DISCUSSION THREAD: CEP Judgments, Ponzis And The Deaf, Noobing, Andy Bowdoin, Surf’s Up, BizAdSplash Surf, More

miseryindexUPDATE 2:49 P.M. EST (U.S.A.) At a gathering of creditors today, Irving Picard, the trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, said he could find no evidence that Madoff even purchased securities for customers in the past 13 years. Cash came in — and immediately went out — to sustain the Ponzi, Picard said. We’ve added a Madoff Discussion Topic at the bottom of this post.

Here, below, our earlier post . . .

This is a discussion thread for readers to share their views on developments in the autosurf world. Offer your opinions on any of the discussion topics below — or even all of them.

First, however, some news:

The bankruptcy judge in the CEP Ponzi scheme case has ordered some large judgments against “winners” who were sued in adversarial proceedings by William Perkins, the CEP receiver.

Judge James E. Massey even ordered interest be paid on the judgment amounts. “Winners” who are now losers include:

  • Chris Barany: $225,702.90
  • Earl Reed: $146,677.50
  • Ginger Phillips Reed: $103,339.70
  • Jessica Phillips: $44,821.85

As a side note, our research suggests that AdSurfDaily President Andy Bowdoin was a participant in the CEP Ponzi scheme. ASD once advertised it accepted payments from CEP Trust, the failed payment processor owned by the operators of the CEP Ponzi scheme.

DISCUSSION TOPIC: If you’ve been following the ASD case, you’ve read that ASD was an exciting, new business model and Andy Bowdoin a genius. But how could that be true if ASD was a member of other autosurf Ponzi schemes?

Ponzis And The Deaf

As reported on PonziNews, the SEC has taken action against a Hawaii-based firm that allegedly ran a Ponzi scheme targeting the hearing-impaired communities of the United States and Japan.

Investigators say Billion Coupons Inc., run by Marvin Cooper, made affinity fraud part of a $4.4 million Ponzi scheme.

“A Ponzi scheme targeting members of the Deaf community is particularly reprehensible,” said Rosalind R. Tyson, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office.

This week, a surf came under fire in forums for slashing payouts to customers. The surf, known as Noobing, targeted the deaf at Deaf Expo events in 2008 and in YouTube videos.

DISCUSSION TOPIC: Given customers’ claims of “bait and switch,” the fact Noobing launched after the government seized ASD’s assets, Noobing’s statement that people should be angry at the government — not Noobing — for its decision to slash payouts, and the targeting of deaf people, is an investigation warranted?

Andy Bowdoin

Two months have passed since prosecutors filed a second forfeiture complaint against assets tied to ASD. The complaint alleged that ASD funds were used to fuel big spending by Bowdoin family members. It further alleged that $1 million purportedly was stolen from ASD by “Russian” hackers and that Bowdoin didn’t file a police report. Meanwhile, it also alleged that money in addition to what “Russian” hackers took also was stolen — and that Bowdoin didn’t file a police report about those thefts, either.

ASD said it had more than $1 million on deposit in Antigua, which this week became the center of an international financial scandal involving billionaire Allen Stanford, the biggest banker on the Caribbean island. Customers flooded banks in the tiny nation to withdraw money, and the government of Antigua appealed for calm.

Last summer, Bowdoin told a federal judge that ASD needed money to operate and asked her to free up seized funds. But Bowdoin didn’t tell the judge about the money in Antigua until after prosecutors pointed it out. After prosecutors revealed the presence of the Antigua money, Bowdoin explained in a conference call that the cash — at least $500,000 of it — was a deposit so ASD could process credit-card orders.

But the account was in a name other than ASD.

DISCUSSION TOPIC: Did Andy Bowdoin get the money out of Antigua before the onset of the banking crisis? Why was the money in a name other than ASD’s if it was used to process credit cards for ASD? Why didn’t Bowdoin repatriate the money and use it to pay ASD employees and restart the company?

Surf’s Up

On Nov. 27, ASD offered the Surf’s Up forum its official endorsement. This was several days after ASD lost the evidentiary hearing and several days before major prelaunch buzz for AdViewGlobal (AVG) began.

With ASD’s endorsement in hand, some of the Surf’s Up Mods and members started a new site on ning.com to promote AVG. For its part, AVG says it has no ties to ASD, even though the two companies share a common executive, a common customer-service representative, and AVG’s graphics once appeared on a webroom operated by ASD — and AVG listed its street address as ASD’s street address in Quincy.

DISCUSSION TOPIC: Should Surf’s Up have accepted the endorsement? Does it make sense to promote yet-another surf, especially when the surf has clear ties to ASD?

