BREAKING NEWS: Bank Of America Granted Motion To Stay Case In Which Plaintiffs Said It Aided And Abetted Racketeers Running Florida Ponzi Scheme From A Former Flower Shop

A federal judge has granted a motion by Bank of America to stay a case in which it was alleged to have aided and abetted racketeers operating a Ponzi scheme from a former flower shop in Quincy, Fla.

The bank was not named a RICO defendant in the lawsuit, which was filed by members of AdSurfDaily Inc. Rather, the bank was alleged to have aided and abetted RICO defendants Andy Bowdoin, Robert Garner and unnamed others in a fraudulent scheme.

“The Bank has shown good cause for a stay,” U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer said in an order late today.

“First, distribution of funds in the civil forfeiture case may moot at least a portion of Plaintiffs’ claims for monetary recovery here,” Collyer said. “Second, in the civil forfeiture case the government has seized numerous documents that are necessary for discovery in this matter.”

Among other things, Bank of America argued that some people made money in ASD and that the government is sifting through records and has a plan to provide restitution to victims of the alleged ASD scheme.

Collyer’s order stayed the RICO case indefinitely. A separate case against assets tied to AdSurfDaily filed by the government is proceeding on a separate track.

It was a busy day for Collyer. First, the judge ordered Andy Bowdoin, AdSurfDaily Inc. and Bowdoin/Harris Enterprises Inc. to show cause by Aug. 7 why a series of motions filed by Bowdoin as a pro se litigant should not be denied.

Collyer noted in the order that Charles A. Murray, a paid attorney Bowdoin had hired after Bowdoin was advised months ago that a corporation could not proceed pro se, has not followed up on initial pleadings.

Neither Bowdoin nor Murray has followed up since May, Collyer noted. Bowdoin initially submitted to the forfeiture, formally asking the court for permission to do so in January and saying he would not open a new challenge for the money. Collyer granted Bowdoin’s request.

About five weeks later, however, Bowdoin said he’d changed his mind about submitting to the forfeiture and began to file as a pro se litigant. In a letter published on the Pro-ASD Surf’s Up forum, Bowdoin blamed his initial group of lawyers for ineffective counsel, saying a “group” of members who had reviewed his case had recommended a different approach.

Bowdoin proceeded as his own attorney, signing his first pro se pleading Feb. 25. At the same time, the AdViewGlobal (AVG) autosurf — which has close Bowdoin family, membership and promoters’ ties — said it was transitioning into a “private association.”

Also today, Collyer issued an order that formalized the forfeiture of more than $14 million from Golden Panda Ad Builder, a firm associated with Clarence Busby. At one time, Busby was a RICO defendant in the lawsuit filed by the ASD members, but the plaintiffs dismissed the case against him.

In court filings, Busby said Bowdoin unexpectedly asked him to form Golden Panda Ad Builder during a fishing outing on a Georgia lake in April 2008. In only weeks of operation — including prelaunch — Golden Panda rocketed to nearly 20,000 members.

Just prior to the formal July launch of Golden Panda, members became aware that Busby had been implicated by the SEC in three prime-bank schemes that promised enormous returns during the 1990s. During the same time period, Bowdoin announced that he was too busy with ASD to serve as president of Golden Panda, saying Busby was uniquely in charge of Golden Panda’s operations.

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17 Responses to “BREAKING NEWS: Bank Of America Granted Motion To Stay Case In Which Plaintiffs Said It Aided And Abetted Racketeers Running Florida Ponzi Scheme From A Former Flower Shop”

  1. “Among other things, Bank of America argued that some people made money in ASD and that the government is sifting through records and has a plan to provide restitution to victims of the alleged ASD scheme.”

    By the Way, I funded with a cashiers check from Bank Of America 3 weeks prior the siezure of ASD. ASD received my funds, and I was able to convert my cash balance to ad pacs. The very next day, the government closed the ASD site…

    I suspect, my cashier’s check being one of the thousands the FBI confiscated from the boxes in the ASD office and later deposited into the governments account.

    I also believe, the government should have returned all those checks not yet deposited into the ASD account. Maybe hold as evidence until the case ruling, but not deposit them!

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  2. Steve: I also believe, the government should have returned all those checks not yet deposited into the ASD account. Maybe hold as evidence until the case ruling, but not deposit them!

    They are required by law to deposit them, and clearly signaled their intention to do so in the initial civil forfeiture complaint, which, as we now know, was submitted to, and signed off by Judge Collyer.

    “The funds seized from the BoA accounts will be held in a US Treasury account pending their forfeiture” (ASD civil complaint Forfeiture in Rem #7)

    US banking and postal regulations are very clear on the fact that money/s “in transit” at the time of a civil forfeiture are considered to be the property of the recipient.

