jail. I just cannot believe someone could do this to honest hard working people.
Brenda Franklin - Kampsville, IL
I learned about P2P from a friend who was trying to help me avoid bankruptcy. I had $600 in savings and thought this is perfect to start getting the returns P2P promised. So being naive, I invested the $600 back in September 2008. It's hard for me to even admit how many countless hours I spent reading the STUPID FORUM!!! It makes me sick to my stomach thinking about all that wasted time!! There I was, like a hopeful peasant thinking the rich king would save me. Nothing! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! NOTHING AT ALL!! My bankruptcy is now filed. Thanks a lot Nick. I think you knew it was coming to an end, but you STILL wanted more people to invest. Even if you had good intentions, you still were gambling with thousands of peoples lives. HOW DARE YOU!!!
Tyler Massey - Farmington, Utah
I invested $5000.00 back in August 2008 and was on the 30% rollover. I kept rolling it over every month or 30 days until my investment had grown to $25,000.00. I never got a dime and I lost my initial $5000.00, which I was hoping to get that at least. I was requesting payouts every month at the end of every month and would leave some in there to roll over. It always showed as pending until I had $25,000.00 pending plus $1,065.00 that I could do nothing with because they had shut the system altogether with promises that it would be rolling soon. It became worrisome when the same web page was there with no more news since January 2009 until just recently when i went to check on it and found out that the web site was totally and completely wiped out. I first got into this because a friend of mine said he was making lots of money with it and I trusted his judgment, but I should have never gotten into this. Today the friend does not even speak to me to tell me what happened to the scheme. I hope to God that this Nick goes to prison for the rest of his life and if we could get our money back - at least the initial investment - that would be something. Some of us are really in need of that money. But I know that with these schemes, we the suckers are always the losers. I will fill out the victim questionnaire and see what happens. May he and people like him rot in jail and burn in hell for burning innocent people. It really ticks me off that there are such scum bags out there like this Nick. Heaven help us. But why should I be shocked? There is a passage in the Bible that says that "he who tries to find quick wealth, will end in poverty" - paraphrasing the verse.
DZN - Albuquerque, NM
I invested a total of $480 in the 60 day plan, continually rolling it over until at the end it was at $8000. I requested a $400 pay out on December 6 and it showed pending until the end of the site. I never got any money. I will never get into anything like this again!!!
DBB - Vicksburg, MS
I have 1737.00 with p2p. Much to the same as CEP Trust, I was taken 1500.00 in that one. The government has had two years on that one and produced nothing. They were damn sure they paid the lawyers and yet they wont even return my email. I submitted my docs two months ago and I get the silent treatment from the government. These people steal my money and they do nothing. In many ways they are no different than Nick.
Barry Evans (Barryevans007)
P-2-P was recommended to me by an email contact and I invested $2000 through AlertPay with them in the beginning of June 2008. I invested for a 60 day period and had accumulated the sum of $3200. I immediately re-invested $200 and requested a payout of the $3000. To date I have never received any money from them in spite of many emails requesting the reason for the delay. They acknowledged receipt of my emails and promised to investigate. I never ever received a reply from them. In August I sent a further $500 via AlertPay and when I attempted to transfer to P-2-P to invest for me the $500 just disappeared and was never recorded on my account. My actual loss totals $2500. I have just lately realized that the web site is down and gave up hope of ever recovering my money.
Raymond Nicholas - Oregon, USA
I invested $500 with P-2-P in August 2008. "Invest with the Best," they said. "We'll still be here for your retirement," they said. My brother got scammed for $500 also, and my sister & brother-in-law got took for $100. When they were ordered to shut down by the SEC in October they didn't say one word about it in the forum. They told us to "shut up" and "be patient" while they supposedly did their months long "audit." People continued to invest after that time! I'm never investing another dime online ever again, I don't care if it's Charles Schwab.
Gary A. Fowler - Ft. Mitchell, KY
I am too a victim of this P-2-P Scheme with Nick Smirnow. I opened an account with "AlertPay" as well as signed up with P-2-P on September 14, 2008 I made my deposit into AlertPay and deposited $200 to be invested into my P-2-P account. Once the money was deposited into AlertPay, I invested the $200 which was transferred from AlertPay into my P-2-P Account. This was on September 14th 2008 as well. On November 15, 2008 my investment was complete with an interest of $160.
I was notified by P-2-P via email letting me know that my investment had been completed and was ready for withdrawal. However, they said that I needed to open up an account with P-2-P Energy with all of my Banking Information as well as my Social Security Number so that P-2-P could transfer my funds into the P-2-P Energy Account because they no longer were working with AlertPay or SolidTrust Pay.
Once I put all my Account information onto the P-2-P Energy Website, I contacted P-2-P to notify them that I had done this and I was now putting in a request for a withdrawal. I went onto the P-2-P site and put in a "Withdrawal request in the amount of $260, I tried to re-invest the $100 that was left, but it wouldn't let me. Weeks passed and I heard nothing from
P-2-P after putting in my request, so I contacted P-2-P and received a very rude email from someone, not sure of the name, but it wasn't Nick.
