BREAKING NEWS: Feds Post Bowdoin Home, Publish Forfeiture Notice; Pressure Mounts On Alleged Ponzi Operator

The government has published an official notice that it intends to seek the forfeiture of 8 Gilcrease Lane, Quincy, Fla. — the home AdSurfDaily President Andy Bowdoin last was known to be living in.

U.S. Secret Service agents completed a “post & walk” of the home last month, and the government now has advertised the pending forfeiture, according to documents.

Forfeiture.gov, the official government website for forfeitures, listed the property on Wednesday. It is unclear if Bowdoin was living in the home at the time. The Secret Service posting included a “Notice of Complaint” and a copy of the complaint against the property, according to court filings this week. The home was targeted for forfeiture in August. Prosecutors said it was part of the proceeds of a criminal enterprise.

Mystery Deepens As Pressure Mounts

Bowdoin has not responded to a racketeering lawsuit filed against him in January by three ASD members who seek class-action certification. The plaintiffs in the RICO case have said in court filings that they have been unable to perfect service of the complaint. Bowdoin’s former paid attorneys said in April court filings that his last known address was 8 Gilcrease Lane.

Why Bowdoin has not responded to the RICO complaint remains unclear.

The Gilcrease Lane home is in the name of Bowdoin/Harris Enterprises, which prosecutors said was a entity set up to permit Bowdoin and his wife, Edna Faye Bowdoin, to hide assets.

Prosecutors said George Harris, Edna Faye Bowdoin’s son and Andy Bowdoin’s stepson, helped his mother set up a bank account in the name of Bowdoin/Harris Enterprises last summer.

More than $177,000 in funds derived from ASD was deposited in the account on June 10, 2008. On June 23, 2008, Harris used more than $157,000 of the deposit to pay off the Tallahassee home he shared with his wife, Judy Harris, prosecutors said.

ASD Ties To AdViewGlobal

Harris is listed as a trustee for AdViewGlobal (AVG), a surf firm with close ties to ASD. The government filed a forfeiture complaint against the Harris home in December. Bowdoin never told members about the December complaint. In January, he submitted to the forfeiture of tens of millions of dollars seized in August, but again didn’t tell members.

In late February — at the same time Bowdoin resurfaced after more than two months of silence and began to file pro se pleadings in the August case without consulting with his paid attorneys — AVG introduced members to Pro Advocate Group, a company that says it can help people practice law without a license.

Bowdoin said in court filings that he changed his mind about submitting to the forfeiture. In March, he advised members through the Pro-ASD Surf’s Up forum that he had fired his attorneys and had changed his mind about giving up the money after consulting with a “group” to which he’d been introduced by ASD members.

Prosecutors countered by saying Bowdoin had signed a proffer letter in the case and had acknowledged to law enforcement that ASD had been operating illegally. The government did not disclose the contents of the letter or the date upon which Bowdoin had signed it.

Proffer letters sometimes mean the one who proffers seeks to minimize exposure while providing information helpful in the prosecution of others.

AVG’s prelaunch was under way on Dec. 19, the date prosecutors filed the second forfeiture complaint against assets tied to ASD. The assets included the Harris home, a building in Quincy for which Bowdoin had paid $800,000 cash, three automobiles (including one registered to Harris and his wife), an assortment of marine equipment and personal computers.

The December forfeiture complaint does not reference AVG, but a large section of the complaint details how Bowdoin allegedly started one autosurf site (ASD) and ported members owed money when the surf failed to a new site (ASD Cash Generator) — without telling new members their money was being used to pay off members of the original site.

One of the early promoters’ suggestions about AVG was that ASD accounts could be ported to AVG. If this occurred, in whole or in part, it would have reflected the process ASD used when morphing into ASD Cash Generator.

Although AVG expressly denied any affiliation with Bowdoin and ASD in a disclaimer published on its website, the company later announced in articles of association that Harris was a trustee. A previous announcement identified Gary Talbert as its chief executive officer. Talbert is a former ASD executive. AVG also listed Nate Boyd, whom ASD members described as a former ASD employee, as “protector” of the AVG association, which also is known as AVGA.

Meanwhile, the company issued a news release identifying Chuck Osmin, a former ASD employee who had testified on behalf of ASD last fall, as an AVG employee. Some Mods and members of Surf’s Up started a forum for AVG.

On March 20, AVG issued an announcement that Talbert had resigned as chief executive officer. On March 23, AVG announced that its bank account had been suspended. On May 4, AVG announced it had a deal that would enable members to pay for “advertising” via international wire transfer. Three days later, on May 7, one of the companies AVG had cited as being a participant in the transfers denied it had any business relationship with AVG and said it believed it had been targeted in a scam.

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