EDITORIAL: Bowdoin’s Public Support Largely Has Vanished

Andy Bowdoin

Andy Bowdoin

In 2006 and 2007, AdSurfDaily Inc. used the services of Virtual Money Inc., a debit-card provider accused last year of laundering money for a major narco business in Medellin, Colombia.

ASD also has been linked to the CEP Ponzi scheme, the PhoenixSurf Ponzi scheme (which also used Virtual Money debit cards), the 12DailyPro Ponzi scheme and e-Gold, which was indicted and convicted of money-laundering.

ASD President Andy Bowdoin also has been linked to a little-known (and now gone) enterprise known as DailyProSurf, which preceded ASD and used two of the three words that comprised the title of the infamous 12DailyPro Ponzi scheme — and, as it turned out, one of two words that comprised the title of the infamous PhoenixSurf Ponzi scheme.

Earlier this year Bowdoin appeared in a video pitch for a purported surf known as PaperlessAccess. It was a way for ASD members to get their money back, he explained. The Pro-ASD Surf’s Up forum later explained that PaperlessAccess has misrepresented itself to Bowdoin. Some people observed that PaperlessAccess appeared to be using the same surf script ASD used — and the same database.

Bowdoin’s public support largely has evaporated. Although he continues to have apologists willing to twist facts and conflate new realities to explain away every bit of bad news — including people who cling to a fantasy that ASD can demonstrate it was not a Ponzi scheme — his remaining loyalists long ago lost the PR battle. “Evil government” never was much of an argument, mostly because people generally support the police. Bowdoin himself exposed the fallaciousness when he acknowledged ASD was operating illegally.

The court already has rejected one argument advanced by an ASD expert witness, ruling that attorney Gerald Nehra had “demonstrated the fallibilities of the professional expert witness, who was defensive on his client’s behalf rather than neutral in his expertise.”

Among the problems with Nehra’s testimony at an evidentiary hearing last fall, the judge said, was that it contradicted the testimony of other ASD witnesses and “relied solely on the written words contained in the Terms of Service without independent investigation or review of ASD’s business records to ascertain how ASD operates in fact before opining.”

Keith B. Laggos, another expert ASD reportedly has on its side, had problems with the SEC for publishing “laudatory” press releases and a “laudatory article” about a company without disclosing he was being compensated by the company.

“[T]he final judgment entered against Laggos provides for disgorgement of $11,989.87, plus prejudgment interest in the amount of $1,996.77, for a total of $13,986.64; the imposition of a civil penalty of $19,500; and a five-year penny stock bar,” the SEC said in 2005.

Moreover, some ASD promoters have been linked to any number of failed schemes, including MegaLido, Noobing and Regenesis 2×2, which now is under investigation by the U.S. Secret Service in Washington state. One of the purported Regenesis principals was released from federal prison only in January, after serving time in a previous fraud scheme.

Larry Cook, the receiver in a fraud case against Noobing’s parent company, Affiliate Strategies Inc., said in court filings Thursday that the company and affiliated companies were broke.

In the early stages, it has been hard to get a fix on finances because “several thousand intercompany transfers” occurred, Cook said, adding that “for at least all of 2009, Defendants operated only by signing up new victims faster than the old victims could obtain refunds.”

Some ASD promoters, of course, also pitched BizAdSplash (BAS) — even though “chief consultant” Clarence Busby operated Golden Panda Ad Builder, whose assets ($14 million) were seized in the ASD probe. BAS currently is paying no one. Neither is AdGateWorld (AGW), another surf pitched by ASD members. ASD’s name once appeared in the AGW Terms of Service.

If that were not enough, members now say that ASD President Andy Bowdoin was the silent head of AdViewGlobal (AVG), which suspended cashouts June 25, closed its forum, announced it was keeping all money sent in by members under a “rebates aren’t guaranteed” clause and conducting an audit of itself.

AVG recently announced it had reported the theft of $2.7 million to state and federal authorities. The announcement was made one day after ASD announced in court filings that it was negotiating with federal prosecutors.

Bowdoin, who also has been named a defendant in a racketeering lawsuit but has not responded to the complaint, even acknowledged in his own court filings that ASD was operating illegally, claiming the government had an extraordinary duty to inform him that what he was doing was breaking the law.

AVG launched despite ASD’s unresolved legal nightmare, which leads to questions about whether Bowdoin also believed the government had an extraordinary duty to tell him that AVG was illegal.

The ASD case is strange by any standard one chooses to apply, including the incongruous standards of the autosurf world. At various times it has featured court filings by Curtis Richmond, a man associated with a group that declared itself a sovereign Indian tribe and organized its own Supreme Court, using the address of a Utah doughnut shop. The group derisively became known as the “Arby’s Indians” because it once held a meeting at an Arby’s in Provo.

