Prosecutors: Bowdoin Knew ASD Was Illegal Prior To Rallies That Collected Tens Of Millions Of Dollars

Andy Bowdoin knew AdSurfDaily was illegal in 2007, months before the company conducted rallies in major U.S. cities and collected tens of millions of dollars from members, according to court documents.

Instead of becoming legally compliant, Bowdoin introduced new layers of deception in 2008, prosecutors said.

Included in the deception was a video made in response to a survey of existing promoters. Survey results suggested new promoters and members weren’t joining ASD out of fear it was a Ponzi or pyramid scheme, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors made the assertions in a second forfeiture complaint seeking to seize other assets linked to ASD. The complaint, which has a different case number than the still-active August forfeiture complaint, was filed last month.

It cites multiple instances in which Bowdoin family members allegedly used ASD funds for personal purchases. The money was used to buy real estate, luxury automobiles, a boat, jet skis and trailers to haul the water equipment.

“In December 2007, more than six months before the government intervened, Mr. Bowdoin decided to tell an associate (a silent partner) in the ASD venture, whose share of ASD’s revenue Mr. Bowdoin had decided to reduce from 5% to 1%, that, ‘[I]f we can change the site and marketing plan before [the regulators] attack, everyone will be safe,'” prosecutors said.

“Mr. Bowdoin and several associates knew [in 2007] they were breaking the law operating ASD,” prosecutors said. “They knew that Mr. Bowdoin was lying to ASD participants in order to get more of their money — so that the ASD fraud could continue, and expand, to the point where its operators could start pulling out significant  income for operators, their friends, and family members,” prosecutors said.

Working with the survey producer and attorney Robert Garner, ASD produced a video featuring Bowdoin and Garner and placed the video on ASD’s website.

Rather than addressing prospects’ concerns by focusing on compliance or even hiring a compliance attorney, ASD instead used the video to trick members into believing all was well and that the company complied with all laws.

Prosecutors said that almost every assertion made in the video was false, including assertions that Garner and a team of lawyers had vetted ASD and determined it was operating legally and not a Ponzi scheme.

The video was created in response to the survey findings and was a ruse to disarm skeptical promoters and recruit more members, prosecutors said.

“ASD actually [employed] Garner to participate in a marketing video that ASD crafted to reassure hesitant prospects of ASD’s lawfulness, not for his expertise in ensuring ASD’s compliance with applicable laws,” prosecutors said.

“Messrs. Bowdoin and Garner said that ASD’s operations had been reviewed carefully by a team of legal experts to ensure compliance with all applicable laws,” prosecutors said.

“Messrs. Bowdoin and Garner knew the representations made in the video were material to prospective participants, made-up, and false,” prosecutors said. “The misrepresentations led to a significant expansion of investment in ASD and related auto-surf investment programs.”

In fact, prosecutors said, ASD didn’t hire compliance attorneys during the first 20 months of its existence, waiting until after it started to collect enormous sums at rallies to address compliance with federal securities laws and other laws.

Bowdoin told members throughout the first half of 2008 that ASD complied with all laws, despite the fact the company did not have a compliance attorney, prosecutors said.

ASD’s assets were seized in early August. At the time, attorneys hired to ensure its compliance had been involved with the company for only days, according to the complaint.

Prior to the hiring of the attorneys, ASD had deposited millions of dollars in banks and was sitting on a pile of undeposited checks, according to court filings. The U.S. Secret Service said at least $93.5 million was seized in the ASD probe.

Prosecutors said ASD had masked itself as an advertising company, but really was selling “unlawfully sold investment contracts — unregistered securites that were not exempt from registration.”

ASD collected tens of millions of dollars at rallies during the summer of 2008, engaging in multiple layers of deception to gather magnificent sums, according to court filings.

“ASD made up the daily revenue numbers that it published,” prosecutors said. “The revenue numbers were manufactured to deceive members into believing they could reasonably expect to receive an average daily return on their investment with ASD of about 1%. ASD’s operation was neither sustainable nor legal.”

Even as Bowdoin was professing to be wealthy, his only interest in creating easy wealth for other “good Christain people,” prosecutors said, “he still owed his ex-wife thousands of dollars from a previous failed venture.”

