UPDATED 7:53 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) AdViewGlobal (AVG), which also is known as the AV Global Association (AVGA), registered the association name as a fictitious entity in Florida in April, canceled and re-registered it in May — and canceled the registration again July 21 in a transaction that involved a hotel fax machine in Montevideo, Uruguay, according to records.
AVGA’s name initially was registered by Gary Talbert April 21 and used the same address AdSurfDaily used — 13 S. Calhoun Street, Quincy, Fla. — according to documents on file in Florida. Federal prosecutors said last year that the S. Calhoun address was bogus.
Talbert, once an ASD executive and later the chief executive officer of AVG before resigning in March, was listed as the owner in the April filing, which was dated a month after AVG had announced Talbert’s resignation.
It was not immediately clear why the filing occurred in April and included Talbert’s name after he had resigned a month earlier, but Talbert’s name and purported signature appear in the document. The surf announced a shift to an association structure in February, one day after AdSurfDaily President Andy Bowdoin signed the first of his pro se pleadings in the ASD forfeiture case and two days after reports circulated that the U.S. Secret Service had seized the bank accounts of some individual ASD members.
On May 29, the surf reregistered the name, this time listing Judy Harris as the owner and using the address of the Harris home in Tallahassee as its address. The reregistration occurred two days prior to the issuance of a news release by AVG through PR Newswire that used a Tallahassee dateline.
AVG sent a follow-up email announcing its news release to members on the same day. The email hotlinked to servers at Forbes Magazine and other publishers, pulling the publishers’ logos off their servers and creating the impression that the companies had endorsed AVG. The email purported to have originated in Uruguay.
By June 25, a little more than three weeks after the issuance of the June 1 news release, AVG announced it was suspending cashouts.
Federal prosecutors said in December that the mortgage on the Harris home had been paid off in June 2008 with more than $157,000 in illegal proceeds from AdSurfDaily Inc., a Florida company accused last year in a forfeiture complaint of wire fraud, money-laundering and operating a Ponzi scheme.
The name of the Montevideo hotel appears at the top of the faxed document, as do the fax number and international dialing identifier. The document suggests the fax might have been sent to another company in the United States before being forwarded to the Florida Department of State — or the opposite, faxed from the United States to Uruguay.
The timing of the registration cancellation coincides with an unconfirmed report that AVG had fired employees in Uruguay on July 20.
Members later said that Bowdoin was the silent head of AVG.
In early February, after AVG’s graphics were seen Jan. 31 in an ASD-controlled webroom that showed AVG’s street address as the same S. Calhoun address ASD used, AVG explained the appearance of the graphic was an “operational coincidence.”
Regardless, AVG used the address in April in filings in Florida.