    Once again, people should blame Unca Andy who is wholly and solely responsible for what’s happened, NOT the people carrying out their sworn duties.

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  3. littleroundman,

    “They are required by law to deposit them, and clearly signaled their intention to do so in the initial civil forfeiture complaint, which, as we now know, was submitted to, and signed off by Judge Collyer.”

    This law needs to be ammended then.. Here’s an analogy:

    Your at travel kiosk in your local mall. They offer incredible deals! You take the 4 member family round trip plan to Hawaii for only $500. Then suudenly after you write the merchant a check, the police shut him down on the spot… You tell the police you just gave him a check, and they say, Sorry, we have to hold the check for evidence..

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  4. No Steve, the analogy is not right. A check can be stopped at the bank if it has not been cashed. You sent a bank check/cashiers check which is the same as sending cash. It stops being your property when you take it out and belongs to the recipient from that moment. ASD used to take personal cheques, but stopped this process at the same time as they stopped taking cash payments (though they continued to accept money orders).

    In any event if the scenario that happened was as you described, you would also take action for fraud against the travel agent. It has been suggested that people take action against Andy Bowdoin too, but some people still dont seem to understand why he is equally guilty as the travel agent in your example.

    As a side note, all those millions taken in cash at rallies may help some rather blind members to understand why, apart from moving money offshore, ASD has been charged with money laundering, because you can bet your boots that there are no paying in slips with BoA for these cash sums.

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  5. Steve: littleroundman,“They are required by law to deposit them, and clearly signaled their intention to do so in the initial civil forfeiture complaint, which, as we now know, was submitted to, and signed off by Judge Collyer.”This law needs to be ammended then.. Here’s an analogy:Your at travel kiosk in your local mall. They offer incredible deals!You take the 4 member family round trip plan to Hawaii for only $500. Then suudenly after you write the merchant a check, the police shut him down on the spot…You tell the police you just gave him a check, and they say, Sorry, we have to hold the check for evidence..

    Not quite. Selling trips to Hawaii is a legal activity. Ponzi’s are not.

    If you pay for your ticket to Hawaii and the airline heads to bankruptcy court, you will likely be one of the unsecured creditors. If you are in Hawaii when it happens, you are SOL and will have to pay for your return, at the going walk up rate. Some other airline may take pity on you and offer you a deal, hoping for your loyalty in the future but they have no obligation to do so. I would hope you are aware of this before you plunk down cash on a trip…..but you can buy trip insurance which should fully cover the trip and any of your costs if the policy is properly written.

    Just because you are Steve doesn’t mean you get to pull something out of your ear and make it reality.

    As for Ponzi’s, you are more in the realm of having paid for stolen property and the burglar stiffs you. No only don’t you get your goods, but depending on the circumstances, you could be on the pointy end of the stick….especially since you state this is not your first foray into this “industry”.

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  6. Better analogy, the travel agency files bankruptcy the next day. You’re money is caught up in the bankruptcy estate for as long as it takes and you get back a fraction of what you paid. It sucks, but the law has to be that way, there has to be a cutoff point somewhere, and as it is, it’s when the customer commits funds. Any other date is arbitrary. What do you think, should it be the day before? The week? A month? The only cutoff that makes sense is for all of it to be included.

    Steve: littleroundman,“They are required by law to deposit them, and clearly signaled their intention to do so in the initial civil forfeiture complaint, which, as we now know, was submitted to, and signed off by Judge Collyer.”This law needs to be ammended then.. Here’s an analogy:Your at travel kiosk in your local mall. They offer incredible deals!You take the 4 member family round trip plan to Hawaii for only $500. Then suudenly after you write the merchant a check, the police shut him down on the spot…You tell the police you just gave him a check, and they say, Sorry, we have to hold the check for evidence..

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  7. alasycia,

    “No Steve, the analogy is not right. A check can be stopped at the bank if it has not been cashed. You sent a bank check/cashiers check which is the same as sending cash. It stops being your property when you take it out and belongs to the recipient from that moment. ASD used to take personal cheques, but stopped this process at the same time as they stopped taking cash payments (though they continued to accept money orders).”

    Geezzz alasycia, I was just making an example.. Yes it was not thought out.. Sorry that i didn’t say, “I purchased it with cash or a cashier’s check…” but you can see my point

    I can’t ammend the statement, or I would change it to cash.

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  8. As for Ponzi’s, you are more in the realm of having paid for stolen property and the burglar stiffs you. No only don’t you get your goods, but depending on the circumstances, you could be on the pointy end of the stick….especially since you state this is not your first foray into this “industry”.

