Garner Advertised In ‘Escape Artist’ Publication

Attorney Robert Garner

Attorney Robert Garner

An attorney accused of racketeering in a lawsuit by members of AdSurfDaily and accused by prosecutors of shilling for ASD President Andy Bowdoin once advertised his services in “Escape From America Magazine.”

The magazine is part of a website known as EscapeArtist.com.

Robert F. Garner identified himself a “[f]ormer General Counsel for  major Miami-based securities firm with Latin and South American  focus,” according to his ad. He listed the URL for his law office in Greensboro, North Carolina, saying he also specialized in “[r]ecoveries from scam.”

Garner is licensed to practice law in North Carolina. But web records show he has not informed the North Carolina bar this year whether he is in private practice or carries malpractice insurance — two things he is required to do.

“Each active member of the North Carolina State Bar is required to advise the State Bar annually whether he or she is engaged in private practice and whether he or she is covered by legal malpractice insurance,” the bar says on its website. Garner’s entries for 2009 are listed “no response.”

Garner’s magazine ad ran in Vol. 5, Issue 11, of Escape From America. It was published in November 2003, alongside ads for tax havens, financial, telephone and real estate services for expatriates, and pitches for people to move to Belize and elsewhere.

“YOUR OWN OFFSHORE BANK ACCOUNT IS WAITING FOR YOU,” promised one of the ads in the publication.

In December, federal prosecutors filed a second forfeiture complaint against assets tied to ASD, including a home and personal property acquired by Bowdoin family members.

Bowdoin’s wife, Edna Faye Bowdoin, and her son, George Harris, used ASD money to open an account in a separate bank. Harris used $157,216 of the opening deposit to pay off the mortgage on the Tallahassee home he shared with his wife, prosecutors said.

Garner shilled for Andy Bowdoin in an ASD video, 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 last year to address compliance with federal securities laws and other laws.

A RICO complaint brought against Bowdoin, Garner and Golden Panda Ad Builder President Clarence Busby in January accuses the men of organized efforts to defraud. The lawsuit was filed by Mike Collins of Savage, Minn.; Frank Greene of Washington, D.C.; and Natures Discount of Aventura, Fla.

The complaint alleged the men were involved in “other” schemes beyond ASD, Golden Panda and LaFuenteDinero, and have “committed or aided and abetted in the commission of countless acts of racketeering activity,” including indictable offenses.

“The ASD Enterprise provides the RICO Defendants and other unnamed co-conspirators with a system by which to operate fraudulent schemes such as ASD, to hide the fraudulent nature of the schemes, and to profit from such schemes,” the plaintiffs alleged. “Each RICO Defendant agreed to perform services of a kind which facilitated the operation of the ASD Enterprise and facilitated the RICO Defendants and others in the operation of various fraudulent schemes, including ASD.”

One entity associated with ASD — a surf known as AdViewGlobal — lists former ASD executive Gary Talbert as its chief executive officer. Chuck Osmin, a former ASD customer-service representative who said he expected to earn $2,000 a day from ASD, also now works for AVG.

Meanwhile, AVG lists George Harris as a trustee. AVG has turned to a firm known as Pro Advocate Group for advice on becoming a private members’ association. Pro Advocate Group is associated with Karl Dahlstom. In 1997, Dahlstrom was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison for his participation in a securities scheme.

An attorney named Robert F. Garner — with ties to Florida and North Carolina –  is referenced in documents published by the U.S. Senate pertaining to a 2001 investigation into international money-laundering.

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14 Responses to “Garner Advertised In ‘Escape Artist’ Publication”

  1. As a former member of ASD, I once tried to pitch it to a lawyer friend of my son’s and showed him Garner’s video. After watching it he said that based on that video he would not get in ASD and that with 99.99% certainty Garner was a fraud and quite unbelievable. I wish I would have heard that before I dumped $$ into ASD.

    Thanks Patrick for another informative post. Maybe Seminolegirl#9 will hop on over here from the Surfs UP forum, as they won’t let her speak over there. She too has much insight and well thought out postings. I enjoy her input which is generally based on facts, not wishful thinking!

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  2. Hi snailspace,

    snailspace: As a former member of ASD, I once tried to pitch it to a lawyer friend of my son’s and showed him Garner’s video. After watching it he said that based on that video he would not get in ASD and that with 99.99% certainty Garner was a fraud and quite unbelievable. I wish I would have heard that before I dumped $$ into ASD.

    Thanks Patrick for another informative post. Maybe Seminolegirl#9 will hop on over here from the Surfs UP forum, as they won’t let her speak over there. She too has much insight and well thought out postings. I enjoy her input which is generally based on facts, not wishful thinking!

    Thanks for your note. Garner’s appearance in the video also speaks to why advertisers with big budgets, premium brand names and peerless reputations never would advertise on ASD — for rebates or no rebates.

    When was the last time a local newspaper or radio/TV station had to hire a lawyer to assure customers that their advertising purchases were legal?

    On the subject of Seminole Girl, I do hope she comes over here and doesn’t let the situation at Surf’s Up bother her.

    Much appreciate your note, snailspace.

