Source: LA Times 10/1/2006

Prosperity Automated System Targeted by SEC

Internet Pyramid Scheme Alleged

The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking to shut down a network of 25,000 websites, accusing operators of running a $15-million pyramid scheme that promises to shower participants with easy cash.

Prosperity Automated System, which bills itself as a marketing network, "is destined to collapse and leave the vast majority of investors with substantial losses," the SEC said Wednesday.

The complaint targets the network and its creator, William M. Osterhout of Citrus Heights, Calif.

The websites, with such names as and typically offer testimonies from people claiming to make thousands of dollars by buying into the group, the SEC said.

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