During a conference call last summer, Bowdoin told members he’d taken only about $50,000 out of ASD.

What he failed to mention, according to the December forfeiture complaint, was that family members were using ASD to make personal purchases totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, including the retirement of a $157,000 mortgage.

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25 Responses to “Prosecutors: Bowdoin Knew ASD Was Illegal Prior To Rallies That Collected Tens Of Millions Of Dollars”

  1. Patrick..anxiously waiting for “the rest of the story”. I will stay tuned!! K

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  2. Patrick,

    My reaction is more along the lines of “Well, duh!!!”

    After all, Andy’s a pro at this scam thing, with two prior documented cases of felony fraud on his record……

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  3. Hi Kathy,

    Well, the entire story is there now. Sorry about the paragraph-by-paragraph post.

    When I intially published the full story, for some reason only the headline published.

    When I went back to retrieve drafts, I discovered only the headline was intact.

    I must have accidentally erased the story prior to publication, so I just rewrote it a paragraph or two at a time.

    Take care,

    Patrick

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  4. Thank you, Patrick..although I personally very well know Andy is a conman from way back, it is still interesting what a web he constructed in the ASD fraud/scam. I happen to know personally how the AG was able to obtain information from the inner-circle of ASD having been involved with the FBI for the last year concerning a real estate scam in my area. On one of the meetings the agent told me that they go to all of the players AND their families (wife,husband and EVEN children) and get their story. They then put all the stories together and have a face down with the primary/lead fraudsters..in this case being Andy, Juan and maybe several others. Faced with the evidence they had against him (family, friends, associates testimonies) he had NO choice but throw in the towel! If this is actually how it went down, I doubt seriously if ANY deal was made..they wouldn’t have to.

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  5. Hi Entertained,

    My reaction is more along the lines of “Well, duh!!!”

    That sort of describes my reaction.

    But folks who plunked down big sums at rallies might not have known that ASD, months and months prior to the rallies, knew it was operating illegally, according to prosecutors.

    The import of the December forfeiture complaint is that it alleges a stunningly manipulative plan to deceive — to suck money from members — so it could be distributed to insiders.

    What I’m wondering now is who introduced the concept of rallies — whether it was Andy Bowdoin, an insider associate, a silent partner?

    ASD cash was used to buy a Lincoln only days before the August seizure. And other large purchases were made during the summer.

    But, if you look back to December 2007, ASD was struggling. Public, conspicuous spending seemed to begin in early June 2008, just several days after the Las Vegas rally concluded.

    Money seems to have floated into the pot in large sums, and then started heading out the door in the form of large personal purchases.

    Regards,

    Patrick

    P.S. ASD had all this money — for cars, houses, boats, buildings, jet skis — and yet couldn’t keep its website online. The site was down for much of July, as family members were enjoying paid-off houses, new cars and water toys.

    As all of this enjoyment was taking place, checks were backing up inside ASD and people’s purchases weren’t being credited.

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  6. The question I have here is, how was this document missed? The Complaint was made back in December?

    One thing is clear – now we know why they kept so quiet after the beginning of December!

    It is sad, but there are still a few people who will still cling to the thought that this is all trumped up by the “evil gubermint”. It is not so sad that there will also be people trying to hit the vulnerable victims of ASD and drag them into their next scheme.

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  7. Hi alasycia,

    Last time I checked the ASD Breaking News site (just a minute ago), it made no mention of the asset surrender of a couple of days ago.

    It also didn’t mention that second forfeiture complaint, which is three weeks old now.

    The last entry on the site was dated Dec. 4 — about the pitch for VOIP services.

    When ASD lost the evidentiary hearing, it announced on Nov. 19 it was “Shaken but Not Stirred!”

    This must be something that approaches both shaken and stirred because it puts faces beyond Bowdoin’s to the ASD story.

    Not only that, information gleaned from the evidentiary hearing — which ASD itself asked for — was used in the December forfeiture complaint.

    Patrick

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  8. If you really want to know the truth about what all kn ew, what his leaders knew, what he did, what Andy and his band of gypsies continue to do, call me at 214.587.3977. The real shame is what the prosecutors really knew, what I told them during my trip to the DOJ with my lawyer. How the DOJ continues to let the other knockoffs of ASD hold meetings across the USA and rip off more people.. Go to my website, http://www.asdmba.com I list the people and the companies, even told the DOJ where bthe rallies are, they dont care, BUT now they are covering there dumb butts..

