Breaking News: More ASD-Connected Assets Seized; Bowdoin Blamed Company Troubles On Russian Hackers

Federal prosecutors quietly went to court last month, filing a second forfeiture complaint against assets tied to AdSurfDaily Inc. The complaint paints a jaw-dropping picture of insider dealings, special favors, a “silent” ASD partner, people getting paid large sums for doing virtually nothing — and a claim that Russian hackers broke into ASD’s servers and stole more than $1 million.

ASD President Andy Bowdoin never reported the theft to police or other authorities. He also told different people different stories about the cash struggles ASD was having before the autosurf changed its name to ASD Cash Generator, prosecutors said.

“Mr.  Bowdoin told some individuals that he had to stop operating the program over the Internet as AdSurfDaily after one or more Russians hacked into his program and caused the ASD operation to issue approximately $1 million to one or more Russians,” prosecutors said.

Bowdoin explained the money was taken “before [he] discovered that the Russians had not paid any money to ASD to secure for themselves a portion of its revenue stream (as so-called ‘rebates’),” prosecutors said.

The new forfeiture complaint, which is filed in the District of Columbia but has been assigned a different case number than the still-active August forfeiture complaint, names currency, real estate, luxury vehicles, a 20-foot Triton Cabana boat, jet skis, trailers and computer equipment as the property the government seeks to seize as additional proceeds of an illegal Ponzi scheme.

Prosecutors seek $634,266 previously deposited in Bartow County Bank in the name of Golden Panda Ad Builder. The money previously was ceded to the government by ASD President Clarence Busby and his daughter, Dawn Stowers.

In addition, they seek a 2009 Lincoln MKS in the name of Bowdoin/Harris Enterprises; a 2009 Acura registered to Hays McDougal Amos; a 2008 Honda CRV registered to Judy Shriver Harris and George Franklin Harris; a 20-foot Triton Cabana boat, Mercury outboard motor and trailer; two 2007 Bombardier jet skis and a 2008 Confab trailer.

At the same time, they seek the old Masonic Hall building Bowdoin purchased for $800,000 cash in Quincy, and a home in Tallahassee that was purchased with ASD funds that Bowdoin’s wife diverted to her son, George Harris, with the assistance of Harris.

On June 10 and June 11 alone, Bowdoin’s family members and employees used $239,957 derived from ASD funds to make personal purchases, prosecutors said.

Bowdoin’s wife, Edna Faye Bowdoin, worked with her son on June 10, 2008, to create an account at Capital City Bank, into which more than $177,000 in ASD funds were transferred from Bank of America, prosecutors said.

On June 23, 2008, Harris used $157,216 of the money to pay off the mortgage on the Tallahassee home he occupied with his wife, Judy Harris, prosecutors said.

“In short, Edna Faye Bowdoin and her son, George Harris, created an entity that funneled ASD proceeds into a bank account from which funds were provided to George Harris, and his wife, to pay off their home mortgage,” prosecutors said.

Andy Bowdoin and Edna Faye Bowdoin created Bowdoin/Harris Enterprises to help “conceal from the government their expenditures and assets they purchased,” prosecutors said.

Insider Dealings

It is clear from the new forfeiture complaint that investigators have interviewed many people, including Bowdoin relatives, and spent considerable time chasing paper. The brackets in the quoted passages below are emphasis we added.

“Mr. Bowdoin and associates [note the use of the plural] issued ad packages to friends and family (who  paid nothing for the ad packages) as free investment, and compensation programs,” prosecutors said.

“Mr. Bowdoin, and others [note the plural] working with or associated with ASD, also gave ad packages to employees/workers as compensation for services performed for ASD,” prosecutors said.

“These individuals also were able to pull out considerable funds from the so-called rebate program even though in many [note the use of the word “many”] cases they put little, if any, of their own money into the scheme,” prosecutors said.

“For example, a former employee took over $30,000 out of ASD after putting in nothing. Another former employee pulled out over $300,000 after putting in about $10,000,” prosecutors said. “One ASD promoter pulled out almost $100,000 after putting in less than $1,000.”

Family Spending Spree

Here is a list of major family transactions last summer that used ASD funds, according to prosecutors.

