EDITORIAL: Welcome To The Age Of The Portable Ponzi

UPDATED 3:09 P.M. EST (U.S.A.) Talk about a message at odds with itself.

Yesterday AdViewGlobal, which does not identify its owners and claims it has no affiliation with AdSurfDaily Inc., revealed its chief executive officer also is or was an executive at ASD (emphasis added):

“Since Mr. [Gary] Talbert was and is the C.E.O. for both companies and had worked with the same web room company while at ASD, it would be very natural for him to choose and use many of the same venders (sic) that he had used before. So, the fact that ASD and AdView Global are using the same web room hosting company is no accident, in fact it is an operational coincidence,” AdViewGlobal said.

So, operational coincidence goes down in history as AdViewGlobal’s first contribution to the Alice-In-Wonderland world of autosurf PR. And, yes, the company actually announced that Talbert was chief executive officer of an alleged $100 million Ponzi scheme (ASD) and now has a role as chief executive officer of an offshore company that almost certainly is engaged in the sale of unregistered securities to U.S. residents and is a Ponzi scheme itself.

Normally companies don’t crow about this type of thing. What’s even stranger is that Juan Fernandez, not Talbert, is listed in court documents as chief executive officer of ASD. In a sworn court declaration recorded Aug. 18, Talbert identified himself as ASD’s “Human Resource Manager, Assistant CFO and Website Editor.”

talbertaffidavit

Perhaps ASD decided not to share the news of Talbert’s promotion to chief executive officer. Or perhaps the AdViewGlobal PR apparatus doesn’t have Clue One about what it is doing, guessed at or fabricated the title Talbert held at ASD and doesn’t read court documents that refute its own claim.

Even if Talbert no longer is an ASD executive and is singularly employed by AdViewGlobal as chief executive officer, it doesn’t undo the ASD stain no matter what title he held at the firm. AdViewGlobal’s purported offshore registration and refusal to identify its owners make it look even worse. There is no way to sanitize this business, which stinks to the high heavens.

Piling On The Absurdities

AdViewGlobal’s announcement painted the autosurf business as a wholesome enterprise that attracts highly skilled, highly discriminating companies and highly talented executives.

“When the management team in Uruguay was organizing AdView Global, they were looking for someone who was familiar with the U.S. market and the processes in which to make a surfing company successful,” AdViewGlobal said. “It was for this reason that AdView Global  hired Mr. Gary Talbert as their C.E.O.”

One is led to believe AdViewGlobal scored a coup in recruiting Talbert, in the same way Microsoft would score a coup if it lured Steve Jobs from Apple.

Odder yet is that AdViewGlobal engaged in bizarre speculation to explain acts by Talbert, saying the appearance of AdViewGlobal graphics on an ASD-controlled website “probably meant that he was called away in the middle of making the changes by another pressing matter.”

Are AdViewGlobal members supposed to believe that a company that guesses about the actions of its own chief executive officer is one to be taken seriously?

Yesterday’s announcement removed any doubts that ASD and AdViewGlobal have very close ties, despite AdViewGlobal’s preemptive disclaimer on its website. It came specifically in response to reports that its graphics were appearing on an ASD-controlled website.

Remember, now,  AdViewGlobal claims to have no affiliation with ASD — and yet its graphics appeared on an ASD-controlled website and then suddenly disappeared after they became the subject of videos, forum discussions and Blog posts. One of the graphics listed the street address of ASD’s headquarters in Quincy, Fla., as AdViewGlobal’s street address.

adviewglobalstreetaddressmagnified

The Descent Into Infamy

One of the things that accompanied ASD on its descent into infamy was a series of impossibly butchered PR announcements. The tradition continues at AdViewGlobal, which appears to have the same PR personnel in place as ASD.

ASD, awaiting a ruling on the Sept. 30-Oct. 1 evidentiary hearing, announced a pending $200 million deal with Praebius Communications, a penny-stock company. The statement on the ASD Breaking News website was the work of an amateur and was removed after members began to question it loudly in forums.