    And ASD members really think the Feds are going to properly investigate the claims of thousands of people and give their money back.. You must be kidding me.. Call me I can give you a hell of a story..

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  9. Patrick:

    As you’ve shown us so well, this crime, like most others, yields many of its secrets to the application of pure logic. Deductive reasoning is one of the most potent tools in an investigators tool-kit and you’re really good at it. Applying deductive reasoning allows us to draw inferences from known facts and circumstances with the assurance that while complete accuracy isn’t guaranteed, the inferences are almost always going to be correct. For example, a man who has twice been convicted of financial crimes due to operating fraudulent businesses was highly unlikely to be the victim rather than the criminal in the ASD saga. A man who to this day makes a $l00 per month restitution payment to his past victims, while enriching himself and his family from payments made by this scams victims, almost certainly did not suddenly become a man with the “members” best interest at heart. Such a man is unlikely to have any religious beliefs whatsoever, except for that trifecta of gods: money, power, and prestige.

    The facts and circumstances regarding Andy Bowdoin and ASD led me to these inferences about Andy’s motivation and intent when setting up this criminal enterprise.

    a. This crime was very carefully planned from the beginning, and throughout its lifespan very carefully operated, by cold, calculating, experienced fraudsters.
    b. It was planned with complete emotional detachment from the effect it would have on those from whom the criminals planned to steal from – i.e. the members.
    c. Andy Bowdoin did not bring Robert Garner and Robert Cefail and Arnie Strom and Clarence Busby and Robert Fava into the inner circle of ASD out of choice, but out of necessity. Andy knew these men were men whose “morals” were equal to or less than his own, and that they would rob him and/or stab him in the back if they got the chance. But they were the only people he could trust with the knowledge of how ASD truly operated.
    d. The timing of the rollout of ASD’s criminal operation was in no way accidental. The organizers of the ASD criminal operation took advantage of the void left by l2DP, CEP, and Phoenixsurf, knowing (but never caring) that they were pitching another “sure loser” to an always gullible, and now very vulnerable, group of people.
    e. Despite the simple, folksy company atmosphere described by Andy Bowdoin and his pseudo inner circle, the “real” ASD inner circle was a hotbed of mistrust and secrecy. It likely operated in “cells” like the terrorists, or “families” like the mob (or Amway), with only Andy having access to the entire picture. Andy had no plan to countenance a coup. No honest individual, and certainly no individual who Andy could not control absolutely, was trusted with the truth about ASD. Gary Talbert may have been a true “insider” — Chuck Osmin was clearly NOT a true insider or he would NEVER have been allowed to testify at the hearing. Andy was a “family man” only in the sense that Don Corleone was a family man.
    f. The end of this criminal enterprise was planned from the beginning to be “cut and run.” The members may have been surprised, but Andy and the ASD inner circle planned this very ending from the start. They are NOT suffering, and they DO have hidden assets.

    It isn’t useful (or very interesting), in my opinion, to examine the motives of the rank and file members. It would be interesting, however, if the original “cheerleader” members would be willing to take a look at ASD from a logical rather than an emotional point of view. Can they see it NOW??

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  10. Oops — I had one more point I wanted to make :

    G. Andy Bowdoin’s inclusion of Arnie Strom, Clarence Busby, and Bob Cefail in his original inner circle fed a need of his to show his superior knowledge about how to operate a scam and walk away unscathed. The only people who could appreciate his true genius were men like these, who have no conscience to shock, but who can fill his need for constant admiration i.e. refuel his narcissistic supply, when it ran low). Men like Andy who know that they are failures in life, but whose narcissism leaves them with no legitimate way to deal with failure, often become criminals (some are caught, some aren’t).

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  11. Well Patrick, you’ve done a great job covering this story.

    What amazes me is the fact a lot of ASD faithful are shocked. Shocked at what? That God didn’t forgive all of Andy’s sins and let him carry on robbing the old and unintelligent people? Some are still blaming the evil government and are still praying for poor Andy and family. Reading what a lot of people on some of these forms have been saying about their beloved Andy turns my stomach. I just hope they go after all his top leaders also. Actually, I’ll pray for that.

