UPDATED 12:15 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) AdSurfDaily Inc. President Andy Bowdoin once had members eating out of his hand, but his faithful flock now appears to be splintering.
Helping drive Bowdoin’s fall from grace is a video in which he positions “Paperless Access,” aÂ company that appears to use a surf model, as a way ASD members can recover money seized by the government in August by participating in the new venture.
The video first appeared online two days ago. Bowdoin did not identify the owners of Paperless Access, describing them only as a small group of people. Nor did Bowdoin mention that the government is establishing an ASD refund program.
One of the reasons it hasn’t been able to implement the program is because of Bowdoin’s self-filed legal maneuverings.
Except for a letter Bowdoin released through Surf’s Up several days ago, he had been silent for months.Â Bowdoin, for example, did not tell members about a second forfeiture complaint filed in December against assets linked to ASD. Nor did Bowdoin tell members about his January decision to submit to the forfeiture of tens of millions of dollars seized in August.
Before Bowdoin went silent late in the fall, he tried to sell members VOIP telephone service, positioning the $20-a-month offer as a gift.
Bowdoin, now acting as his own attorney, has changed his mind about submitting to the forfeiture, an act that will delay any government refund program because prosecutors can’t liquidate seized assets to create a victims’ pool until the case is fully litigated.
At the same time, other ASD members also are filing pro se pleadings in the forfeiture case — something the government says also affects its ability to implement a refund program.
Why Paperless Access would choose Bowdoin for a commercial spokesman at the risk of being dragged into a major federal fraud investigation is unclear, especially when one of the issues in the federal case is Bowdoin’s appearance in a video to promote ASD.
Prosecutors said Bowdoin was the head of a criminal enterprise. Private litigants have accused him of racketeering, and Bowdoin was accused of 89 separate counts of fraud in four Alabama counties in the 1990s, pleading guilty to felonies.
Database Decision Ruffles Feathers
Some ASD members were angry that Bowdoin had turned over the ASD database to Paperless Access, saying the move invaded their privacy and exposed them to identity theft.
“They have been given access to the database for the purpose of determining losses and the structure of the network,” Bowdoin said.
In short, Bowdoin appears to have turned over the database to a company whose owners he appears unwilling to identify. If ASD member “losses” are recorded in the database as Bowdoin says, the new owners might gain insider’s knowledge about possible targets in a federal criminal probe into ASD’s business practices. At the same time, the database would provide Paperless Access with the names of thousands of potential witnesses against ASD and the spending habits of ASD members at large.
Bowdoin does not identify himself in the Paperless Access video. Nor does he refer to ASD by name a single time. At the same time, Bowdoin’s claims about Paperless Access are filled with vagaries and confusing information.
Paperless Access has a “variety of outside revenue-generating sources,” Bowdoin said, without revealing the sources.
Bowdoin said the company’s business plan was based “solely on outside revenue.” Vague claims of outside revenue was one of the things that got ASD in trouble.
Meanwhile, Bowdoin makes the odd claim that the goal of Paperless Access is to “return the members’ legally purchased funds.” ASD members used funds to make their purchases, but they did not purchase funds.