BREAKING NEWS: AdSurfDaily Says Judge Lacks Jurisdiction

AdSurfDaily Inc. has filed a defense in the civil-forfeiture case brought by the U.S. Secret Service and federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C. The firm is asking for a jury trial.

Among the most interesting defenses is that the case was brought in the wrong court — U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia — and that the court lacks jurisdiction.

ASD argued that U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer has no authority to hear the forfeiture issues. In August, the government seized nearly $100 million and real estate in Florida and South Carolina as part of the probe into ASD’s business practices.

“To the extent the Court requires a response, Claimants deny that acts or omissions giving rise to forfeiture occurred in this district and, therefore, deny that venue is proper in this district,” ASD said today.

Lawyers for ASD also said ASD was a legal business, denying it had engaged in money-laundering and wire fraud. The firm also raised Constitutional issues in its defense.

Prosecutors said in their August forfeiture complaint, however, that an undercover agent made ASD purchases from Washington, D.C., which could make the venue issue ASD raised an uphill battle.

“On or about July 20,2008, a[n] [agent] opened another ‘upgraded member’ account with ASD from a location in the District of Columbia, also via the Internet,” prosecutors said in the August complaint.

“The next day, a[n] [agent]made a direct deposit into ASD’s [Bank of America] account, this time by delivering a check to the BOA branch at 700 13th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Thereafter, a TFA faxed a copy of the deposit receipt from the District of Columbia to ASD’s office in Florida.” prosecutors said in the August complaint.  “The ability to access ASD over the Internet from different states, and to open accounts from multiple locations by delivering payment to ‘your nearest Branch of Bank of America’ as directed by ASD confirms that ASD knows it operates in multiple states, and so intends.”

Here is ASD’s defense, filed today.

Here is the August civil-forfeiture complaint against ASD’s assets.

Prosecutors said ASD was selling unregistered securities while calling itself an advertising business and running a Ponzi scheme.

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10 Responses to “BREAKING NEWS: AdSurfDaily Says Judge Lacks Jurisdiction”

  1. Patrick: Is ASD’s questioning of the proper jurisdiction (venue) considered timely filed? Did I just miss it or is this the first time ASD has raised that issue? It would seem to me that it would have to be raised from the start, to get any traction now. Any thoughts?

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  2. Hi Marci,

    Today’s ASD filing was a bit confusing. My guess is that the venue argument ultimately won’t fly because agents made purchases via the Internet from Washington, D.C. The prosecution is sure to have an answer to the jurisdiction question and might reasonably wonder why it was raised after the evidentiary hearing, which was held in Washington. Jurisdiction theoretically could become fodder for an appeal if things don’t go ASD’s way. The same is true of the Constitutional issues.

    Nearly a month has passed since Judge Collyer made her ruling in the evidentiary hearing. One way to look at that is that the prosecution and defense haven’t worked out a deal, which means the legal bills will continue to mount.

    Andy Bowdoin also has the RICO prospective class-action lawsuit to worry about, along with the lawsuit by the Florida attorney general, and the prospect of a criminal indictment by the Feds. So, he’s under attack on at least three civil fronts now, with the possibility of an attack on the criminal front.

    It’s unclear how the Feds will respond to today’s ASD filings. Regardless, they have significant leverage, including the filing of an amended complaint.

    Thanks for the note, Marci. The year certainly is going on with a bang on the alleged Ponzi front, with the charges against Bernard Madoff.

    One big difference I’ve noticed between the ASD case and the Madoff case is that Madoff defenders are in short supply. I haven’t read any strange rationalizations for his conduct or any assertions that what he did was OK because Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.

    There is some government resentment in the Madoff case, but it’s unlike the government resentment in the ASD case. In the Madoof case, people are complaining that the government missed signs and failed to take action before the Ponzi mushroomed. In the ASD case, some people are complaining that the government caused the pain by taking action.

    Take care, Marci. Thanks for the note.

    Patrick

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  3. What I found most interesting about this latest filing by Andy and ASD is this: For someone who was praised for being such a successful and astute businessman, there sure are a lot of things he doesn’t know based on this filing. I thought only Andy could explain the ASD business model, but from the sound of things from this filing, he hasn’t a clue. But this was what was most interesting to me: Claimants admit that Bowdoin plead guilty to charges in Wilcox County, as described in the last sentence of paragraph19. Claimants deny that the remaining allegations contained in Paragraph 19 of the Complaint are true and correct. 20. Claimants assert that the public records referenced in paragraph 20 of Plaintiff’s Complaint speak for themselves and therefore Plaintiff’s allegations are denied. Claimants deny that Bowdoin was a Registered Agent of Re-Tube Lite International, Inc. Claimants deny that the remaining allegations contained in Paragraph 20 of the Complaint are true and correct.

    So if the judge does not have jurisdiction to issue her ruling in the Evidentiary hearing, then how does the judge have jurisdiction to hear this filing and make a ruling?

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  4. Hi Lynn,

    The prosecution said in the August complaint that it would file an amended complaint to describe the Myrtle Beach condo. It’s unclear why they haven’t done so — perhaps a strategic decision?

    As far as venue, that part of the defense fairly leaped off the page. The timing of it struck me as odd. Perhaps it’s part of a strategy to open up an appeal route.

    So far this case has featured commentary from ASD supporters that Bowdoin was too honest to testify at the evidentiary hearing, “conference calls” with Bowdoin invoking “Satan” and later selling a $19.95-a-month VOIP plan positioned as a “Thank you” and, finally, the entry of Curtis Richmond and this theories of sovereignty into the legal fray.

    The scam.com folks say there is a book and a movie in all of this: They may be right.

    Take care, Lynn.

    Patrick

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  5. This motion is so dumb.

    Even if they win, it will take seconds to get an emergency injunction from the proper judge to block ASD from accessing anything until proper hearings are held.

    What are they thinking?

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  6. With my (very limited) understanding of these things, I believe it is “standard practice” for the defence to question the jurisdiction of the court over the case. It may be the case that the defence lawyer would be negligent if they did not do this. Why they are doing this now & not before is anyone’s guess. However, it should be trivial for the prosecution to prove jurisdiction because of where the agent made the deposits etc.

    I don’t know about a film, but a book has been done before. Do a search for “Just numbers on a screen” by Owen Platt, it’s about the PIPS/Bryan Marsden scam from a few years back.

    For the film, I like the idea of Michael Cain playing Bowdoin, with the ASD bus teetering on the edge of an Italian cliff. The ASD $90Mil (in gold) slowly sliding out the back of the bus, and Cain/Bowdoin says “Wait lads, I’ve got a good idea”. The Benny Hill-Computer genius character would obviously be played by that clown guy. “The Florida Job” – good title?

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  7. Hi Tony,

    I’ll need to think about Michael Caine as Andy Bowdoin; I’m not seeing it right now. :-)

    Caine, though, always has been one of my faves.

    Maybe William H. Macy for Bowdoin? They’d have to age him some, but I think he could pull it off.

    Patrick

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  8. I want to play the U.S. Attorney if they make this into a movie. I’ll even help write the screenplay.

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  9. Hi Lynn,

    I think you’d get a role if any movie comes of this. :-)

    Patrick

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  10. I think that if James Cagney was still around, he would have made the best “Andy Bowdoin” in a movie …

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