    Patrick

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  3. Correct me if I am wrong, but I know I read somewhere that Robt. Garner was involved with ASD outside of being their Attorney and spokesperson..seems he had some sort of ownership in the company. His wife and sister appeared on a video ad for ASD, working the Las Vegas Rally..which should be considered ODD.

    You have to wonder, what is going on with his N.C. license to practice law? His involvement in an illegal entity such as ASD should be raising questions with the North Carolina Bar Association.

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  4. Robert F. Garner was a director of ASD:
    https://esos.state.nv.us/SOSServices/AnonymousAccess/CorpSearch/CorpDetails.aspx?lx8nvq=9j7vcBdSzz1fnILgn5ESNg%253d%253d

    I don’t know about his wife and/or sister, but does anyone know who “Joyce” was?
    http://ca.video.yahoo.com/watch/2789975/8095235

    This is the lawyer himself at one of the rallies:
    http://ca.video.yahoo.com/watch/2788931/8092668
    I’m not sure who the other guy is?

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  5. Robert F Garner is a director in AdSurfDaily Inc., as found on the Nevada Secretary of State Office website.

    From the Nevada Secretary of State Office:
    https://esos.state.nv.us/SOSServices/AnonymousAccess/CorpSearch/CorpDetails.aspx?lx8nvq=9j7vcBdSzz1fnILgn5ESNg%253d%253d

    ADSURFDAILY, INC.

    Business Entity Information

    Status: Default File Date: 12/14/2006 1:40:45 PM
    Type: Domestic Close Corporation Corp Number: E0915322006-4
    Qualifying State: NV List of Officers Due: 12/31/2008
    Managed By: Expiration Date:

    Registered Agent Information

    Name: NEVADA CORPORATE RESIDENCY Address 1: 955 SOUTH VIRGINIA STREET
    Address 2: City: RENO
    State: NV Zip Code: 89502
    Phone: Fax:
    Mailing Address 1: Mailing Address 2:
    Mailing City: Mailing State: NV
    Mailing Zip Code:
    Agent Type: Commercial Registered Agent – Corporation
    Jurisdiction: NEVADA Status: Active

    View all business entities under this registered agent

    Financial Information

    No Par Share Count: 0 Capital Amount: $ 100.00
    Par Share Count: 100,000.00 Par Share Value: $ 0.001

    Officers Include Inactive Officers

    President – T ANDY BOWDOIN
    Address 1: 13 S CALHOUN ST Address 2:
    City: QUINCY State: FL
    Zip Code: 32351 Country:
    Status: Active Email:

    Secretary – T ANDY BOWDOIN
    Address 1: 13 S CALHOUN ST Address 2:
    City: QUINCY State: FL
    Zip Code: 32351 Country:
    Status: Active Email:

    Treasurer – T ANDY BOWDOIN
    Address 1: 13 S CALHOUN ST Address 2:
    City: QUINCY State: FL
    Zip Code: 32351 Country:
    Status: Active Email:

    Director – ROBERT F GARNER
    Address 1: 3415 YANCEYVILLE ST Address 2:
    City: GREENSBORO State: NC
    Zip Code: 27405 Country:
    Status: Active Email:

    Actions\Amendments

    Click here to view 3 actions\amendments associated with this company

    You are currently not logged in

    Nevada Secretary of State, Ross Miller. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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  6. Patrick:

    To the Babbitts in the audience at the Miami rally where Andy first announced that he’d hired compliance attorneys, the fact that he HIRED them was sufficient proof that Andy was a man of honor and that ASD was totally legal. When I first read the DOJ filing that said Andy waited 20 months before “hiring” compliance attorneys, I remember wishing the DOJ had emphasized that this “hiring” was totally bogus.

    The DOJ’s seemed focused on the fact that it took Andy 20 months to hire compliance attorneys, rather than the fact that hiring them was all for show. It was nothing more than a tactic designed to buy time amidst strengthening signs that ASD was nearing the end of the Ponzi life-cycle — or perhaps death spiral would be more accurate. At the time, the official reason for hiring compliance attorneys wasn’t so much to insure compliance; once the compliance attorneys proved once and for all that ASD was totally legit, Andy was going to loose the 75 or so libel and slander attorneys he also had on retainer, all poised to file multimillion dollar lawsuits against anyone who had ever written or spoken the words scam, fraud, or Ponzi relative to ASD, (Maybe they were to be one of the much needed external sources of funds?)

    Andy may have paid a retainer in early July but the compliance attorney himself, Phillip Schwartz, testified that when ASD was raided, about 30 days later, Andy still hadn’t sent the documentation Schwartz needed to commence his compliance audit. I don’t think the DOJ emphasized that “oversight” strongly enough. The ASD defenders claimed the fact that Andy hired the Ackerman firm was proof he was trying to do the right thing, and if the Feds hadn’t “jumped the gun” when they did, Andy would have “tweaked” his already perfect business model, to humor the government. You’d have thought that the certainty of all that money coming in from the libel and slander suits would have motivated him to FedEX the records right down to Schwartz…….

