Smart Business Corp Review: Decade-long Ponzi goes bitcoin
Smart Business Corp doesn’t provide company ownership or executive information on its website.
Further research reveals Ernesto Reséndiz being credited as Smart Business Corp’s founder and CEO:
On LinkedIn Reséndiz represents he is based out of Mexico. This ties into Smart Business Corp representing it is based out of Mexico. The company also uses a Mexican domain.
Smart Business Corp’s website domain (“smartbusinesscorp.com.mx””), was first registered in 2015. “Ernesto Resendiz Lopez” is listed as the owner, through an incomplete address in Benito Juarez, Mexico.
A visit to the Wayback Machine reveals Smart Business Corp’s website domain was redirected to “smartfundlimited.com”.
This was the case till at least November 2020. I believe Smart Business Corp’s current website went live around mid 2021.
On the footer of the Smart Fund Limited website it states:
This website is operated by SBC.
SBC operates and/or provides services in:
1276 Kumul Hwy, 1st Flr Govant Bldg, Port Vila, Vanuatu
Smart Business Corp, or SBC, clearly has no ties to Vanuatu. Registering shell companies in scam-friendly jurisdictions to run MLM companies through is typically the work of scammers.
The earliest video on Smart Business Corp’s official YouTube channel is dated March 2020. It depicts the opening of SBC’s offices in Mexico:
From this we can ascertain Smart Business Corp has been around under its own name since at least early 2020.
Smart Fund Limited is a failed trading opportunity. Back then SBC represented it was a broker:
SBC was founded in 1996 and is one of the largest and most highly respected brokers in the industry.
We generate massive trading volume and provide high liquidity to numerous traders around the world.
I initially assumed Smart Business Corp was a relaunch of Smart Fund Limited. Turns out it’s a reboot of a prior collapsed Ponzi run by Resendiz.
IBF International solicited $410 investments on the promise of a perpetual $100 a month ROI.
IBF International targeted South America. It appears to have first collapsed in 2014, prompting Ecuadorian authorities to arrest founder Ernesto Reséndiz while on a promo tour.
Reported Ecuavisa in July 2014;
A new case of massive fraud is registered in Machala. The Police arrested a Mexican citizen in the capital of Ourense for allegedly being involved in a new massive scam, through the internet advertising system.
So far, there are 30 complaints from people who deposited between 250 and 410 dollars as a membership to enter the advertising business, but who have not received their payments for two months.
Separately, El Comercio reported;
The foreigner, who claims to be the director of the IBF International firm, explains to a group of people how what he calls “the largest and most lucrative capitalization system without debt ” works.
The alleged director of the company , Ernesto L., 42, was arrested last Thursday in Machala, capital of El Oro . The Police apprehended him in an office, after a group of members denounced him for the alleged failure to pay .
On July 4, the Second Court of Criminal Guarantees ordered his preventive detention for the crime of fraud.
I couldn’t find any follow up to Resendiz’s arrest.
This running a Ponzi scheme behind “debt elimination” nonsense however has been going on in Mexico since at least 2011;
As part of the tour carried out at the national level, the director of Smart Business Corp, Ernesto Reséndiz López, went to Zacatecas to present this new concept of doing business.
The way this company works, which already brings together 11,000 affiliated people nationwide, is that members come together to give each other financial support, in addition to being given training to create productive businesses.
Although the idea of lending money to each other, seeking advice for training and generating profit among members is simple, he warned that putting it into practice is complicated.
The innovative project that starts from not getting into debt and has been running for a year, has transcended borders to begin to be applied in other countries, according to its creator, who was in a Fenaza room to give a conference.
Putting all of this together, we have:
- Ernesto Resendiz launches Smart Business Corp Ponzi scheme in Mexico circa ~2010;
- Smart Business Corp collapses, prompting Resendiz to launch IBF International;
- IBF International expands beyond Mexico and eventually collapses in mid 2014;
- Resendiz is arrested in Ecuador in July 2014, case goes cold following his arrest;
- Resendiz makes his way back to Mexico at some point and launched Smart Fund Limited, a non-Ponzi trading platform;
- Smart Fund Limited goes nowhere, prompting the relaunch of Smart Business Corp;
- Smart Business Corp is relaunched alongside Smart Fund Limited, but only moves onto its own “smartbusinesscorp.com.mx” domain sometime in 2021; and
- Mexican authorities appear to be asleep at the wheel on Resendiz’s various Ponzi schemes for over a decade.