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  12. Patrick,

    I doubt Bowdoin had the intelligence to create all of the various scam angles associated w/ASD: the rallies, the insider transactions, and so forth. Ty believes that Andy is a real genius, but a real genius would be LONG gone by now. Andy, and the insiders who helped him generate the ASD dollar explosion, knew full well what was going on. They are not very vocal right now, choosing instead to hide. The folks who were scammed at the rallies are victims. Many were interested in the “get rich quick” aspect, and did NOT do their due diligence, or as Marci states, didn’t even think of the very simple math behind this scam. Far more shocking still are the number of dedicated ASD’ers who buy into the goverment conspiracy theory (and Jenny, in the states, we spell it “Gub’mint, not Gubermint). Given the free press, how can they really believe that the government can hide the assets seized? Seems that many believe that Cowden himself will get to keep the $93 MM. As the ASD story unwinds, the psychological aspects are becoming far more fascinating that the legal issues. The legal issues will play out according to old scripts. The human element will be more bizarre, and tragic.

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  13. En, Andy may not have held all the reins all the time, but I still think that what we can deduce from his actions and character indications is that he is complex, not simple, and while he is definitely motivated by avarice, I believe he is also motivated by factors other than money, If his sole motive was money then, as you say, he’d have been getting the hell out of Dodge as the Secret Service was coming in, and they couldn’t have seen him for the heel dust. But I think his massive ego was being fed by the rallies. Can you imagine a man who has been a life long failure suddenly being the equivalent of a movie star, with people lined up to have their picture taken with him, and with his praises being sung all over the Internet? I bet that was heady stuff, perhaps so intoxicating that he couldn’t give up the “high” he got from the rallies. I have to tell you that there aren’t two more depressed (and depressing) towns in the State of Florida than Quincy and Perry. But ASD took him out of these very small ponds and propelled him to Tampa, Miami, Chicago, Las Vegas, and ……..Tulsa? The Quincy/Perry influence must have poked its way through the glitz for just a bit. He was FINALLY becoming the big shot he’d always claimed he was, and walking away a multimillionaire wasn’t enough to make him walk back into total obscurity — if not actually in hiding from his flock of fans.

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  14. Without wishing to sound like just “another” conspiracy theorist, IMHO, Bowdoin displayed no new skills in what happened.

    In fact, the ASD saga was and is run almost by the playbook.

    Judge Collyer made the observation in delivering one of her decisions: “that ASD had failed to demonstrate any MATERIAL difference to the 12DP, CEP et al autosurf “models”

    In fact, I would wager Bowdoin was “allowed” to create the “next big thing” by groups of loosely organised “playas”

    These anonymous “playas” complete with “downlines” are in and out early, generally use multiple fake accounts and use their substantial human resources to “viral market” their program of choice.

    Keen observers notice the same or similar patterns of names emerging, and almost duplicate scenarios evolving. Not, in my opinion, coincidentally.

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  15. What I’m wondering now is who introduced the concept of rallies — whether it was Andy Bowdoin, an insider associate, a silent partner?

    Patrick:

    The answer to your question can be found by talking with the owner of Ad Sales Daily which is the original company that Andy and some of his current associates started back in 2006. After ASD was raided I suggested in a post that Ad Sales Daily was another ASD and received an irate call from one of the so called owners who informed told me that Andy Bowdoin was once one of their partners and of the falling out they had. Seems that Andy stole 1 million dollars of their money and just like now claimed that the Russians had taken it. The rotater is Russian made and was never paid for by Andy. The first Rally was held in Orlando in 2006 and was a great success. The software (which Andy is still using) was full of bugs and needed to be reworked. Andy did not want to wait and so he split and started Ad Surf Daily.

    And now you know part of the story!

    Jack Arons

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  16. Hello littleroundman,

    Bowdoin displayed no new skills in what happened.

    I generally agree with your assessment, although I think
    Marci has laid out a compelling case on what was driving
    ASD and Andy Bowdoin.

    This model appealed to Bowdoin, who knew a few like-minded
    players could help set up a cash engine. Prior to ASD’s
    start, there were many public references to the millions
    of dollars collected by previous autosurfs the Feds had
    busted.