BizAdSplash

Despite all the upheaval in the financial world — and despite the fact the Feds are working harder than ever to expose Ponzi schemes — BizAdSplash says things are going just fine. Yesterday it announced a new promotion: 100 percent matching bonuses for customers and sponsors.

Here is the announcement:

Over the past week we have had a number of you contact us about your initial deposit and that you only purchased a small amount of Ad Packages just to test the system. Now you are ready to make a larger purchase. Your question is can we get the 100% match or discount on the cost of a larger Ad Package. Biz Ad Splash has agreed to open a small window for this 100% additional match. Any new purchases made from outside the system will be given the same benefit as your initial purchase and will be given the 100% match along with the sponsor match. This is only on purchases made on February 23 through February 28. This is a tremendous opportunity for all our Biz Ad Splash advertisers.

Thank you for your patience while we are in our beta launch. We value your participation in Biz Ad Splash and we look forward to exceeding your expectations.

The Biz Ad Splash Team

DISCUSSION TOPIC: Is BizAdSplash, which launched only a short time ago, already hurting? Is it desperately trying to collect cash to survive? How can it possibly fund payouts for customers and sponsors when the 100 percent matching bonuses create so much extra liability?

Will the surf hide behind “rebates aren’t guaranteed” if things go South? If that happens, will surf participants still think “offshore” surfing is the ticket to prosperity?

And how can any of the new surfs — BizAdSplash, AdviewGlobal, AdGateWorld — expect to thrive when they are fundamentally competing for the same business in a world in which many governments are going after Ponzi schemes with exceptional vigor?

Bernard Madoff

Trustee Irving Piccard now says that Bernard Madoff didn’t even purchase securities for customers in the past 13 years, instead taking incoming money to pay off older investors in a virtually pure Ponzi scheme.

DISCUSSION TOPIC: Given that Madoff escaped detection for years — and given that Allen Stanford appears to have escaped detection for years — are you worried that other Ponzi shoes may drop?

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14 Responses to “DISCUSSION THREAD: CEP Judgments, Ponzis And The Deaf, Noobing, Andy Bowdoin, Surf’s Up, BizAdSplash Surf, More”

  1. Not that my opinion matters much,

    DISCUSSION TOPIC: Given customers’ claims of “bait and switch,” the fact Noobing launched after the government seized ASD’s assets, Noobing’s statement that people should be angry at the government — not Noobing — for its decision to slash payouts, and the targeting of deaf people, is an investigation warranted?

    Yes of course an investigation is warranted. Not because of the daft excuses the ponzi operators have used but because it’s a ponzi scheme. All ponzi schemes should be investigated & prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    DISCUSSION TOPIC: Did Andy Bowdoin get the money out of Antigua before the onset of the banking crisis? Why was the money in a name other than ASD’s if it was used to process credit cards for ASD? Why didn’t Bowdoin repatriate the money and use it to pay ASD employees and restart the company?

    I only have an unimportant opinion on the last question – Uncle Andy didn’t get the money in to the US because either he was trying to hide it, hoping to get at it when he gets out of prison. Or he couldn’t get at the money because he can’t open a US based bank account.

    DISCUSSION TOPIC: Should Surf’s Up have accepted the endorsement? Does it make sense to promote yet-another surf, especially when the surf has clear ties to ASD?

    It’s just another well known ponzi ploy, another method of getting the “victims” to part with their cash.

    DISCUSSION TOPIC: Is BizAdSplash, which launched only a short time ago, already hurting? Is it desperately trying to collect cash to survive? How can it possibly fund payouts for customers and sponsors when the 100 percent matching bonuses create so much extra liability?

    It will fund payouts just as long as they are getting new money in to pay off older investors. When the supply of new money dries up they will come out with the usual excuses.

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  2. Hi Tony,

    Thanks for sharing your views. It will be interesting to see what happens with Noobing and BizAdSplash.

    The new BizAdSplash pitch reads like a desperate bid to keep going masked as an “exciting” development.

    Patrick

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  3. Patrick:

    There is no doubt in my mind at all that more of these Ponzi schemes will be exposed and revealed. The economic situation is causing this rash of recent Ponzi exposures. Before people were willing to let their money float or reinvest for even higher returns. Now that cash is needed, they are requesting their money, and this is causing the Ponzi programs to collapse much sooner than normal. We have seen just the tip of the iceberg so far. More are coming, and there are going to be a lot of them.

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  4. Hi Lynn,

    Nice to hear from you.

    One of the things working against the Ponzi purveyors right now is the purveyors who didn’t get caught fast — Madoff, Nadel and Stanford, for instance.