Richmond and co-defendants in a Utah civil case were found by a federal judge last year to have engaged in racketeering in a scheme to destroy the credit of public officials involved in litigation against the tribe, which the judge ruled a “complete sham.”

Even jailed racketeer and former U.S. Rep. James Traficant became a side note in the ASD case, after some ASD members circulated this PDF in sympathy of his views on what they view as a banking and Federal Reserve conspiracy.

“Redeemable currency must promise to pay a dollar equivalent in gold or silver money,” Traficant was quoted as saying in 1993, before he was jailed.  “Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) make no such promises, and are not ‘money.'”

ASD-related litigation is not the only trouble that has dogged Bowdoin since the filing of the federal forfeiture case last August.  In December 2008 — in an unrelated case in Gadsden County, Fla. — a process server attempted unsuccessfully to serve Bowdoin with a lawsuit for an unpaid bill, and reported back to the court that “the address appears vacant.”

Bowdoin’s last known address was 8 Gilcrease Lane in Quincy, according to April court filings by his former attorneys. Bowdoin fired his attorneys and proceeded as a pro se litigant, but later was ordered to hire a new attorney.

Meanwhile, there has been virtually no public activity since early January in the case against Bowdoin filed last year by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, whom some ASD members said should be charged with Deceptive Trade Practices for suggesting ASD was illegal. The Florida case has been reassigned to different judges twice this year.

Bowdoin claimed last year that Ponzi allegations brought by McCollum had been dropped, which triggered ASD members to race to forums to share the good news and caused McCollum’s office to issue a statement denying that Ponzi allegations even had been brought in Florida. The Florida prosecution was brought as a pyramid scheme.

While it was awaiting a court ruling in October pertaining to the Ponzi allegations in federal court and the allegations that ASD had virtually no revenue other than fees paid by new members,  ASD suddenly announced it expected to receive a $200 million infusion from Praebius Communications, a penny-stock firm that publishes no financials.

Members were skeptical and said they’d try to confirm the story through Praebius, and ASD quickly removed the announcement from its Breaking News website — but not until other members once again had raced to forums to share good news that turned out to be disappointing news.

In the federal forfeiture case filed in August, Bowdoin ceded tens of millions of dollars to the federal government in mid-January, but signed a court document Feb. 25 saying he’d changed his mind and planned to continue to litigate as his own attorney.

Reduced screen shot of Bowdoin's sworn certification in a pro se pleading. Feb. 25 was the recorded date of the signature. A day earlier -- on Feb. 24 -- reports circulated that the Secret Service had seized the banks accounts of some individual ASD members. On Feb. 26, AVG announced it was switching to an "association" structure.

Reduced screen shot of Bowdoin's sworn certification in a pro se pleading. Feb. 25 was the recorded date of the signature. A day earlier -- on Feb. 24 -- reports circulated that the Secret Service had seized the banks accounts of some individual ASD members. On Feb. 26, AVG announced it was switching to an "association" structure.

Bowdoin signed the document one day after reports surfaced that the U.S. Secret Service had seized other bank accounts in the ASD case. On Feb. 26, one day after Bowdoin signed the first of his pro se pleadings, AVG announced it had consulted with Pro Advocate Group and was switching to an “association” structure.

Pro Advocate Group is associated with Karl Dahlstrom, who was convicted of securities fraud in the 1990s and sentenced to 78 months in federal prison. The “association” structure that emerged cited the U.S. Constitution as the document from which it derived its authority, but AVG said it was headquartered in Uruguay and its servers resolved to Panama.

AVG used U.S.-based Google services for communications, even though it had its own server. The likely reason for that was to preserve an ability to communicate in case the company’s servers were shut down.

ASD’s servers were shut down for spam and abuse last year. At least one domain associated with AVG — http://advglobal.com — has been shut down this year. A note in the domain data suggested the server was suspended for spam and abuse.

Beyond that, there is confusion over precisely who owns eWalletPlus, the online payment processor associated with AVG. Bowdoin was said to have paid $75,000 for eWalletPlus in November — the same month a federal judge ruled ASD had not demonstrated it was a legal business and not a Ponzi scheme — but at least three other companies or individuals have claimed to own the firm.

The situation is both a maze and amazing. A company known as Vana Blue Inc. that trades as a penny stock now has specifically disclaimed ownership of Karveck International — yet another name associated with AVG — and yet Vana Blue once boasted that it had acquired Karveck International, after earlier boasting it had acquired a company known as Karveck Corp.

