BREAKING NEWS: Bowdoin Files Corrected Affidavit, But Confusion Remains As Documents Disagree In Places

UPDATED 3:16 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) AdSurfDaily President Andy Bowdoin has filed a corrected affidavit in the civil-forfeiture case, apparently after visiting a notary public earlier today.

An affidavit Bowdoin filed yesterday appeared to have lines and an entire paragraph missing. Today’s filing has 23 paragraphs, as opposed to yesterday’s 22. Yesterday’s filing jumped from paragraph 3 to 5, skipping paragraph 4. Meanwhile, yesterday’s document had two paragraph 16s, one apparently complete and one apparently incomplete.

In a separate brief filed yesterday by Charles A. Murray, Bowdoin’s attorney, there was a reference to Bowdoin having found the fees accepted by defense counsel Steven Dodson “astonishing.” The reference cited was paragraph 17 from Bowdoin’s affidavit, but the word “astonishing” did not appear in paragraph 17 — or elsewhere in the document.

Today’s corrected affidavit by Bowdoin also does not include the word “astonishing” — in paragraph 17 or elsewhere.

Bowdoin’s filing today appears to be numbered correctly, paragraph 1 through paragraph 23, but still appears to be at odds with Murray’s filing yesterday. The reason for the disagreement among documents was not immediately clear.

Read Bowdoin’s corrected affidavit.

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46 Responses to “BREAKING NEWS: Bowdoin Files Corrected Affidavit, But Confusion Remains As Documents Disagree In Places”

  1. Yes, I imagine Bowdoin’s attorney would like to have the references to the fees removed, if possible.

    I’ll be astonished if Murray is defending Andy for anything less than market rate.

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  2. I seriously doubt that the judge is confused. Andy should give up the civil case and plead guilty of all criminal charges then plead mercy on the court…what he is doing is not helping him one bit. I can only imagine what Dobson is thinking about now.

    Andy is not going to find an attorney that can get him out of this one (my opinion of course).

    I hope and pray that the judge will do what all victims want and do it ASAP.

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  3. In paragarph 6 Saint Andy says that he was told that he could get 20 to 40 years behind bars. Then in paragraph 21 he says that if he submitted to the forfeiture he would get 10 to 15 years. That sounds like a reduced sentence to me. Unfortunately he seems to think that by not submitting to the forfeiture he can some how get 0 years.

    I think this strategy will not work.

    It will be interesting to see the criminal indictment if/when it becomes unsealed. I wonder how many names appear? Just Andy’s or will it include others?

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  4. Where to start?

    I stole millions of dollars, but no one told me it was illegal to steal millions of dollars, so I should not be punished for it (and I ought to be able to keep the money, too!)

    After admitting I stole millions of dollars, the government offered me a deal for REDUCED SENTENCE CONSIDERATION, so instead of 20-40 years, I was looking at 10-15 years. That’s not fair, since I told them what they wanted to hear they should let me go, no time in prison, afterall, it was less than $100 million dollars, and I only get to keep the few million hidden offshore!

    I gave up these things years ago, but man, I’d love to have a bowl of what he’s smoking!

    From here in the Bunker Complex, I say give him what he asks. Re-open the in rem proceedings, and let if come to it’s final disposition based on the merits. Andy still loses it all. Then in the criminal trial, make note of the circus he made of the civil proceedings and use that as an excuse for an upward departure and sentence him to even more time (yes, it sucks that he’s gonna die in prison even without an upward departure, but I say we keep him alive as long as we can keep him miserable).

    The son of a bitch is a thief, he stole tens of millions of dollars, and his actions since being caught have encouraged all kinds of nuts to show their stupid. Makes you wonder how serious we should take the “cruel and unusual” punishment standards. The best I can say about him is he is going to die in prison, and prolly sooner than later.

    Oh, and one final note, I would not be surprised if Andy is taken in to custody very soon. There’s not much reason to let him walk around free anymore.

