BREAKING NEWS: Natures Discount Drops RICO Lawsuit Against Bowdoin, Busby, Garner

Natures Discount, a former AdSurfDaily advertiser, has dropped a racketeering lawsuit it brought in November against ASD President Andy Bowdoin, Golden Panda President Clarence Busby, and Robert Garner, an attorney who appeared in a video touting ASD’s legality.

Bank of America also was named a defendant in the Natures Discount complaint, though not as a RICO defendant. Natures Discount asserted that the bank didn’t pay close enough attention to Bowdoin and Busby and aided them in their scheme to defraud customers.

The allegations against BOA also were dismissed.

“Pursuant to Rule 41(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff hereby gives notice of its voluntary dismissal of the above-styled action without prejudice,” Natures Discount said in court filings today. “Each party will bear their own costs.”

The dismissal follows on the heels of a government notice last week that it intends to litigate two separate forfeiture actions filed against ASD to their conclusion and take possession of all seized money and property tied to the firm.

Should the government prevail — and ASD already has surrendered claims to assets seized in the initial forfeiture complaint filed in August — it would mean the government would have exclusive control over virtually all of ASD’s money and property.

Prosecutors last week established a procedure for members to file for ASD refunds, saying it intended to liquidate real estate and other assets seized from ASD. Members seeking refunds will be required to file petitions and certify under oath that they were crime victims.

In December, a second forfeiture complaint filed against assets tied to ASD alleged that hundreds of thousands of dollars of ASD funds were used to fuel personal spending by Bowdoin family members. Included were automobiles, a boat, jet skis, hauling trailers and a family home in Tallahassee.

The government has not guaranteed any refund amount, and its probe is ongoing. All of ASD’s assets were forfeitable under U.S. law because they were the proceeds of a criminal enterprise, prosecutors said.

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