Praebius, a Pinksheet stock, does not publish financial information. Its executives weren’t quoted in the ASD release, and there was no way to verify the $200 million claim. The financial claim struck members as a number that had been pulled out of thin air to serve a dual purpose: keeping hope alive, and informing a federal judge who was deciding if the ASD business model was legal that the company was about to get a huge cash infusion.

ASD deleted the Praebius announcement after it became clear that members intended to do their own research, ask tough questions and not accept the company’s word at face value. Nothing in the announcement was consistent with professionalism. It only led to more questions, more criticism.

Slow on the uptake, ASD then followed up the Praebius announcement with an announcement members could buy VOIP service from a firm with which it had become affiliated. (Why any firm would permit itself to be associated with an alleged $100 million Ponzi scheme is a discussion for another day.)

Andy Bowdoin told a conference-call audience it could get special pricing, positioning the VOIP service as a gift to the membership. This led to even more bad press for ASD. ASD couldn’t deliver ads, couldn’t address members’ questions during conference calls, couldn’t persuade a federal judge it was not a Ponzi scheme — but still could flog a VOIP service for commissions.

Not a peep has been heard from Bowdoin since he surrendered claims last month to tens of millions of dollars seized as the proceeds of a criminal enterprise and Ponzi scheme. He could sell VOIP to the members, herald a purported $200 million deal, but when it came time to announce the surrender to forfeiture, members had to read about it in the newspaper or on Blogs and forums.

Bowdoin also didn’t tell members about a second forfeiture complaint that had been filed in December against assets tied to the firm. Prosecutors said hundreds of thousands of dollars were used to fuel personal spending by Bowdoin family members.

Flash forward to yesterday. AdViewGlobal appears to be trying to make a fine distinction that it has no corporate legal ties to ASD. But the announcement it made was at odds with itself in so many places that, at best, it’s just another absurdity. In no case can it be taken seriously.

None of ASD’s actions is compatible with credibility, and yet AdViewGlobal — by some tortured construction — is trying to leech credibility from ASD by telling the world that its chief executive officer was an important officer in ASD.

It wouldn’t matter if Talbert, the chief executive officer, and Chuck Osmin, an ASD employee who doubles as AdViewGlobal’s PR flak and issued yesterday’s announcement, both no longer were employed by ASD and repudiated their previous employment. The fact remains that ASD was an alleged $100 million Ponzi scheme that surrendered its claims to tens of millions of seized dollars and very well might become the subject of a criminal prosecution.

Both Talbert and Osmin were involved in the forfeiture litigation (not as defendants, but through Pro-ASD court filings or testimony),  and now both are working for AdViewGlobal. The fact the company won’t reveal the names of its owners and purportedly came to life offshore in the aftermath of the ASD debacle tells you everything you need to know.

AdViewGlobal is not credible because ASD was not credible. If anything, AdViewGlobal is even less credible than ASD. If it were credible, it would submit its business model to U.S. authorities for testing and pay the costs of compliance. One of the reasons it won’t do that is the ASD litigation. Another reason is that it can’t offer payment processing in the United States and needs to find ways to circumvent U.S. money-laundering, wire-fraud and mail-fraud laws.

On parts of its website, AdViewGlobal is using U.S.-based gmail addresses to conduct customer service. One is hardpressed to imagine how U.S. customers will fund accounts and engage in correspondence without engaging in wire fraud themselves.

The Age of the Portable Ponzi has begun. Promoters have ignored the ASD August forfeiture complaint, the December forfeiture complaint, Bowdoin’s surrender of the assets, a RICO lawsuit that asserts Bowdoin was the head of a racketeering enterprise involved in multiple schemes boosted by unnamed co-conspirators, Bowdoin’s previous entanglements with securities regulators that resulted in felony charges, Bowdoin’s history of spinning lies to separate people from their money.