    DB, as always you have expressed it far more clearly than I did. You have hit the nail firmly on the head.

    And Steve, there’s no need to be sarcastic, there are many people who do not understand the difference between a personal check and a cashiers check. For this reason, many were very distressed not to be able to put a stop on the ones they paid to ASD. In the case of ASD, all the Gov did was follow the law and put the cashiers checks belonging to Andy Bowdoin into a safe holding account.

    You have reminded me on one thing. When ASD supposedly took some more checks that they found “unseized” by the Secret Service to Talahassee, the story goes that they were told to return them to their owners. As far as I am aware of, they never did.

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  9. DirtyBird,

    “Not quite. Selling trips to Hawaii is a legal activity. Ponzi’s are not.”

    I agree Ponzi’s are illegal and selling trips to Hawaii might be legal. But, 80 percent or more of the members that funded ASD had no Idea it was a ponzi… I didn’t. but then again, I was ignorant to ponzi programs at that time like most others…

    I can easily recognise any ponzi program today.

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  10. alasycia,

    “And Steve, there’s no need to be sarcastic, there are many people who do not understand the difference between a personal check and a cashiers check. For this reason, many were very distressed not to be able to put a stop on the ones they paid to ASD. In the case of ASD, all the Gov did was follow the law and put the cashiers checks belonging to Andy Bowdoin into a safe holding account. ”

    I wasn’t being sarcastic, you are… You knew my point, but felt you had to be one up on me and state,”there are many people who do not understand the difference between a personal check and a cashiers check.”

    I’ll make sure next time I post something, I’ll get it approved by congress before your inspection.

    Any good coupons today in the Sunday paper?

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  11. Wrong assumption Steve, I wasnt being sarcastic at all and even explained why. Sorry you took it like that.

    (By the way I am sorry to read of your contempt for the people who use the coupons? Not everyone can afford to pass on them, more’s the pity)

    And this is getting WAY off topic. Sorry Patrick. lol

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  12. alasycia,

    “(By the way I am sorry to read of your contempt for the people who use the coupons? Not everyone can afford to pass on them, more’s the pity)”

    Again alasycia, your continued direction of ridicule at me does not surprize me. I have read many of your replies to others, and you always dig..

    You had to add, “more’s the pity” didn’t you?

    You can dig at me all you want, I have no coupons for you..

    And yes, about 75% of replies to Patrick’s Postings are derailed from desultory attacks regarding specific lines or words in the posting..

    Let’s keep this focused on Bank of America.

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  13. Steve: And yes, about 75% of replies to Patrick’s Postings are derailed from desultory attacks regarding specific lines or words in the posting..

    And, as much as you seem to refuse to admit it, Steve, there’s an extremely good reason for that.

    “Specific lines” and “words” are the tools by which professional fraudsters of the ilk of Bowdoin, Busby and co survive, and, indeed, thrive.

    That there exists people who have no knowledge of the inherent dangers involved in using cashiers cheques, Western Union type money transfers and “under the radar” payment processors are what keeps the Bowdoins and Busbys of this world in busines

    YOU may well be of the “it serves them right,””all’s fair when it comes to money” or “it’s the American way” schools of thought. It certainly sometimes appears that way.

    However, there are others around who actually DO care about the well being of their fellow man enough to use whatever knowledge and experience they have to point out the “science” and language of fraudsters.

    If it requires resorting to sarcasm to achieve those ends………well, you know the rest.

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  14. Good point LRM. It is the language used by Bowdoin & Co, and used by Mrs. V (V-Lane) and all the others that is the key to convincing people to take the decision to invest in these schemes.

    Steve may consider it sarcasm, but there is a tremendous difference between a personal check and a cashiers check. Had people been able to pay by personal check (as they had been able to do previously) a very large number of those uncashed cheques would surely have been stopped by their senders as soon as the raid took place. But because they were cashiers checks, they were unable to do so. Equally, they would have noticed that they had not been cashed for weeks on end that in itself would have raised some questions as people assumed that they had at least been banked. (Some of us even thought that they would have been put on “overnight money” lol)

    I am surprised that Bowdoin & Co gave into the pressure of a credit card system (because of the risk of charge-backs), but maybe they felt comfortable with the half million deposit, knowing that they could take in (and withdraw) that sum several times over to compensate for any losses due to charge-backs. A normal credit card facility would certainly have brought impatient members flowing in in their thousands, at least for a while. We now know that, even if he had wanted to, Andy Bowdoin could not have had a merchant account in the US because of his felony record.

    Yes LRM the language, of which lies are made, is a critical issue for all businesses, scams or not, especially in the selling of products and services (or scams). Bob Cefails “courses” for ASD members concentrated on that aspect to a great degree – the selling tricks., where a turn of phrase can make or break a sale.