  • June 10, 2008: Edna Faye Bowdoin and her son, George Harris, opened at account at Capital City Bank, funding it with $177,900 transferred from ASD’s Bank of America accounts. Harris later used $157,216 of the deposit to pay off the Tallahassee home he shared with his wife, Judy Harris.
  • June 11, 2008: Judy Harris and George Harris used $28,607 to purchase a 2008 Honda CRV. The vehicle was paid for with ASD company check No. 1337. On Aug. 8 — about a week after ASD’s assets were seized in the initial complaint — a lien was placed on the vehicle to secure a $5,000 loan Judy Harris took out with a family member.
  • June 11, 2008: ASD Chief Executive Officer Juan Fernandez issued an ASD check for $33,450 that was used to pay for a 2009 Acura registered to Hays McDougal Amos.
  • June 28, 2008: ASD Check No. 2708, for $20,506, was used to purchase the jet skis and a trailer. The bill of sale was made out to ASD, and Edna Faye Bowdoin signed for the goods.
  • July 1, 2008: A check from Bowdoin/Harris Enterprises for $23,445 was used to purchase the Triton boat and other equipment. The funds Bowdoin/Harris used originated in ASD’s Bank of America accounts.
  • July 28, 2008: A cashier’s check from Bowdoin/Harris for $48,244 was used to pay for the Lincoln. The funds originated in ASD’s accounts.

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15 Responses to “Breaking News: More ASD-Connected Assets Seized; Bowdoin Blamed Company Troubles On Russian Hackers”

  1. Again, while this information might be shocking, as well as surprising, to many of the faithful; to the rest of us it is not. The only surprise to me is that there was not a lot more of it going on.

    What will truly be interesting is to see how the “faithful” take this new piece of news and revelations. I know there will still be those who feel Andy is a man of integrity, even after this information is known. It is amazing to see how they have placed him on such a high pedestal, and they will not let anything knock him off.

    What was really telling is the story about the Russian Mafia stealing the million, and Andy did not report it to any law enforcement agency or the authorities. The real question is was he afraid if he did it would expose ASD as a Ponzi, and thus he could not report it; or is this just a story made up to cover up where the funds really went?

    I made a prediction a long time ago that if criminal charges were ever filed, people’s jaws would drop at just what those charges would consist of; as well as all who would be charged. It is going to be interesting to see if criminal charges do come forward now, and if I was right. All the evidence so far is pointing in my favor.

    It is also being alluded to that Andy is “a silent participant” in AVG. At least his daughter and son-in-law are in deep; which makes the “alluded to” wink, wink, nod, nod more of a fact than speculation.

    Hang on folks, because to coin a phrase, “You haven’t seen nothing yet.”

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  2. It’s a shame because the concept ASD had established could be sound and adjusted to be very good for small businesses. I guess money is greed and even the so called greats can have flaws. I always believed in the ASD concept and still do. As for Andy he was just the one in control. No one really put him on a throne, they put his plan on the throne and truthfully it deserved that.
    ASD could have been one of the great companies in our country, it still could be. It needs the doers and shakers and set up right and success could be achieved. Done correctly as a business owner I would enter the program again. Ron

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  3. Lynne,

    Far from coming as a great surprise, the surprise is that more has not been found. There are rumours flying around about other funds offshore and a wealth of other items, including cash taken at rallies and not included in the BoA accounts, that are still not accounted for.

    If the ASD members are to receive even a reasonable portion of their money back, a lot more will need to be located. Let us hope that the AG office does its job and locates it all, and not just the necessary amount to achieve a criminal prosecution.

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  4. Ron,

    The only thing sound about the ASD model was the build-up of a social advertising network. The method of doing so (rebates, esp. new member money to old members) is illegal and a Ponzi scheme. Eliminate ALL rebates, and you have a legal, sustainable model, but tell the truth — would you as a small business owner join ASD and buy Ad Packs for $1 per view if there were no “rebate” program? The rebate program is truly the illegal part, and the part that makes ASD mathematically unsustainable and a Ponzi. As to the damage it caused, let me quote one of the folks from the St. Pete Times article, in the commentary that follows the article (amidst the notes from people who praise Andy, ASD, the genius biz model, and condemn the gov’t):

    “by Allick Jan 15, 2009 12:42 PM
    I’m into ASD for $ 11,000 my Life insurance (which I cashed in) I’m 80 years, cant afford to loose this money”

    So Ron, what would YOU say to Allick about how great ASD was?