This person said some very harsh things to me and told me that I was "the problem" and that I should understand that it takes time to process the funds request with all the thousands of people that are requesting funds. This person also stated to me that he would make sure that I am kicked off of the P-2-P Investment Program once I received my funds. Well this never happened. Each time I went onto the Website to try to see if there was some type of message given for instruction as to what was going on with this Company, there was always something that they were in the process of doing to the system or there was a problem with the glitches of some sort.
It just didn't make any sense, but I wanted to believe that they were legit. I was scammed, bamboozled and the sad thing about it is, I had two other family members that placed their money into this Scam as well. The last email that I received was in April 2009 stating that I would receive my investment with interest and of course it never happened. I tried Emailing a few times after and received no response.
I also went online back In April 2009 to the P-2-P Website and it was still up and running, but really no one is there, its just for show. People are angry and very hurt by such a dishonest act by these people. I hope that they are caught and each one of them is prosecuted to the highest degree of the Law. They took people for granted during a time of a Recession which makes it very terrible. I hope myself as well as others are re-paid every penny that was invested with interest as promised.
On May 3m 2008 I first became aware of P2P through a friend where we had been members in a multilevel marketing company. I was invited to check out P2P as it was �an investment program with very high returns� and my friend Richard stated he was �making over $2,000.00 a month already.�
I joined P2P a short time later with an investment of $6,500 US dollars after the deposit was made to Solid Trust Pay on 5/20/2008. My wife also invested $700 US dollars after her deposit to Solid Trust Pay on 7/22/2008.
The actual dates we made the investment to P2P are with Solid Trust Pay and I currently cannot access my account records with Solid Trust Pay as they are doing some kind of � maintenance�.
My P2P username was paulnorm57 and my wife�s P2P account username was nikki52.
To date I have not received any monies from P2P or Solid Trust Pay. Several request for withdrawals were made to P2P when my investment plans matured. My records show I planned a requested draw from P2P on 10/4/08 and several request were made after that when the account would mature. I don�t have access to my account with P2P and didn�t take any screen shots, so I�m not sure of the exact dates my request were made. I had my wife close her account before it matured, as I was told I could be in violation of a rule change where more than one family member in the same household could not have an additional account.
I became aware there was a problem with P2P and contacted Solid Trust Pay in May 2009. Solid Trust Pay responded by Email on May 6, 2009 stating there was an ongoing investigation and a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Nick Smirnow, the owner of P2P.
I hope and pray we can get our monies returned, but at this point it looks like we are in a sinking boat!
I am willing to co-operate with the Canadian Justice system if required.
It�s my understanding that Nick�s account with Solid Trust Pay is frozen with regards to the investigation and I now have my doubts with the legitimacy of Solid Trust Pay.
My sincere thank you for what you are doing!
Paul and Sandra Norman - Royston, GA
My husband and I invested about $4,000 with this creep! Invested is not exactly - as it appears, we "gave" Nick Smirnow our hard earned money.
We had just relocated from the east coast to central U.S. in Aug 2007 (which turned out to be tragic and devasting mistake). We wanted desperately to return to where we originated. We live in a fixed income situation, and can't re-coop our money like we could if we were young and employed. So, it looks as if we'll lose our home and possessions because we were grasping at straws and hoping to earn just enough to fund a return move and have some money in the bank.
We rolled over the money several times, and were to receive $45,000 in January 2008. Needless to say, this did not happen, and we never got one dime of our money back! It made me sick reading how all those people kept saying how "blessed" they were to be associated with P2P and Nick. And, now I understand that some of those screen names were Nick's administrators that were feeding false hope and lies to the ones waiting for their money.
We lost most of our savings in a disasterous decision to move, and then lost the rest to Nick Smirnow. He's a disgusting excuse for a man, and I hope he gets punished for his actions by the Canadian authorities.
Doubt we'll get our money returned, and it was a hard lesson learned that will never be forgotten by us. We're educated senior citizens, and never thought we'd be stupid enough to fall for such a blatant scam. Shame on us.
T.E. & B.E. - Central U.S.
My family too has invested and lost money. In July of 2008, I invested $5000.00 on the 60 day plan. It matured and I rolled it over leaving all of it in and splitting it into 2 different plans one 30 day and one 60 day so that when they matured at the $25,000.00 I would have one maturing every month. AWESOME deal! I let them mature, left in the 25,000.00 and requested the difference. I believe the first request was the end of September or October. Never received any payback. It was always pending and was supposed to be transferred to the P2P Energy account that I opened as advised by the website as they were no longer using Solid Trust Pay due to issues with them. My brother also did the same thing that I did with another $5,000. and my mother with another $6000.00. None of us ever received anything. It would be nice to see the underdog come out on top for once. I can understand not getting any of the profit that I supposedly accumulated but my initial investment returned would be great.
C.J.B. - Sioux City, Iowa