    Bowdoin getting caught, however, was a fait accompli.

    The cars — always the cars. When he ripped off investors
    in Alabama in a previous venture, investigators discovered
    he had a taste for showy cars.

    History repeats itself. ASD started collecting big sums
    last summer, and Bowdoin put a $50,000 Lincoln in the
    driveway. And there also were new cars and toys for family and
    friends.

    Conspicuous consumption eventually would have led to ASD’s
    demise had the Feds not intervened in August.

    Conspicuous theft, too, and the unbridled greed of insiders.

    What brought down ASD before conspicuous consumption had a chance to take a firm hold, though, was the classic money-laundering dilemma: What to do with all the cash?

    ASD knew the banks were closing in — it didn’t tell members, but it knew.

    From Page 38 of the initial complaint:

    “A [Secret Service/IRS Task Force Member] also learned that earlier in July 2008, a bank other than BOA closed the last account that was controlled by Bowdoin or family members after that bank determined, and explained to them, that an investigation by the bank determined that Bowdoin appeared to be operating a Ponzi scheme. Bowdoin indicated that he purchased, or was seeking to purchase, a home in another country.”

    The precise date Bowdoin got this news from the bank is unclear, but it is the date all the color drained from his face.

    Patrick

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  17. Nice character assessment Marci, and I suspect that it is pretty close to the truth. The orginal ASD that I joined was a more modest and low key business – it seemed serious and worlds apart from the horrendous evangelical rally mad operation with no holds barred that it turned into.

    But who can resist all that power and all that adoration except the strongest of men and those high great integrity – and it is not clear that “our leader” was neither. Simple greed was overtaken by greed for power and adulation and a bunch of collaborators who were doing very nicely thank you and had no reason whatsoever to bring the circus to a halt (apart from common sense, but that seems to fly out of the window when there are easy $$ to be had).

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  18. Hi Marci,

    For example, a man who has twice been convicted of financial crimes due to operating fraudulent businesses was highly unlikely to be the victim rather than the criminal in the ASD saga.

    This is the essence — and it’s something that all investigative agencies know and use to peel back layers of the onion.

    They found out quickly, for instance, about the securities beefs from the 1990s. And they had Clarence Busby’s name, and they found out about his securities beef.

    So, now you have two men — both with a history of defrauding investors and involving themselves in the sale of unregistered securities — involved in yet another operation that sells unregistered securities.

    What’s more, the business they’re in just happens to have a reputation as a haven for scam artists.

    The Feds had tremendous leverage from Day One — not just because they’ve never lost an autosurf case — but because Bowdoin and Busby family members were involved. The Feds have an extra ace they can play at any time because of the family involvement.

    Now, I’d like to compliment you on your writing. It is thoughtful and breezy and lucid, and it grabbed me and didn’t let go. :-)

    I’ve noticed that many of our posters have excellent writing skills. Just want you (and them) to know that I appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your thoughts.

    Thank you.

    Patrick

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  19. Hi Entertained,

    I doubt Bowdoin had the intelligence to create all of the various scam angles associated w/ASD: the rallies, the insider transactions, and so forth.

    I’m thinking you might be right about this. One of the thoughts I’ve had was that an insider recognized right away that Andy could be manipulated.

    Remember the promotion about the Google partnership? Accompanying that was a note that told ASD members to click on Google Ads as a means of generating revenue.

    I mean, basically it was a public solicitation to commit a crime. It also was another one of those things that was impossible to reconcile:

    People said ASD was the product of “genius,” something better than Google; the same people were instructing members to click on Google ads to raise money for ASD.

    ASD later distanced itself from this. But it demonstrated either that someone sold Andy on the idea — and he didn’t instantly dismiss it — or he had no control over the brand.

    Same thing is true of the White House claims, yet more lies that went viral — but lies that were good for business.

    As soon as I saw the claim, I looked up “Medal of Distinction,” saw that it was given by the GOP for campaign contributions, observed that a drug addict in Ohio had been scorned for making the false claim he was tight with the President, and then looked up Bowdoin’s contributions on the FEC website.

    Bowdoin, though, let the lie circulate. And he even took his “Medal” for campaign contributions on a road show to awe the crowds. There is a picture of him pointing at his “medal.”