    It’s clear that Ponzi is front-and-center at the SEC right now, for instance. It’s also clear that state and even local prosecutors are going after them.

    Also, the word “Ponzi” itself is now on the tip of the tongues of American and European voters, so the politicians now have widespread public support to wage an all-out government assault against the fraudsters.

    I’m not sure if there are more Ponzis or if just more Ponzis are getting caught, owing to the economy and the sentiment against them.

    Thing is, the early surfs demonstrated that enormous sums of money could be generated. There is no doubt that criminals in the Third World are starting surfs just to run with the cash.

    It always floored me to hear ASD members say criminality was not an issue. It is demonstrably an issue, and gets demonstrated daily.

    Regards,

    Patrick

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  5. DISCUSSION TOPIC: If you’ve been following the ASD case, you’ve read that ASD was an exciting, new business model and Andy Bowdoin a genius. But how could that be true if ASD was a member of other autosurf Ponzi schemes?

    Response 1: This question seems rhetorical, actually, for clearly ASD’s “business model” was simply a reworking of previous schemes.

    And Bowdoin is obviously no genius. Those and other claims were nothing but hype; when the book is written and the movie comes out, the ASD saga will look like an modern version of “The Wizard of Oz”, with a 74-year old playing the role of the Wizard.

    DISCUSSION TOPIC: Given customers’ claims of “bait and switch,” the fact Noobing launched after the government seized ASD’s assets, Noobing’s statement that people should be angry at the government — not Noobing — for its decision to slash payouts, and the targeting of deaf people, is an investigation warranted?

    Response 2: Investigation is needed just because it’s a criminal enterprise and needs to be shut down ASAP. The rest just exacerbates the level of attention needed.

    DISCUSSION TOPIC: Did Andy Bowdoin get the money out of Antigua before the onset of the banking crisis? Why was the money in a name other than ASD’s if it was used to process credit cards for ASD? Why didn’t Bowdoin repatriate the money and use it to pay ASD employees and restart the company?

    Response 3: Don’t know if Bowdoin ever got the money out, but doubt it. Why? Doing so would appear to bring it within reach of law enforcement.

    Don’t know why it would have been in a non-ASD account, but the story about it being used for credit card processing may be another line fed to the faithful to keep them in the flock.

    Why not repatriate it, etc? See above – it seems to me he wants to keep it away from the authorities.

    DISCUSSION TOPIC: Should Surf’s Up have accepted the endorsement? Does it make sense to promote yet-another surf, especially when the surf has clear ties to ASD?

    Response 4: We, let’s see. The mods stand to gain financially by capturing a portion of the faithful ASD followers and leading them into another scheme. If they are greedy enough and/or amoral enough to continue to pitch the party line, both the endorsement and the promotion of another surf make sense in a perverted way.

    DISCUSSION TOPIC: Is BizAdSplash, which launched only a short time ago, already hurting? Is it desperately trying to collect cash to survive? How can it possibly fund payouts for customers and sponsors when the 100 percent matching bonuses create so much extra liability?

    Response 5: Hurting already? That may well be, for I suspect that BAS is the most vulnerable of the three ASD knockoffs due to its recruiting requirement. The increased liability created by the bonuses is only part of the problem, and will likely hasten its demise if the authorities don’t get there first.

    DISCUSSION TOPIC: Given that Madoff escaped detection for years — and given that Allen Stanford appears to have escaped detection for years — are you worried that other Ponzi shoes may drop?

    Response 6: Worried that other Ponzi shoes may drop? You’re kidding, right? I have Google news alerts set up for the word Ponzi and the term “Ponzi scheme” and I get links to news articles every day from both of them. Many are follow-up articles on previous items, but I’m very surprised on any day that I don’t receive a link to at least one new one.

    Bottom line: It seems to me that we’ve seen just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. More existing ones are being uncovered daily – and I suspect that many more news ones will be created now that the potential for stealing huge sums without the risk of gunfights has become widely known.

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  6. Hi Pat,

    Thanks for taking the time to add to this discussion. Readers who are new to all of this will appreciate your clarity of thought.

    People even are reporting Ponzi schemes to their local police departments now. I first noticed that with Nadel in Sarasota, and now there is a much-smaller alleged scheme in Eugene, Oregon, in which investors went straight to the cops.

    Today two outfielders for the New York Yankees announced that their money was tied up in the Stanford probe. They didn’t invest directly with Stanford, so it’s starting to sound like Madoff in that respect.