Incredibly, AdViewGlobal now is employing ASD personnel, sharing a common executive, not disclosing information customers would deem important when making purchasing decisions (such as disclosing all previous  litigation that resulted in the dismantling of autosurfs, the implications of selling or purchasing unregistered securities if you’re a U.S. resident, the implications of wire fraud and money-laundering, and Judge Collyer’s ruling in the ASD case, for starters).

Welcome to the Age of the Portable Ponzi.

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9 Responses to “EDITORIAL: Welcome To The Age Of The Portable Ponzi”

  1. The Age of the Portable Ponzi has begun.

    No, I don’t think so. When 12 Daily Pro was stopped by legal actions, there were many new ponzi surfs popping up with a similar name. Some may have encouraged punters to believe there were a link to Charis Johnson’s operation. Once again, this is simply another scammer trick to get punters to part with their money.

    One thing you forgot to mention, Chuck Osmins’ previous job before ASD was as a clown. I’m not sure how a clown could subsequently be employed as a “Customer Service Manager”. Are custard pie fights part of good customer service?

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  2. Lest there be any question regarding there being a connection between the two companies, consider this info, which was posted on another forum, and which is relevant to this thread.

    At the bottom of AVG’s Terms of Service is this:

    “Ad View Global Member and Board of Advisors
    Ethical Code of Conduct

    Any AVG (Ad-View-Global) member personally and knowingly soliciting members from the previous company’s down lines [presumably referring to ASD] in an effort to secure their referral and on-going residual income is grounds for ejection from the company…”
    _____________________________________________

    This begs the following questions:

    1) Why would AVG protect another company’s downline structure if there’s no connection?

    2) How would AVG know anything about the downline structure of “the previous company” unless AVG has its database and/or other records about its membership?

    3) If AVG has the database and/or other records, how did AVG get it/them without “the previous company’s” cooperation?

    4) If “the previous company” cooperated by giving AVG its database and/or other records, why would it do so unless there’s a connection – and presumably a financial relationship of some kind?

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  3. Hi Tony,

    Tony H: No, I don’t think so. When 12 Daily Pro was stopped by legal actions, there were many new ponzi surfs popping up with a similar name.

    I have to concede you’re right about this. Perhaps Age of The Portable, Ponzi With Proud, Defiant, Common Management would be better.

    Or are we already past that Age?

    Tony H: One thing you forgot to mention, Chuck Osmins’ previous job before ASD was as a clown. I’m not sure how a clown could subsequently be employed as a “Customer Service Manager”. Are custard pie fights part of good customer service?

    I don’t begrudge Chuck’s part-time occupation as a clown. But he’s no PR pro, and his efforts to advocate for ASD and sanitize this business model are reckless beyond measure.

    Maybe members ought to ask Chuck some questions:

    * How many candidates did Uruguay management interview before settling on Talbert as chief executive officer?
    * Did it advertise for qualified CEO candidates?
    * Does Chuck know any of the AVG owners? If so, will he release the names? If not, why is he working for a company that won’t disclose its ownership? And, if he does know the owners, why can’t other members know?
    * How is it legal to sell unregistered securities to U.S. residents if your operation is based in Panama or Uruguay, if you’re not permitted to sell unregistered securities to U.S. residents if your operation is based in the United States?
    * Has Chuck seen an audited balance sheet that demonstrates AVG is not a Ponzi scheme?
    * What specific, non-theoretical, large revenue streams does AVG have in place to destroy any Ponzi concerns and what are the names of the companies that contribute to those revenue streams — along with their contribution amounts?
    * If AVG is based in Panama or Uruguay, won’t disclose its ownership and has promoters, members, employees and executives closely linked to ASD and Ponzi schemes, how is it legal to conduct customer service and carry out PR functions for such an operation inside the United States?
    * Has Chuck been told his ASD “ad packs” would be transferred to AVG and honored?
    * Why are promoters suggesting ASD “ad packs” one day could be transferred to AVG if there truly is no affiliation with ASD?
    * Will Chuck feel bad if another crop of new Ponzi participants gets taken to the cleaners or if second-timers get fleeced again?