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  5. Gregg,

    You’re far too soft on Andy, IMHO. After reopening the forfeiture case, I’d toss in the 42 pro se filers and demand that they appear in person for the hearings, on their nickel. Those that don’t show get the maximum contempt of court sentence and fine. Those that do show get berated and then tossed from the court by Judge Collyer, with a warning and a fine for frivolous filings. Then, add in additional charges and asset seizures for the Bowdoin/Harris trust funds that are accumulating offshore via AVG and their other Ponzi schemes, with an order to repatriate all assets to the US much like the recent order granted to the receiver in the Affiliate Strategies case. Criminal penalties for any assets not repatriated. Prison time for Edna Fay Bowdoin, George and Judy Harris, and sweet old (Ponzi Whore) Erma. Stir in the mods from Surf’s Up (and now confirmed Ponzi Whores for AVG), add a dash of Steve Watt, Faith Sloan, little joe, and Jeff Vavra and you have the makings of a real party……

    Gregg Evans: Where to start? ….snip….

    From here in the Bunker Complex, I say give him what he asks. Re-open the in rem proceedings, and let if come to it’s final disposition based on the merits. Andy still loses it all. Then in the criminal trial, make note of the circus he made of the civil proceedings and use that as an excuse for an upward departure and sentence him to even more time (yes, it sucks that he’s gonna die in prison even without an upward departure, but I say we keep him alive as long as we can keep him miserable).The son of a bitch is a thief, he stole tens of millions of dollars, and his actions since being caught have encouraged all kinds of nuts to show their stupid. Makes you wonder how serious we should take the “cruel and unusual” punishment standards. The best I can say about him is he is going to die in prison, and prolly sooner than later. Oh, and one final note, I would not be surprised if Andy is taken in to custody very soon. There’s not much reason to let him walk around free anymore.

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  6. Someone help me out, please! In paragraph 23 Andy said he refused the government’s “demand” that he travel to Washington, D.C. and “…enter a criminal plea pursuant to a sealed indictment.” Huh? As bad as he thinks the gub’ment is, they would have had to unseal the indictment and outline the charges pending against him, before he could enter a plea.

    Andy’s affidavit reads as if he has fallen through the looking glass where it’s “sentence first, verdict afterward!” He’s already talking about being sentenced to prison but was there ever a trial? Or did he plead guilty to a crime without a trial, and is his sentencing pending? I feel like I’m missing a piece of the puzzle — not an uncommon feeling when trying to decipher a double helping of Andy’s self-aggrandizing brand of “reasoning.” It’s as if he’s filing an affidavit saying “I don’t know what my prison sentence is going to be, but I know I’m not going to like it. And I was lied to and deceived and should get to start over again – and again – and again.”

    Getting back to Washington, and leaving Alice for Andy, was the criminal indictment ever unsealed? Assuming there is no law that says he must show up and enter a plea, else be in contempt of court, the Judge would have entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. But shouldn’t the criminal indictment returned by the Criminal grand jury have been unsealed at that time, and be public record by now? He discusses (still in paragraph 23) that in February, after refusing to travel to Washington and enter a plea in his criminal case, he filed the first pro se motion, saying he was rescinding his earlier motion asking the Judge to allow him to withdraw his claim to the property. So the criminal indictment must have been returned by the grand jury, then sealed, around the time he withdrew his claim, with prejudice, to the money and property.

    Did I miss something or have the last few days been the first time the criminal side of the case was revealed — and by Andy, at that. Maybe he can share a cell with Madoff – they would bore each other to tears, but they deserve each other. Or he could join Ken Lay, who managed to make his exit prior to going to prison, thereby becoming one of history’s biggest anti-climaxes. (I tried to make do with Skilling but it just wasn’t the same.)

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  7. What is the reason he’s not in the slammer? I understand that criminal charges are anticipated after the conclusion of the civil matter but he’s obviously not going to cop a plea now. He’s delayed everything by at least 9 months to date. At least Madoff had the decency to raise the white flag when it became obvious it was game over. Andy’s retreated to the castle and wants to make a last stand burning everything as he retreats.

    Gregg Evans: There’s not much reason to let him walk around free anymore.

