AdViewGlobal (AVG), which purports to be a professional advertising company operating as a private association headquartered offshore, appears to have mangled an announcement that its bank account was “suspended.”
The suspension announcement was made Monday, March 23. On Friday, March 20, AVG members said Chief Executive Officer Gary Talbert had resigned but would continue with the company as an accountant.
Ismeal Santiago was identified as AVGâ€™s new chief executive officer and was reported to be moving to Uruguay because â€œall officers should live offshore.”
Members have not been told if the banking suspension occurred this week or last week. Nor have they been told if Talbert’s sudden resignation last week had anything to do with AVG’s banking problem.
Adding to the confusion were the lack of a definition for the word “suspended” and a clear explanation on what would happen to funds AVG members wired into the suspended account.
AVG did not name the bank in its announcement about the suspension. Nor did it say whether the bank was in the United States or offshore. At the same time, it did not say whether funds remained in the suspended account or if the funds were removed prior to the suspension.
Nor did AVG identify the person notified about the suspension or the party who told the company about it. Given the lack of clarity over the banking issue, questions are being raised about whether the account was seized as part of a law-enforcement investigation.
No AVG executive or employee signed the suspension announcement. It was signed â€œThe AVG Management Team.â€
AdSurfDaily Inc., a Florida company with close AVG ties, had its bank accounts seized by the U.S. Secret Service on Friday, Aug. 1, 2008. Federal prosecutors said ASD was engaging in wire fraud and money-laundering, and also running a $100 million Ponzi scheme.
Gary Talbert was a former ASD executive. George Harris, the stepson of ASD President Andy Bowdoin, was listed as an AVG trustee.
In its announcement about the suspension, AVG blamed members — in the very first sentence — for the suspension.
“Due to people bank wiring too many transactions over $9500.00 each, the bank we were using for Bank Wires and ACHs suspended our account,” the company said.
AVG recently has been promoting a 200-percent, matching-bonus program. Yesterday the promotion was extended through April 3, despite the banking suspension and lack of clarity on the issue.
Today AVG members were told about a “great” conference call AVG will hold tomorrow. Members were encouraged to invite guests, but also told to explain to guests that they would have to leave the call when requested.
Members were given a script on how to address prospective call guests (italics added):
“Important: When inviting guests to Thursdayâ€™s call you must use the following wording to keep us in compliance with the rules of our association.
‘AVGA is a Private Membership Association. I would like to invite you to a private conference call Thursday Night so you can listen to some of the exciting benefits our members enjoy. Youâ€™ll find out how our members are making themselves recession proof with our dynamic money making program.'”
The script did not identify AVG as an “advertising” service. Rather, it identified the company as a “dynamic money-making program.” Federal prosecutors said ASD also stressed money-making elements over advertising benefits.
AVG then instructed members that guests would have to exit the line when private association business was being discussed (italics added).
“When you have a guest on the line and your name is called you & your guest will qualify to win page impressions. In order to win Page Impressions you must have a guest on the call. Be sure to provide your AVGA enrollment link to each of your invited guests.
“Once the opportunity portion of the call is completed we will have to ask all Guests to exit the call. This is very important and we ask that you inform your Guests that once the Page Impression Give Away is completed that they will be asked to hang up.
“Let your Guest know that this is standard protocol.”