    Patrick

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  4. Hi Pat,

    Pat Dunn: This begs the following questions:

    1) Why would AVG protect another company’s downline structure if there’s no connection?

    2) How would AVG know anything about the downline structure of “the previous company” unless AVG has its database and/or other records about its membership?

    3) If AVG has the database and/or other records, how did AVG get it/them without “the previous company’s” cooperation?

    4) If “the previous company” cooperated by giving AVG its database and/or other records, why would it do so unless there’s a connection – and presumably a financial relationship of some kind?

    These are ALL excellent questions.

    Patrick

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  5. The address for ASG in Uruguay is in “Zonamerica” which appears to be a free trade zone. From here:
    http://benjamingedan.blogspot.com/2008/07/zonamerica-turning-campo-into-corporate.html

    The Free Trade Zone legislation, passed in 1987, mandates that any company operating in a zona franca (there are about 10 of these zones nationwide) staff 75 percent of its workforce locally.

    Does this mean that 75% of the owners of ASG need to be local to Uruguay? Are the “recruiters” considered employees for this purpose? If so, does this mean that there is a limit on the number of non-Uruguayans who can be employed?

    Perhaps Age of The Portable, Ponzi With Proud, Defiant, Common Management would be better.

    I’m not sure that’s new either. I have seen several ponzi scams where the owner “closes” one then “opens” another. The success of the “closed” scam is used to prove the “honesty” of the ponzi admin. These have been called “ponzi games” in the past.

    The only thing that is sort-of new is that both Talbert & Osmin appeared in court to defend one ponzi scheme then go on to be openly involved in another. But then Bryan Marsden did something similar with his HA-Lotto thing while he was waiting trail, so even that isn’t really new.

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  6. The ‘Age of Portable Ponzis” is nothing new.

    I have often recommended that “true believers” take an in depth view of such forums as “Talkgold” “MoneyMakersGroup (MMG) or AutoSurf Authority (ASA) where they can find thousands upon thousands of such HYIP ponzi “games”

    The only differences are that P.I.P.S, 12DP, CEP, ASD, AVG, PhoenixSurf, Legisi etc, have scammed into the millions of dollars and made their way via the general population into the courts.

    It has been my long held belief that the organization of the abovementioned frauds is nothing special or unusual, and the principals of them are definitely nothing “out of the box” when it comes to brilliance.

    Rather, their particular frauds have been anointed “the next big thing” by hundreds, if not thousands of behind the scenes “playas”

    I have seen up to 30 HYIP and autosurf sites registered to a single name and parked on US based servers, waiting their “turn” in the never ending cycle of HYIP ponzi games. Internet folklore has it that as long as transaction sizes remain under USD$10,000 they can operate with impunity, no matter the amount of complaints made to the “authorities”

    The names may change, but the games remain the same.

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  7. If they think staying under $10,000 per transaction will protect them, they are very much wrong, littleroundman. Smurfing is a criminal offence in itself.

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  8. Henry Higgins: If they think staying under $10,000 per transaction will protect them, they are very much wrong, littleroundman. Smurfing is a criminal offence in itself.

    Which is why I used the expression “Internet folklore has it”

    Unfortunately, the evidence tells the story.

    There are literally thousands of these scams running on the ‘net at any given moment.

    Most, if not all, of them consider themselves bulletproof, boast openly on the abovementioned forums and openly discuss avoidance techniques such as limiting transaction sizes etc.

    In fact, the only people NOT concerned about any of “this” are the “playas” on those forums who didn’t miss a beat or even bother to acknowledge the demise of ASD.

    They were already on to the next 10 “games”

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