Judge Gives Plaintiffs More Time To Respond To Robert Garner In AdSurfDaily RICO Case, But Says They Missed Filing Date For Response To Golden Panda’s Clarence Busby

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story about filings in a racketeering lawsuit against AdSurfDaily President Andy Bowdoin, ASD attorney Robert Garner and Golden Panda Ad Builder President Clarence Busby also includes an update on a lawsuit filed last year against ASD by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. The information is under a subhead below.

Although U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer yesterday granted a motion plaintiffs filed for more time to respond to Robert Garner’s motion to be dismissed as a defendant in a racketeering lawsuit, she advised the plaintiffs that they had missed a May 26 filing deadline to respond to Clarence Busby’s motions to be dismissed as a defendant.

Collyer ordered the plaintiffs to show cause why Busby’s motion should not be granted, giving them until June 19 to do so.

Busby was the president of Golden Panda Ad Builder. Garner was an attorney for AdSurfDaily.

The judge had denied a motion by the plaintiffs earlier this week for more time to respond to Garner’s dismissal motion for “failure to cite good cause.” The plaintiffs filed an amended motion, which Collyer granted yesterday.

A response to Garner’s dismissal motion now is due July 9. Attorney’s for the plaintiffs said they agreed to examine “whether or not to voluntarily dismiss [Garner] from the proceeding” prior to the new filing deadline.

Earlier in the week Collyer denied motions by the plaintiffs to formally add two attorneys to the case, for “failure to confer with all opposing counsel.”

ASD President Andy Bowdoin also is a RICO defendant. He has not responded to the lawsuit.

In a separate case filed by the government last year against assets tied to ASD and Golden Panda amid allegations of wire fraud, money-laundering, selling unregistered securities and operating a Ponzi scheme, prosecutors seized more than $65 million from Bowdoin-controlled bank accounts  and more than $14 million from Busby-controlled accounts.

Busby, a minister who also is in the real-estate business and was implicated by the SEC in a prime-bank scheme in the 1990s, submitted to the forfeiture in September.

Bowdoin submitted to the forfeiture in January, but now says he changed his mind after meeting with a “group” and wants to re-contest it. Golden Panda amassed the $14 million sum in only days, and ASD amassed the $65 million sum in only weeks.

Busby’s attorney — Jonathan W. Emord of Clifton, Va. — said in court filings that claims against “Rev. Busby are precluded by the United States’ civil forfeiture action under the doctrine of res judicata.

“Plaintiffs are barred from relitigating issues resolved against Busby on behalf of the United States and all residents, citizens, and taxpayers concerning matters adjudicated which are of public interest,” Emord argued.

In essence, the argument holds that, since Busby already has submitted to the forfeiture of funds and the government is establishing a mechanism for refunds, the RICO litigants already have a remedy.

Garner, meanwhile, argued that the court lacks jurisdiction over him in the case. He is representing himself in the RICO action, although court filings suggest he also has paid professional counsel working behind the scenes.

Florida Case Against Bowdoin At Standstill

Why Bowdoin hasn’t responded to the RICO lawsuit is unclear. Also unclear is why there has been no public action since Jan. 6 in a lawsuit filed against Bowdoin and his wife, Edna Faye Bowdoin, by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum.

Federal prosecutors said in April that Bowdoin had signed a proffer letter in the federal case and acknowledged that ASD was operating illegally. Proffer letters sometimes mean that the one who proffers has agreed to provide the government information that is helpful in the prosecution of others.

After signing the proffer letter, Bowdoin submitted to the forfeiture in January. Several weeks later, in late February, Bowdoin consulted with what he described as a “group” and began to file pro se court pleadings in the federal case.

One day after Bowdoin signed his first pro-se pleading on Feb. 25, the AdViewGlobal (AVG) autosurf introduced members to Pro Advocate Group, which says it can help people practice law without a license and help companies form “private membership associations.”

AVG now is operating as such an association.

Pro Advocate Group, which also pushes a “legal defense” for taxpayers and “private medical associations,” is associated with Karl Dahlstrom. Dahlstrom was convicted of securities fraud and sentenced to 78 months in federal prison in the 1990s.

Prosecutors said he bought automobiles with investors’ funds — something Bowdoin is accused of doing.

AVG has close family, management and promotional ties to ASD. Two of Bowdoin’s family members –  George Harris and his wife, Judy Harris — are trustees of the AVG private “association.”

George Harris is the son of Bowdoin’s wife, Edna Faye Bowdoin.

AVG, which earlier had disclaimed any ties to ASD, now describes itself as a full-fledged advertising and communications company with a host of services.

But the company has not explained how having ties to Bowdoin family members, friends and promoters is helpful for business, given twin forfeiture cases by the government against assets tied to ASD, the RICO case filed by ASD members and McCollum’s Florida case.

In December — in an action separate from an August forfeiture filing by the federal government and McCollum’s August lawsuit — federal prosecutors filed a second forfeiture complaint against assets tied to ASD.

Among other things, the December complaint alleged that Edna Faye Bowdoin and George Harris opened a checking account with nearly $180,000 in illegal proceeds from ASD. George Harris used more than $157,000 of the deposit to pay off the mortgage on the Tallahassee home he shared with his wife, prosecutors said.

George and Judy Harris also acquired an automobile with illegal proceeds from ASD, prosecutors said.

Last year, Bowdoin announced to ASD members that “Ponzi” allegations in the Florida case had been dropped. The announcement caused ASD members to race to online forums to share the good news, but proved to be false.

McCollum’s office issued a statement denying Bowdoin’s assertions, saying Ponzi allegations hadn’t even been brought against ASD in Florida.

Rather, McCollum’s office said, the state had accused ASD of operating a Pyramid scheme.

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