    Xavier Nady, one of the Yankees, said he couldn’t get an apartment in NYC because his credit cards had been shut off as a result of Stanford. And Johnny Damon said he couldn’t pay his bills.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hW3TUtJh8E02gEVBYr5-obYsWH5wD96FHIBG0

    Stanford also has screwed up things for the PGA, LPGA, and Tennis tours, and he even has screwed up the sport of cricket.

    Patrick

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  7. Screwed up the sprot of Cricket????

    Oh now he’s in trouble…me and Chili Dog are big fans…

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  8. Hi Gregg,

    The cricket community is extremely angry at Stanford right now. The Brits have severed ties with him.

    And, just in, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has seized basically the entire banking infrastructure of Antigua and put it in receivership — basically to stop a run on deposits.

    Andy better hope he got his money out.

    Patrick

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  9. EDITOR’S NOTE: References corrected to read AdViewGlobal

    Just saw this forum promo for AdViewGlobal, which appears to be trying to raise cash in a similar fashion to BizAdSplash:

    AdViewGlobal forum promo:

    Effective February 20th, 2009 12pm CST

    Purchase $100 – $499, you will receive a 25% Match

    Purchase $500 – $4,999, you will receive a 50% Match

    Purchase from $5,000 – $9,499, you will receive a 75% Match

    Purchase from $9,500 & above, you will receive a 100% Match**

    This Incentive will expire March 31st, 2009 9:00 p.m. EST

    Remember this is a manual surf program, which is based in Uruguay now, so there are no government interference, like we had with ASD.

    Master Le is backing this venture 100% and sees major improvements to our rebates and company operations.

    If you have a successful program why change it, right? Referrals are absolutely optional and there is good money to be made even without referring.

    **End Pitch**

    The promoter, who started hitting up ASD members after the seizure to join a gifting program to solve their problem, explains in the note above that AdViewGlobal is a “manual” exchange.

    It’s a bid to cloud the legal issue. The real issue is not whether a person has to click on an object to view the next ad; it’s the rebate program.

    AdViewGlobal tried to cloud the issue in similar fashion a couple of weeks ago.

    What they’re trying to suggest is that the program would be illegal for U.S. residents if the next ad automatically loaded itself, as opposed to loading after the viewer clicked on an object to make it load.

    The government has been using the word “autosurf” as a sort of generic term to describe a business model in which ads load in a rotator and viewers receive rebates. Calling it a “manual” surf doesn’t do anything for the promoters’ argument.

    AdViewGlobal, based on the content of the promotion, will give people who pay more up front more of a bonus. And the offshore-safety argument is being used, despite all that’s happening in the Caribbean and Latin banking markets right now.

    These folks appear to be hurting.

    Patrick

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  10. Here’s the AVG version, from the AVG forun…
    [Edited version of previous post.]

    QUOTE:

    New Incentive Match

    Effective February 20th, 2009 12pm CST – All purchases from $100 – $499 will receive a 25% Match

    Effective February 20th, 2009 12pm CST – All purchase from $500 – $4,999 will receive a 50% Match

    Effective February 20th, 2009 12pm CST- All purchases from $5,000 – $9,499 will receive a 75% Match

    Effective February 20th, 2009 12pm CST – All purchases from $9,500 & above will receive a 100% Match**

    This Incentive will expire March 31st, 2009 9:00 p.m. EST

    Reply by Dennis Lisonbee

    Does the match also go to the sponsors?

    Reply by Terralynn~ModSquad

    Yes Dennis. It sure does.

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  11. Hi Pat,

    So, matching sponsor bonuses, too? That’s popular this week in the new surfs — sort of like having rallies without calling them rallies or even leaving home.

    Patrick

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  12. Bob worked closely with Fred Damron who was heavily involved with CEP and Trevor.

    It never looks good for a program to have this kind of swindler involved with a program.

    Also see:

    http://www.bewareoffreddamron.blogspot.com/

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  13. I have had money in Bizadsplash since January. ALso my brother & son have a larger amount then I have. They keep changing the rules & the site & now the new site you can’t even get into. We have requested pay outs & they never pay. I feel that our money is gone. I should have known better as I was in ASD. Maybwe you know something that I don’t know.

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  14. Patricia,

    Sorry about your loss, but, sadly, that’s what happens when you join an illegal Ponzi scheme (which includes ASD, AVG, Bizadsplash, and many others). Piece of advice: If it sounds too good to be true, it is…..

    Patricia

    Patricia McDowell: I have had money in Bizadsplash since January. ALso my brother & son have a larger amount then I have. They keep changing the rules & the site & now the new site you can’t even get into. We have requested pay outs & they never pay. I feel that our money is gone. I should have known better as I was in ASD. Maybwe you know something that I don’t know.

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