Vana Blue also claimed to own TMS Corp., which had claimed to own eWalletPlus. Meanwhile,  an entity known as TMS Association also claimed to own eWalletPlus. A third entity — TMS  Corp. USA LLC — also has become part of the AVG alphabet soup.

Amid these bizarre circumstances, Andy Bowdoin’s support has collapsed — with the exception of a small universe of people eager to trot out a new conspiracy theory to deflect blame from the responsible parties.

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17 Responses to “EDITORIAL: Bowdoin’s Public Support Largely Has Vanished”

  1. Patrick, it was bound to happen at some point in this never ending story, people would finally wise up to the reality of being taken by a professional con-man. You do have to give Madoff credit for being a man and admitting his wrongdoing. I doubt that Uncle Andy ever will. No, I don’t mean his admissions in documents; I mean him telling the members himself, conference call or otherwise, that he’s a crook and he stole their money. After all, it was the government’s fault for not reminding him he that was operating an illegal enterprise. He can always blame it on his age and senility.

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  2. He may have lost the public’s support but he seems to have gained and “investigative reporter”.

    Patrick must be gnashing his teeth every time he sees that Mason won an Emmy and the Columbia award. It might even make him forget about the excessive use of exclamation points!

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  3. I have said from the very beginning of AVG that the biggest surprise Andy had was the huge number of ASD members that would not join AVG. I believed Andy and his step-kids thought AVG would bring back the glory days of ASD immediately. They thought their statements of denial that AVG had anything to do with ASD would save the day, but it totally backfired on them. When the masses didn’t join, they were stunned, and didn’t know what to do next.

    All those cards and letters of support went to Andy’s head. What he failed to realize is that it was a very small percentage of the total ASD membership that were sending them. But it fed his ego, so he blindly thought the total membership was still behind him.

    What was even more ridiculous was AVG was fighting over the same database of ASD members that AGW and BAS were fighting for to join their programs. Toss in the database being sold to others, and it boggles the imagination that AVG thought the masses would join AVG. Actually it boggles the imagination that BAS and AGW would think they could also attract the majority of ASD members competing against each other over the same membership database. Busby obviously forgot the people in Golden Panda were the same people in ASD. Incredible. Not exactly the brightest bulbs in the lamps understanding Marketing 101 from any of these ASD clones. So much for being an astute, visionary, and successful businessman hype.

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  4. Lynndel Edgington: But it fed his ego, so he blindly thought the total membership was still behind him.

    That’s an interesting point you bring up.

    One of the most often used misdirections used by HYIP ponzi and “autosurf” apologists and cheerleaders is a statement along the lines of “if this is a scam, why would (insert name of the scammer du jour here) stick around and risk prosecution and/or failure”

    The answer can be found in that one tiny little word used above: “ego”

    One should never underestimate how powerful and seductive the ego stroking mass adulation that fronting for a fraud the size of ASD / P.I.P.S. / 12DP / CEP brings.

    Given the current state of the “autosurf” scams mentioned, I wouldn’t mind wagering that Bowdoin, Marsden, Johnson and the others rue the day they allowed their ego/s to override the Scammers Handbook #1 rule and “get out while the going’s good”

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  5. Speaking of CJ, has she been charged yet? I have been over at the Receiver’s website. It is estimated that those with allowed claims will receive an approximately 30% distribution in the next months. The Receiver’s website will remain active until October. What about the promoters?

    With Wealth Pools, the Receiver has a pool of about 400k to distribute.

    Certain promoters in CEP have settled with the Receiver. I see no criminal charges against the principals, at least at this stage.

    It took years before Prater and the Marsdens finally had their day in court. I hope Andy’s justice is not delayed too much longer.

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  6. Reed and Kimbrell from the CEP scam have not been charged indeed. The receiver did a pitiful job in my estimation. He let people off for pennies on the dollar and the losers are going to take the hit. Its my understanding the authorities have up to 5 years to file charges and it has already been over 2 years. I am really ticked off about this.

    Not sure how Cep was connected with the ASD scam but maybe somebody could tell me.

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  7. Hello Flashlight,

    Flashlight: Not sure how Cep was connected with the ASD scam but maybe somebody could tell me.

    ASD advertised that it accepted CEP Trust, the failed payment processor associated with the CEP Ponzi scheme. At the same time, ASD advertised that it accepted e-Gold, later indicted and convicted of money-laundering, and Virtual Money, now implicated in an international money-laundering conspiracy involving ATMs and a drug operation in Medellin, Colombia.

    Patrick

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  8. Flashlight: Reed and Kimbrell from the CEP scam have not been charged indeed. The receiver did a pitiful job in my estimation. He let people off for pennies on the dollar and the losers are going to take the hit. Its my understanding the authorities have up to 5 years to file charges and it has already been over 2 years. I am really ticked off about this.