    On the internet, where transactions are never made face to face, language plays an even greater part that it does off line and is even more critical. It was the home spun “howdy Folks” of Andy Bowdoin that convinced many. We see a different home spun and sincere concern for late entrants to earn on ad-ventures to you. The list is endless. Even Steve’s friend, Patrick Moriarty, implied he was a tax professor and whilst it might not matter to some, to many it was the critical factor in believing that he had a reasonable solution for ASD members. Busby’s language and title of Preacher….the list is endless.

    The language used by all of us when promoting ASD; the language of The Joy Luck Club site; the language here – these are all critical issues when we are asking people to believe us. The language we use in our posts on the internet is also something that we need to use with care. What we write in a careless moment can come back and bite us and noone is immune.

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  15. alasycia: the language of The Joy Luck Club site

    It’s interesting you should make mention of the language used on such sites, Alasycia.

    I was just today re reading the words of internationally known lawyer and author, Robert Townsend.

    Mr Townsend gives some strongly worded warnings about the risks involved in becoming what can be legally construed as “agents” or “brokers” or “representatives” of any of these HYIP ponzi “autosurfs”

    I would recommend ANYONE associated with such a site who for one second thinks they will be judged as mere innocent victims of these frauds, read his expert comments thoroughly, while remembering:

    1) Unlike the ASD case, “autosurfs” have previously been prosecuted by the SEC and ARE treated as securities violations.

    2) Website owners who promote and accept ANY “commissions” for doing so move into an entirely different category of rights, responsibilities, potential legal difficulties AND potential penalties.

    3) The double whammy of both promoting and accepting commission/s for doing do completely nullify the “innocent victim” claim. Any charges would likely be prefaced with the words “knew OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN”

    4) Will such “promoters” in the ASD case face prosecution ??? Given the history of such cases, probably not. HOWEVER, as Mr Townsend so clearly points out:

    “Every day, many well intentioned intermediaries and investors ignore the laws (or are ignorant of the laws) and end up as “defendants”, because they naively rely on the ill-advised representations of others (whom are often equally well intentioned and ill advised, as well)”

    People should NOT assume such things can’t or don’t happen. They happen with surprising regularity, but are often overshadowed by events associated with the “main event”

    Read Mr Townsends’ advice here: http://townlaw.netfirms.com/english/securities.htm

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  16. alasycia: but maybe they felt comfortable with the half million deposit,

    It only made ASD more of a Ponzi — as did ALL compensation paid employees, regardless of the form of compensation. The worst, in my view, was compensation in “ad packs.” The entire weight of paying for the “earnings” potential of ad packs was turned over to the rank-and-file.

    Same thing with Andy’s “donation” of 100,000 ad packs to a charity. That donation alone came with a minimum liability of approximately $265,000 — and that’s discounting the return of the value of $100,000 for the donated ad packs. That “donation” resulted in the charity being paid about $7,000 an hour for surfing.

    Also: Prosecutors say the $1 million or so in Antigua — $500,000 of which Andy said was a deposit to enable credit-card processing — was in an account in a different name. They know that because Andy told them.

    The different name hasn’t been revealed. To the best of my knowledge, none of the money in Antigua was repatriated. Neither was the money in Canada.

    Of course, the alleged Stanford Ponzi took place in Antigua AFTER the forfeiture complaint against ASD. If you noticed, some of the surfs began having problems with offshore payment processors after the Stanford allegations surfaced. The ripple effects were felt across the Caribbean and into Central America and South America.

    Patrick

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  17. Here ya go,

    for anyone who STILL doesn’t believe how these investigations work, how seriously the DoJ investigators requests for secrecy are taken by responsible agencies and how long the investigation s can (and do) take:

    Watchdog: SEC fulfilled duty in Stanford case

    By MARCY GORDON (AP) – 13 hours ago

    WASHINGTON — THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION HAD BEEN ACTIVELY INVESTIGATING THE BANKING BUSINESS OF BILLIONAIRE R. ALLEN STANFORD FOR MORE THAN THREE YEARS before Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme came to light last December and has fulfilled its duty to pursue alleged wrongdoing by the financier, the agency’s inspector general has found.

    THE SEC’S DECISION TO HALT ITS INVESTIGATION OF STANFORD IN APRIL 2008 CAME IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST BY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, AND THE AGENCY DIDN’T BREACH ITS OBLIGATION,according to a report by the office of Inspector General David Kotz.

    read the entire article here: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i4DMZTVVtSsbjahiYXSwCl1rYaYQD99NQH5O0

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