    Some ASD folks still are heaping praise on him — for what amounts to his ability to write a check to the National Republican Congressional Committee for banquet tickets.

    Patrick

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  20. Hello Frank,

    Much appreciate your note. Thank you.

    What amazes me is the fact a lot of ASD faithful are shocked. Shocked at what?

    I’ve seen some folks write about the cycle of grief as it applies to ASD, and it makes a lot of sense. Anger and denial are in play. Some people gradually will move toward acceptance.

    But not all people.

    For some folks, “acceptance” interferes with their business plan. Despite everything that has happened to ASD — and to other autosurfs before it — to “accept” means they have to acknowledge that operating a Ponzi is a crime.

    They’d hoped a judge would make the world safe for Ponzi profits. When that didn’t happen, they just constructed a new artificial reality.

    Artificial realities are, after all, highly portable, especially on the Web.

    Nice to hear from you, Frank.

    Take care.

    Patrick

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  21. The grief model does indeed make a lot of sense with ASD, and in the Madoff scheme (and the one just uncovered in Sarasota, Florida yesterday). It’s bad enough to lose a lot of money (“a lot” being relative) and perhaps to have caused friends and family to lose money. They also lost face; they lost their sense of security in their own ability to judge a man’s character; and they lost the sense that the world is orderly and that people are going to behave ethically and morally, if they do.

    BUT for the “grief model” to work FOR YOU you can’t get stuck forever in one of the stages, and that’s what I fear some of the ASD faithful are going to experience — permanent denial. And you’ve got to experience all the emotions, although some may be below the level of consciousnesses, or so they say, before you’re really “over it. ” The grief model isn’t a “chain reaction” although it is often described that way. A person can experience the stages in any order, or all at once, and although it might seem counter-intuitive, the all at once experience, while rugged when you’re going through it, can be the quickest way to get back on your feet.

    The ASD “thing” reminds me that grief counselors say that loss of a spouse due to death can actually be less traumatic than loss due to divorce — which is easy to understand if you are the dumpee and not the dumper. I honestly get the impression that some of the hardcore ASD faithful could deal with the loss of the money if their unwavering faith in Andy Bowdoin could restored to it’s earliest “honeymoon” stage. Sorry to sound like a know it all (again). I was a crisis intervention/suicide prevention hot-line volunteer “counselor” when I was in college, so I know the lingo…. I’m not a psychologist but I’ve played one on the telephone….(smile).

    Thanks for complimenting my writing; I greatly admire YOUR writing so that makes it extra special.

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  22. TO MARCI:

    Marci, in response to your posting, if I myself had written one like you have, it would have pretty much with the same wording and rhetoric ! FANTASTIC JOB, I SALUTE YOU !!!!! :)

    You are dead on target with all you’ve said, nothing else needs to be added, you’ve said it all perfectly. I am half amazed, half shocked that there are actually such sick people like Andy Bowdoin in this world, running around lose and left untreated (just being nice here !) …. If he does escape unscathed from this fiasco which is probably, I hope for just a couple of things: for people to get their money back and NO … not for him to “rot in hell” not so fast ! But instead having to stand before the Judge of Judges with no escape, but having to fess up, THEN be sent to hell to rot BY that Judge I am referring to and, the same “judge” whose scriptures Bowdoin had the brass *$% to speak of in “holier than thou” rhetoric who forgives ALL sins, except blasphemy of the Spirit and that makes Andy Bowdoin a dead man walking !

    Thanks for reading,
    Keen Riches :)

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  23. Hi Marci,

    and that’s what I fear some of the ASD faithful are going to experience — permanent denial.

    As I noted, I think the grief model makes a lot of sense. But, with respect to the quoted passage above, Occam’s Razor might be helpful. In short, the simplest explanation that accommodates all the facts tends to be the correct one.

    A short example of its application: Prior to going to bed, you peer out the window and notice two inches of snow in the yard. When you awaken, you again peer out the window and notice the snow is gone. Simplest explanation that accommodates all the facts? It warmed up overnight and the snow melted.

    It’s also possible to conclude that an alien space craft started spinning furiously over the yard and blew all the snow away — an explanation, but not the simplest one that accommodates all the facts.