The current iteration of Smart Business Corp is what we’re taking a look at today.
Read on for a full review of Smart Business Corp’s MLM opportunity.
Smart Business Corp’s Products
Smart Business Corp has no retailable products or services.
Affiliates are only able to market Smart Business Corp affiliate membership itself.
Smart Business Corp’s Compensation Plan
Smart Business Corp affiliates invest USD equivalents in bitcoin.
This is done on the promise of a “compounded ROI”, paid out monthly for 24 months.
New Smart Business Corp affiliates have two initial investment plans to choose from:
- Basic – invest $795 and receive 2% a month for 24 months ($1278.71 total ROI)
- Premium – invest $995 and receive 5% a month for 24 months ($3208.97 total ROI)
After an additional investment plan is chosen, Smart Business Corp offers “additional plans”.
Smart Business Corp’s additional plans are offered based on whether an affiliate initially invested at the Basic or Premium tier.
The additional plans can be invested in at signup with a Basic or Premier tier investment, or later on their own.
Basic Tier + Additional Plans (invested in together at signup)
- invest $795 + $500 and receive 3% a month for 24 months ($904.36 total ROI)
- invest $795 + $1000 and receive 3.5% a month for 24 months ($2032.79 total ROI)
- invest $795 + $2000 and receive 4.5% a month for 24 months (5126.61 total ROI)
- invest $795 + $5000 and receive 5.5% a month for 24 months ($16,125.50 total ROI)
- invest $795 + $10,000 and receive 6.5% a month for 24 months ($47,489.35 total ROI)
Premium Tier + Additional Plans (invested in together at signup)
- invest $995 + $500 and receive 5% a month for 24 months ($4821.52 total ROI)
- invest $995 + $1000 and receive 5.5% a month for 24 months ($6823.56 total ROI)
- invest $995 + $2000 and receive 6% a month for 24 months ($11,306.84 total ROI)
- invest $995 + $5000 and receive 7% a month for 24 months ($28,570.80 total ROI)
- invest $995 + $10,000 and receive 8% a month for 24 months ($66,620.78 total ROI)
Additional Plans only (invested into after signup on their own)
- invest $500 and receive 2.5% a month fro 24 months ($904.36 total ROI)
- invest $1000 and receive 3% a month for 24 months ($2032.79 total ROI)
- invest $2000 and receive 4% a month for 24 months ($5126.61 total ROI)
- invest $5000 and receive 5% a month for 24 months ($16,125.50 total ROI)
- invest $10,000 and receive 6% a month for 24 months ($40,489.35 total ROI)
The MLM side of Smart Business Corp pays on recruitment of affiliate investors.
Smart Business Corp Affiliate Ranks
There are eight affiliate ranks within Smart Business Corp’s compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Smart Executive – sign up as a Smart Business Corp affiliate and invest
- Master Junior – personally invest $500, recruit six Smart Executives who have invested in an additional plan and generate $60,000 in total downline investment volume
- Master Senior – personally invest $1000, maintain six personally recruited Smart Executives (one Master Junior) and generate $120,000 in total downline investment volume
- Master Trainer – personally invest $5000, recruit nine Smart Executives (one Master Senior and one Master Junior), and generate $500,000 in total downline investment volume
- Master Manager – personally invest $10,000, maintain nine personally recruited Smart Executives (one Master Trainer, one Master Senior and one Master Junior), and generate $1,000,000 in total downline investment volume
- Master Elite – personally invest $20,000, recruit twelve Smart Executives (one Master Manager, one Master Trainer, one Master Senior and one Master Junior), and generate $2,500,000 in total downline investment volume
- Master Superior – personally invest $40,000, maintain twelve personally recruited Smart Executives (one Master Elite, one Master Manager, one Master Trainer and one Master Senior), and generate $5,000,000 in total downline investment volume
- Master Platinum – personally invest $100,000, recruit fifteen Smart Executives (two Master Elites, one Master Manager, one Master Trainer and one Master Senior), and generate $10,000,000 in total downline investment volume
There is additional “Master Test” qualification criteria, ranging from “Basic 1” at Master Junior to Advanced 3 at Master Platinum.
