BREAKING NEWS: Bowdoin Files Pro Se Motion To Rescind August Forfeiture; Claims He Was Acting Under Duress

UPDATED 11:05 A.M. EDT (U.S.A.) Acting as his own attorney, AdSurfDaily Inc. President Andy Bowdoin has filed a motion to rescind a decision he made in January to submit to the forfeiture of real estate and tens of millions of dollars seized by the government in August.

As first reported in this Blog last month, an earlier motion Bowdoin filed to rescind his decision to the forfeiture appeared not to apply to the proceeds seized last summer. Rather, Bowdoin’s initial motion to rescind appeared to apply to property seized in a second forfeiture complaint prosecutors filed in December.

Neither Bowdoin nor any corporate entity associated with the property listed in the December complaint appears to have filed a verified claim to the property or a motion asking to submit to the forfeiture. Among the proceeds listed in the December complaint were a Florida home owned by Bowdoin’s stepson, George Harris, and his wife, Judy Harris. An automobile owned by George and Judy Harris also was seized, along with two other cars prosecutors said were purchased with illegal ASD proceeds. A boat and marine equipment also were seized.

Bowdoin’s initial motion to rescind appears to be a rescission of a decision he never made — either to claim the property listed in the December complaint or to forfeit it.

Confused? You’re not alone. Sometimes pro se pleadings are extremely difficult to reconcile because the arguments don’t follow a recognized structure or logical form.

Judge Rosemary Collyer included a handwritten note on Bowdoin’s most recent motion to rescind.

“Let this be filed,” she wrote.

It is unclear if Bowdoin filed the second motion to rescind before or after Collyer’s issuance of an order last week that advised Bowdoin and his paid attorneys that corporations could not proceed as pro se litigants. The document makes two corporate claims to the August proceeds.

Corporate claimants include AdSurfDaily Inc. and Bowdoin/Harris Enterprises Inc.

Bowdoin’s paid attorneys yesterday asked the court for permission to withdraw from the case, saying Bowdoin had not consulted them on his pro se filings and that serving as his attorneys had become “unreasonably difficult.”

“Mr. Bowdoin filed these motions without consulting with counsel and without bothering to advise counsel that he would be submitting motions on his own. Under these circumstances, the Akerman Senterfitt Law Firm cannot render effective assistance of counsel,” attorneys Michael Fayad and Jonathan Goodman said.

Bowdoin claimed in his motion that his lawyers were “ineffective at best and only looking out for the best interest of the government.” Fayad and Goodman said yesterday that the client-attorney relationship was affected by a ruling that went against ASD in November.

“After this Court denied Claimant’s Emergency Motion for Return of Seized Funds [on Nov. 19, 2008], the client-lawyer relationship between the Firm and all three Claimants substantially deteriorated and has not improved thus rendering the representation unreasonably difficult,” the lawyers said.

In Bowdoin’s most recent motion, he said his earlier decision to submit to the forfeiture was a “grave mistake and error” and that he was acting under “severe duress.”

Bowdoin’s motion, however, also makes the strange claim that “procedures” government agents used to search for and seize proceeds “were non-existent.”

He also contends what the government did was “improper, illegal and tainted with violations of due process of law.”

Bowdoin’s now makes the claim that his decision to rescind “is now legally accomplished as a matter of law” — a claim that makes a considerable leap because his earlier decision to submit to the forfeiture was made with “prejudice” — meaning Bowdoin agreed to the forfeiture and would not later contest it — and Collyer signed an order granting Bowdoin’s motion to submit.

Read Bowdoin’s motion.

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11 Responses to “BREAKING NEWS: Bowdoin Files Pro Se Motion To Rescind August Forfeiture; Claims He Was Acting Under Duress”

  1. Amazing Patrick, I think we will be reading about this, well into 2011.

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  2. The motion Mr. Bowdoin filed yesterday is the exact word for word copy of the pro se motion he filed February 27, 2009, to withdraw his withdraw. He only changed the heading.

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  3. Hello Steven,

    Steven: The motion Mr. Bowdoin filed yesterday is the exact word for word copy of the pro se motion he filed February 27, 2009, to withdraw his withdraw. He only changed the heading.

    Thanks for your comment. It does appear largely to be a mirror filing — except yesterday’s motion appears to make additional use of bold type.

    Patrick

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  4. Patrick,

    It would be more surprising if Andy had not filed this motion for 99% of the assets after having previously filed a motion concerning 1% of the assets. Given that he had previously agreed to give up all claim to the assets with his January filing and at the same time pretty much agreed to not pursue those assets in the future, I wonder if these recent filings could eventually be classified under an obstruction of justice charge similar to what Curtis Richmond experience. I suppose adding in a few more criminal charges really won’t matter much to Andy giving his impending criminal liability and his age. These filings are highly unlikely to be successful, but in the meantime will cost the taxpayers money (Thanks Andy!!!!!) and delay the restitution process for ASD victims.

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  5. Hi Entertained,

    Entertained: It would be more surprising if Andy had not filed this motion for 99% of the assets after having previously filed a motion concerning 1% of the assets.

    Agreed. Odd thing is, though, that Andy appears to have believed he’d already filed for the 99 percent.

    What’s surprising to me is the apparent lack of any verified claim for the 1 percent — the Harris property, the Harris car, two other cars purchased with ASD proceeds, the marine equipment, the ASD computers.

    As you know, the December filing was separate from the August filing. I haven’t seen any consolidation order. As things stand, it still appears to be a separate litigation channel. Pointedly, George and Judy Harris have not made a claim for their own home or car.

    Entertained: Given that he had previously agreed to give up all claim to the assets with his January filing and at the same time pretty much agreed to not pursue those assets in the future, I wonder if these recent filings could eventually be classified under an obstruction of justice charge similar to what Curtis Richmond experience.