    NOW, perhaps people can understand why the Secret Service/IRS/DoJ found it necessary to handle the investigation, prosecution and aftermath of the AdSurf Daily fraud “in house” and why it became necessary to bypass the “securities violation” method of prosecution and move into “wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy” charges.

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  9. NOW, perhaps people can understand why the Secret Service/IRS/DoJ found it necessary to handle the investigation, prosecution and aftermath of the AdSurf Daily fraud “in house” and why it became necessary to bypass the “securities violation” method of prosecution and move into “wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy” charges.

    And lets hope that this is a good omen for the treatment of ponzi fraud in the future. It’s fast, unexpected and stops the monies involved from disappearing while charges are filed.

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  10. If you want this all to stop the feds must make big noise by putting some of the big winners in jail and make they lives misirable!!! freeze there asses off.
    I got on the email list of a top winner with ASD, then he was with AVGA, big winner again,and I know he was getting his info form the top. Then he moved to adventures4-U (what ever you know what I mean) and now somthing to do with paying a one time $275.00 that will recycle over and over again for $10,000.00 every 2 weeks or some bullshit like this.
    When he tried to recute me into AVGA. I took him “do you understand that the feds will freeze your accounts if it’s illegal?”
    he said “that’s why I’m opening a new checking account and will only use it one time so if the feds freeze me, there’ll be no money in it” I live in Minnesota any ideas to go after this one guy?

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  11. littleroundman:

    Flashlight: Reed and Kimbrell from the CEP scam have not been charged indeed. The receiver did a pitiful job in my estimation. He let people off for pennies on the dollar and the losers are going to take the hit. Its my understanding the authorities have up to 5 years to file charges and it has already been over 2 years. I am really ticked off about this.

    NOW, perhaps people can understand why the Secret Service/IRS/DoJ found it necessary to handle the investigation, prosecution and aftermath of the AdSurf Daily fraud “in house” and why it became necessary to bypass the “securities violation” method of prosecution and move into “wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy” charges.

    Bingo!

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  12. If you want this all to stop the feds must make big noise by putting some of the big winners in jail and make they lives misirable!!! freeze there asses off.
    I got on the email list of a top winner with ASD, then he was with AVGA, big winner again,and I know he was getting his info form the top. Then he moved to adventures4-U (what ever you know what I mean) and now somthing to do with paying a one time $275.00 that will recycle over and over again for $10,000.00 every 2 weeks or some bullshit like this.
    When he tried to recute me into AVGA. I took him “do you understand that the feds will freeze your accounts if it’s illegal?”
    he said “that’s why I’m opening a new checking account and will only use it one time so if the feds freeze me, there’ll be no money in it” I live in Minnesota any ideas to go after this one guy?

    Did this happen to be Shad Foss by chance? He was defending this scam all along knowing good and well what it was about. But, I agree, Foss, Ken Russo, Jake Amedee and a few others need to be tossed in jail for a nice long stay.

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  13. Flashlight and Sick of This,

    If you want to stop this nonsense you will have to start documenting it because those guys will walk unless their activities are documented.

    Email headers show where the email came from.

    What you can do is google “show email headers” and your email client such as Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, etc. So if you google “yahoo email show headers”, you should get a set of instructions on how to show email headers for Yahoo mail.

    Next copy the text of the email and the headers and PM me at the “ASD Business Information Zone” group on Ning.com. You will have to join Ning and then subscribe to the ASD BIZ group. PM dirty_bird either there or at scam.com. Be sure to include both the text of the message and headers. I will edit out your identifying information before posting the emails as a warning to others. If you want keep the emails private, that’s fine. What we to do is establish a pattern and forward this on to law enforcement. It needs to be documented to stop, or at least make it more inconvenient for them.

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  14. anyone want a good laugh, I just got back on my computer this morning an got this e-mail from my sponser with ASD who gets all of the info from a HUGE winning with ASD and, I would guess a founder with AVGA. Here’s a quick pray.
    Please lord get the evil goverment to raid the insiders of ASD and AVGA, throw them against the wall, put hand cuffs on them, freeze there banking, set the bail high and throw away the key. Here’s the e- mail……

    Guess what!!! The Government has until Aug 28th to prove that ASD was a ponzi scheme. So far they have not been able to do it. There is a chance we might be back in business!!!!!!!!! Wouldn’t that be awesome!!! And he said, if we get back the money, there will be enough to get AVGA back in business.

    I’ll keep you informed when I find out anything. I haven’t told anyone except you and one other person. So keep it low until we know for sure.

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