What Master Test is isn’t explained.
Note that required downline investment volume isn’t counted 100% for every investment.
Smart Business Corp reduced counted investment volume based on unilevel team levels.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
For the purpose of rank qualification, Smart Business Corp counts investment volume across eight unilevel team levels:
- investment volume from levels 1 and 2 of the unilevel team are counted at 100%
- investment volume from levels 3 and 4 of the unilevel team are counted at 90%
- investment volume from levels 5 and 6 of the unilevel team are counted at 80%
- investment volume from levels 7 and 8 of the unilevel team are counted at 30%
Smart Business Corp pays a $200 commission per affiliate recruited.
There doesn’t appear to be a distinction between Basic and Premier tier recruitment.
Smart Business Corp’s compensation plan also details an additional $450 commission per three affiliates recruited.
Again, no distinction between Basic and Premium recruitment is made.
There is no cap on recruitment commissions paid out during a new Smart Business Corp affiliates’ first eighteen weeks.
After this period recruitment commissions are capped. Specific details are not provided.
Smart Business Corp pays residual commissions on additional plan investments.
Residual commissions are paid down three levels of recruitment (unilevel team):
- level 1 (personally recruited affiliates) – 5%
- level 2 – 3%
- level 3 – 2%
The Master Bonus is a monthly bonus paid to ranked Smart Business Corp affiliates.
- qualify at Master Junior and receive $500 a month
- qualify at Master Senior and receive $1500 a month
- qualify at Master Trainer and receive $5000 a month
- qualify at Master Manager and receive $10,000 a month
- qualify at Master Elite and receive $20,000 a month
- qualify at Master Superior and receive $45,000 a month
- qualify at Master Platinum and receive $100,000 a month
For every five affiliates directly or indirectly recruited into a Smart Business Corp affiliate’s unilevel team, a $100 bonus is paid out.
There appears to be an upline component to the 5-1 Bonus:
- if an affiliate receives a $100 5-1 Bonus, their upline (the affiliate who recruited them) receives $300
- if an affiliate receives $300 in 5-1 Bonuses, their upline receives $600
The 5-1 Bonus, including the upline component, appears to be a perpetual bonus with no limitations.
Joining Smart Business Corp
Smart Business Corp affiliate membership is either $795 for Basic or $995 for Premium.
These memberships are tied to a face-value 24 month investment.
The more a Smart Business Corp affiliate invests, the higher their income potential.
Smart Business Corp Conclusion
Smart Business Corp is a continuation of Ernesto Reséndiz’s various Ponzi schemes.
With Smart Business Corp soliciting investment in bitcoin, the current iteration marks a transition to cryptocurrency fraud.
That’s it. That’s literally the only difference between this and Resendiz’s previous Ponzi schemes.
Smart Fund Limited’s website has been kept around, because it’s part of Smart Business Corp’s Ponzi ruse:
Affiliates invest bitcoin –> that’s transferred to Smart Fund Limited –> something something traders –> yay Ponzi scheme.
Slightly more convoluted than your typical Ponzi scheme, but still the usual “trading” nonsense we see behind MLM crypto scams.
Naturally Smart Business Corp provides no evidence of trading activity taking place.
Furthermore, neither Smart Business Corp or Ernesto Reséndiz are registered to offer securities in Mexico or elsewhere.
This means that at a minimum, Smart Business Corp is committing securities fraud.
Taking a step back, it should be obvious that after at least eleven years, if Ernesto Reséndiz was capable of legitimately generating the returns he offers investors, he’d be among the richest people on the planet.
Instead he’s fronting the latest cryptocurrency version of his multiple collapsed Ponzi scheme. And based on SimilarWeb traffic analysis, investors in South America are falling for it again:
As with all MLM Ponzi schemes, once affiliate recruitment dries up so too will new investment.
This will starve Smart Business Corp of ROI revenue, eventually prompting a collapse.
The math behind Ponzi schemes guarantees that when they collapse, the majority of participants lose money.
I can’t speak as to why Mexican authorities haven’t taken action against Reséndiz yet. Mexico isn’t the most opaque jurisdiction when it comes to regulation.
What I can say there’s definitely something fishy going on if he’s been scamming people for over a decade without repercussion.
And now with bitcoin, Reséndiz’s victims will be screwed more than ever when Smart Business Corp collapses (again).