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  5. I have decided to create a new game, called Ponzi Buzzword Bingo. Instead of numbers players choose phrases from a list. Thanks to this article, “hackers stole funds” have been added to the list. If anyone knows of common phrases or excuses used by ponzi operators and/or the supporters please let me know. The list so far is:

    It’s the evil government’s fault

    Registered offshore

    It’s paying so it’s real

    Anonymous backers

    Social Security is a ponzi

    Honest Admin

    It’s just a Ponzi Game

    No victims while it’s paying

    Helping the little guy

    All businesses are ponzis

    A hacker stole all the money

    don’t call it a scam unless you have proof

    Contact the Feds and they will steal all the money

    Never use money you can’t afford

    Safe to invest any amount of money

    Safe to reinvest profits

    Problems with payment processor

    Illness in family

    Sue you for libel and defamation if you call it a ponzi

    Done due diligence and no red flags

    Web site has DDOS protection

    Web site down because of a DDOS attack

    It’s a loan/gift/advertising, not an investment

    There were lawyers/attorneys/high rollers who are members

    Completely legal

    Naysayers are just jealous

    Don’t knock it if you are not a member

    Run by successful businessman/millionaire

    A Religious connection

    In the game there will be a special bonus called the “David Ike” where more points can be earned for the mention of shape shifting blood drinking reptile aliens.
    There will be a “Go to Jail, do not pass go” card, but there will definitely not be a “Get out of Jail free” card.
    I’m still working on all the rules. A “Marsden” penalty stops you from moving for 2 or 3 years or more. An “Alan Catalan” move takes 10 years to complete.

    So what d’ya think? A board game to beat Monopoly?

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  6. Hi Tony,

    Ponzi Buzzword Bingo, eh? :-)

    That’s a nice list. Perhaps you should add, “We won’t report you if you steal $1 million because we have too much exposure.”

    Or, “Of course we were upset about the $1 million theft but, hey, why call the police? Forgive and forget.”

    Or, “If you want to steal $1 million from your business, blame it on Russian hackers.”

    Or, “Despite our claim that a Russian hacker stole $1 million from us, rest assured that your money is safe at all times.”

    Patrick

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  7. “We won’t report you if you steal $1 million because we have too much exposure.”

    I couldn’t add that because it is blatantly false. The $1M hasn’t been stolen, just moved to somewhere else. Used to buy a building, car(s), yacht, shiny sparkly jewellery costing at least $51K etc. No one would believe that is real.

    Or, “If you want to steal $1 million from your business, blame it on Russian hackers.”

    Getting on the right track! But it’s not stealing when it’s just an excuse for the scammer to “hide” a certain amount of money. Or where the scammer has “lost” the money because a payment processor account has been closed etc.

    Or, “Despite our claim that a Russian hacker stole $1 million from us, rest assured that your money is safe at all times.”

    Yes, that’s it, straight from the Ponzi Scammers Handbook. “safe at all times” definitely makes the list.

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  8. You forgot one Ron….

    “Too honest to testify”

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  9. “Why should we care what he does with HIS share of the money, so long as WE are getting paid?”

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  10. “It’s not an investment it’s buying advertising”

    “All you have to do is read the Terms of Sale and you’ll see that it’s legal.”

    “The rebates were never guaranteed”

    “We’re upgrading the hardware and software”a

    “Took in so much money that we can’t post it to your account”

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  11. I personally know Judy Harris and let me tell you she is the most money hungry person i know. In my opinion, this could not have happened to a better person. She has always been all about the almighty dollar. The more material things she had the happier she was. Judy was an extremely “vain” person.

    Well Judy your tummy tuck,lap-band and liposuction wont really do you any good in jail!!!!! You should have been happy with the things you had and not been so damn greedy. I cant say im gonna loose sleep over you going to prison. I hope you rot in there.

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