    To me, the simplest explanation that accommodates the often-ribald denial displayed by some ASD members is that they are criminals.

    Some of them clearly knew that a new autosurf was going to rise to replace ASD. They couldn’t afford to concede anything about the legality of the model because doing so interfered with a criminal business plan — an actual conspiracy, not a theoretical one.

    The August forfeiture complaint even uses the language of conspiracy. Regardless, some folks didn’t care. They simply began to orchestrate a new conspiracy.

    That’s what criminals do.

    You’ll note that a good number of folks at one of the forums relished in the opportunity to position themselves as “true insiders,” people who had the Great Man’s ear or access to information no one else had.

    If you walk that back, it means they didn’t mind being associated with a known felon, a person with a history of scamming, including scamming people in their retirement years. On June 10 and June 11, almost $240,000 of ASD money was used to pay off a mortgage and buy a new Honda. Andy put a $50,000 Lincoln in the driveway in July.

    Meanwhile, in August, his victims in a previous $450,000 scam got a check for $100. His ex-wife, who is owed nearly $170,000, got nothing.

    All of that is consistent with criminality — and yet some people still were eager to have their names associated with his. They didn’t mind being associated with a man suspected of engaging in brand-new felonies.

    If one permits himself, it’s easy to see why Ponzi schemes are illegal. Why, then, would one choose not to see the illegality in running a Ponzi scheme?

    Criminality is the easiest explanation that accommodates all the facts.

    Prosecutors alleged ASD was a criminal enterprise; they cited numerous instances of criminal (and other egregious) behavior, and they went to court to seize the proceeds of the criminal enterprise.

    Given those circumstances — given the fact ASD lost the evidentiary hearing and the fact that the government never has lost an autosurf case — they still chose to open new surfs.

    They’re criminals. They engage in all sorts of histrionics and tortured constructions because they want to make huge sums of money by opening autosurf Ponzis.

    It’s the simplest explanation that accommodates all the facts.

    Patrick

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  24. Patrick:

    I had to hum the Twilight Zone theme when I read your comments above just now. Last night I too thought about Occam’s Razor, aka The Principle of Parsimony, as the way to analyze the truth of the ASD fiasco. The example I thought of as one the ASD “true believers” MIGHT understand is the saying: “If you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.” But I decided even if they understand it intellectually (a BIG if) they won’t understand it viscerally. Some, I thought, would say “what do horses and zebras have to do with ASD?” Others would very indignantly berate me, telling me how ignorant I am about the world of Internet Marketing. After all, it COULD be a zebra and if I didn’t have a closed mind I could see what they see, and then I too would be positioned to be a millionaire when zebras became the “Google” of the hoofed critter world.

    That was last night, before I read the statement that you wrote (shown below). It was an absolute revelation to me, and made me realize that I have been as naive as they have been crafty. Here’s what brought me up short:

    “Some of them clearly knew that a new autosurf was going to rise to replace ASD. They couldn’t afford to concede anything about the legality of the model because doing so interfered with a criminal business plan — an actual conspiracy, not a theoretical one.”

    How in the world did I overlook that logical and no doubt valid reason for what APPEARS to be unwavering loyalty to Andy and ASD? Last night I posted a diatribe on scam.com, attempting to sic Xavier (to use his screen name) or GOG (Jack) on Barbara Alford because I couldn’t believe that she is touting AVG on her website, all the while “sympathizing” with the people who lost money. She is one of a group who profess to be outraged that people “invested more than they could afford to lose.”

    About l0 puzzle pieces dropped into place when I read what you wrote at 7:l0 this morning. If that angle has been expressed before, I totally missed it. I’m not saying I missed the fact that ASD people were now AVG people, but I thought they were DUMB, not evil.

    Even knowing that the US DOJ has all the records of ASD, and access to the IRS records of all the co-scammers, now that I realize that these insiders are thieves, I am even more convinced that someone who has access to the proper law enforcement authorities needs to make sure they’re not so busy that they overlook the fact that the INTENT to engage in theft by deception runs both deep and wide, throughout this Band of Scammers.

    Thanks for the enlightenment. I take my hat off to you.

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  25. Keen, Thanks so much for the kind words. They are very much appreciated. Take care,

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