    Something such as this easily could result in sanctions. Richmond actually was charged with criminal contempt of court for threatening judges and convicted. Meanwhile, he was among a group ordered to pay almost $110,000 in RICO penalties for vexatious filings.

    It’s hard to imagine that any federal judge will permit a circus — not that judges in lower courts are any more inclined to permit circuses. If Judge Collyer orders the nonsense to stop and it continues, she easily could order appropriate sanctions.

    A missing link here is why Bowdoin, Garner and Busby haven’t been served with the RICO complaint — and how Bowdoin is managing to file pro se pleadings in one case while avoiding service in the other.

    Entertained: I suppose adding in a few more criminal charges really won’t matter much to Andy giving his impending criminal liability and his age. These filings are highly unlikely to be successful, but in the meantime will cost the taxpayers money (Thanks Andy!!!!!) and delay the restitution process for ASD victims.

    These are all points worth pondering, which is why Surf’s Up efforts to shill for Bowdoin are contemptible. The longer this goes on, the longer ASD members are denied a pro rata refund.

    Thanks for your comments, Entertained.

    Patrick

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  6. At what point do the ASD supporters begin to realize that Andy’s tactics are doing nothing other than delay the time frame for any potential partial return of funds to qualified ASD members to be accomplished.

    The facts are simple and all those on this board more legal savvy than me can further clarify: Andy is directly hurting those that he stole from by delaying any restitution resolution.

    Sad, sad. The man has no morals or ethics whatsoever.

    Clint

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  7. Let’s hope that the AG responds quickly to this and Judge Collyer sets a date to deal with it SOON.(And lets Akerman Senterfitt off the hook) All these delaying tactics by Andy Bowdoin are not helping the members recuperate any money and, as already pointed out, are wasting taxpayers money to boot.

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  8. Clint,

    Many of those supporters are trying to draw the ASD victims into other related Ponzi schemes (AVG, Biz Ad Splash, and others). They have no interest in stopping the continuation of the charade, since they were “winners” in ASD and intend on being “winners” in the new scams. As for Andy, he’s already well established his lack of conscience, so this is just a continuing saga. Further, he’ll try anything at this point to a) Avoid spending his remaining years behind bars and b) Ensure that his heirs are wealthy. After all, every nickel he currently owns came from the victims — why should he care if he spends more of the victims’ money? More shocking are the big losers in ASD still professing belief in Andy and the Ponzi business model — it’s the Evil Government’s fault!!!!!!!!

    Clint: At what point do the ASD supporters begin to realize that Andy’s tactics are doing nothing other than delay the time frame for any potential partial return of funds to qualified ASD members to be accomplished.The facts are simple and all those on this board more legal savvy than me can further clarify: Andy is directly hurting those that he stole from by delaying any restitution resolution.Sad, sad. The man has no morals or ethics whatsoever.Clint

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  9. alasycia: Let’s hope that the AG responds quickly to this and Judge Collyer sets a date to deal with it SOON.(And lets Akerman Senterfitt off the hook) All these delaying tactics by Andy Bowdoin are not helping the members recuperate any money and, as already pointed out, are wasting taxpayers money to boot.

    I’m not so ready to let Akermen Senterfitt off so easy. While I will agree that everyone deserves legal counsel, and I’m sure they were under pressure from their client to proceed as they did, the “Emergency Motion” was a farce and under those circumstances I would not have taken Andy on as a client were I practicing law. Certainly the motion itself was one they could hardly expect to be taken seriously and my opinion is an attorney needs to make it clear to a client what can and cannot be expected. Filing it as a delaying tactic to gather themselves for a criminal defense, maybe, but still, it was a filing that should have never been written. They participated in this circus and since they didn’t manage to get there client to see reality in the beginning, they share some responsibility for his delusions now. If it were me, I would have told him day one, “Look, you’re out in the breeze on this, but the good news is if you don’t put up a fight and walk away from them money, you just might avoid prison, and if you fight this very hard, you’ll spend the rest of your life locked up”
    And I think that in January, they finally made that sink in, or so they thought.
    The Secret Service involvement changes a lot of things, as I said when they first seized the money, this is WAY different than the CEP case. In that case, the SEC (which cannot file criminal charges, they must refer them to the Justice Department or another agency if they want a criminal charge) seized not the assets, but the business corporate entity, under a consent decree, and as outlandish as it seems, Trevor and Clayton may yet avoid criminal prosecution, and Charis Johnson of 2 Daily Pro fame might also. But in both of those cases, they didn’t put up much of a fight, the money was surrendered and in CEPs case, enough good information in the records to make going after the participants too.
    In this case, the involvement of the Secret Service and the Justice Department was a sign that criminal prosecution was almost certain, and they didn’t seize the business, just the “proceeds of criminal conduct” which is another giveaway that they are looking to put people in jail.

    Sorry, I seem to have rambled off on a few tangents, but to get back on point, if Andy’s lawyers had been a little better at client control, this might have been a lot easier on everyone, Andy included. As it is now, I really expect them to drop the hammer on him. In theory, they could charge him with a count of wire fraud for every transaction that went out via a payment processor, bank fraud for every deposit customers made to BofA, a money laundering charge for almost every transaction going either way…the indictments could leave Andy facing a possible sentence of several hundred years, in which case, pleading down to one or two 10 year sentences would be the best he could hope for. The US Attorney doesn’t need to plea this one out for any reason other than to save some paperwork, at his age, Andy is looking at a life sentence even after a plea agreement. Maybe he can keep some of his family members out of jail, but that’s about the best he can hope for, or so it looks from out the firing slit here in the Bunker.

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