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  7. Hi Marci,

    Marci: Andy may have paid a retainer in early July but the compliance attorney himself, Phillip Schwartz, testified that when ASD was raided, about 30 days later, Andy still hadn’t sent the documentation Schwartz needed to commence his compliance audit.

    This really is a key point that largely has been overlooked. Andy didn’t even listen to the instructions given by his own attorneys.

    From the date of the seizure — Aug. 1 — to the dates of the evidentiary hearing Andy asked for and then took the 5th — Sept. 30-Oct. 1 — Andy had two full months to produce documents that could clear ASD and make his lawyers’ jobs easier.

    Another thing that some of the Surf’s Up Mods/posters choose to ignore is that this is an ongoing investigation. The probe did not end with the seizure; the seizure only stopped the Ponzi from mushrooming.

    No criminal indictment against Andy has been made public. Fact is, however, the money and property were seized as the proceeds of a criminal enterprise. Subsequently a second forfeiture complaint was filed by the Feds, followed closely by a RICO lawsuit by ASD members.

    The Feds allegations in the forfeiture complaint plainly state that ASD was laundering money, engaging in wire fraud, running a racketeering enterprise and operating a Ponzi scheme. Surf’s Up would have members believe the Feds are approaching the case from fantasy land.

    ASD had an Antigua tie. A few months later the Antigua banking system was in crisis amid the Allen Stanford Ponzi scandal.

    Garner, who knows the lay of the Caribbean and Latin American banking lands, is no small player in this.

    It is unclear if he helped any of the post-ASD surfs. What is clear is that BizAdSplash encountered a banking problem in Panama post-Stanford, and also a problem with StrictPay, the Panamanian payment processor.

    BizAdSplash is now advertising 100 percent matching bonuses.

    It is obvious that some of these surfs had cash in Stanford-controlled banks or in banking environments that suffered a setback as a result of the Stanford Ponzi.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Patrick

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  8. In december of 07, Andy set up a company call “omega” to be the debt card company for the spanish site. I had a question and as was my practice would give my phone number out in e-mails telling the person I drove a truck at night and if they wanted to call to please do. It turns out the owner of Omega look at my area code and call me asking if I lived in the same town that he did 25 years earlier.We had a great talk and I ask him. “is this thing (ASD) for real?” “you bet!! Wave of the future, Andy is a genious, a vistionary!!!! and all that good stuff.
    Around the same time a questionnaire came out asking the rake and file why can’t we sigh more people up? two things
    1) to good to be true
    2) is this new way of advertising legal?
    Both questions were handle with the video of Andy at his house, and the video of Garner. And it was done very quickly, just the way you would think a “great” CEO would handle it. That was the key, we were told every Monday night what a great leader Andy was, how he was trained over the years to run a major corperation. there was no, ” Andy has a record”,”Andy is a felon,”, and even when the article came out in the Tusla newspaper, it did not mention Andy being a crook. Here’s another point. On July 15th 2008 in a meeting in Burnsville MN. The head of compliance Don Peterson said that the Twin cites law firm Meshspencer and Spence was retained for $750,000.00 to go after the slander suits that Marci just talked about. lie apond lie apond lie. that is why I don’t have any problem with people getting involed with ASD. but know I have a big problem with anyone getting involed with AVG, when the truth is right here.

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  9. “The head of compliance Don Peterson”

    When did compliance officer Nate Boyd (now Protector with AVGA) leave ASD?

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  10. Pistol: “The head of compliance Don Peterson”When did compliance officer Nate Boyd (now Protector with AVGA) leave ASD?

    As far as I am aware, he never left ASD and was always there in the background.

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  11. admin: Hi Marci,

    Marci: Andy may have paid a retainer in early July but the compliance attorney himself, Phillip Schwartz, testified that when ASD was raided, about 30 days later, Andy still hadn’t sent the documentation Schwartz needed to commence his compliance audit.

    This really is a key point that largely has been overlooked. Andy didn’t even listen to the instructions given by his own attorneys.From the date of the seizure — Aug. 1 — to the dates of the evidentiary hearing Andy asked for and then took the 5th — Sept. 30-Oct. 1 — Andy had two full months to produce documents that could clear ASD and make his lawyers’ jobs easier

    I suggest that the reason for ignoring these request may well have had something to do with the fact that it was difficult or nearly impossible to supply the information in the condition it was needed. They may well have been stalling, knowing what the real documentation contained and what it would have revealed.

    It is also to wonder whether Schwartz would still have wished to continue with his relationship with ASD , had he ever received the real information.

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  12. Wow never heard of Nate Boyd. Don pedersen was introdues at the Tampa convetion as the head of compliance and spoke on the last day. Don also spoke at Miami and chicago.

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  13. By the way, where in the world is Andy Bowdoin hanging around these days? Has anybody seen Andy and Edna Faye?

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  14. alasycia:

    Pistol: “The head of compliance Don Peterson”When did compliance officer Nate Boyd (now Protector with AVGA) leave ASD?

    As far as I am aware, he never left ASD and was always there in the background.

    According to Steve Watt’s version of the evidentiary hearing Chuck Osmin said he was an ex-compliance officer.

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