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  8. If Bowdoin plays it anywhere near to form (and there’s no reason to expect he won’t) this wrangling is NOTHING, compared to what will take place in his criminal trial.

    Anyone who hasn’t closely watched 1 or more of these things unfold has no idea of the amount of legal wrangling and delaying tactics available to someone so inclined to use them.

    Anyone who has previously read this and other forums will find many observers making predictions of a 3 to 4 year lag time between civil complaint and criminal sentencing.

    If anything, the current situation only serves to make those predictions at the minimum end of the scale.

    This will DEFINITELY not play out like an episode of Law and Order, which can see a crime committed and the offender caught and sentenced in 40 minutes plus commercial breaks.

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  9. This has to be the beginning of the end. I’m sure that Andy’s lawyers are not a bunch of ‘happy campers’ right now. What lawyer would want to defend you, if all you are going to do is claim that they misrepresented you. Well ‘stupid is as stupid does’ and that pretty well describes Andy.

    I don’t recall hearing that Madoff couldn’t face criminal charges until civil court cases were discharged. They hauled his ass off to jail without a lot of delay. Pretty straight forward. Why the Government isn’t treating Andy the same way is beyond me. I think it would be best if Andy would do his waiting and defending from one of our fine Government facilities. He can get free food, housing and even free medical care and besides that there have to be a few guys looking for a new girl friend.

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  10. Richard,

    I now hate you for putting that image in my head, Andy as someone’s new girlfriend…. I am now scarred for life.. LOL

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  11. Compared to Bowdoin, Madoff’s operation was pretty straight forward. Madoff had two sets of books but he had books.

    With autosurfs, it’s usually spreadsheets when they have records. And cash has a very nasty habit of being kept off the books with distributions to the insiders who brought in their downlines.

    Andy brought in $100 million in funds, much in cash in his last 4 conventions. Where did the money go? It left the gatherings in suit cases.

    And finally, the public would have rioted if Madoff had not been immediately imprisoned. The general public does not know of Bowdoin. With a deal, prosecutors were hoping to have Andy cooperate and fill in the blanks. He’s been gaming the system the whole time.

    It took 4 years to put Blake Prater behind bars and that may be the case here. It’s possible that Cowden has had enough of Bowdoin’s games and will have him arrested soon but that’s his call.

    Richard: They hauled his ass off to jail without a lot of delay. Pretty straight forward.

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  12. Richard: Why the Government isn’t treating Andy the same way is beyond me.

    There’s a very simple reason, Richard.

    Unlike Bowdoin, Madoff not only pleaded guilty, he actually confessed BEFORE anyone else knew a crime had been committed.

    Madoff coughed up as soon as he realized the financial crisis would mean his little game was about to be exposed.

    That was the “easy part” Now comes the task of trying to untangle 20 years of concealed fraud.

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  13. Quick Note:

    FOUR more pro se motions to intervene just filed in ASD civil-forfeiture case.

    First one I looked at was dated two days after the judge’s most recent denial.

    So, the unofficial total of pro se filings since Aug. 24 is 46.

    They have come in waves, even after the judge’s previous denials.

    Patrick

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  14. Andy wants us to believe that Mr. Cowden (who knew that there was missing money) told Dobson to call Robert Gardner and have him release funds to Dobson. #19

    If that is true then both Attorney’s can be sanctioned for violating the code of ethics.

    Murray on the other hand is playing the appeal card and is hoping that the Judge will deny the motion as he can tie this thing up for many years in the Appeals process. Unfortunately, Cowden can then play his card and have Andy arrested as he should have been in the beginning. Since the Grand Jury issued an indictment there is nothing stopping Cowden from having a Judge issue an arrest warrant for the criminal charges.

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  15. Most recent five filers:

    Francine Kaplan
    Gretchen Wilson ($67,000)
    Michael C. Soest
    Daniel L. Dell’Armo
    Barbara J. Rambow

    Patrick

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  16. And now this from He WHO is Too Honest to Testify

    Hi Everyone-
    I spoke with Andy yesterday and there was an extension until Friday 9/18. It is expected that a decision will be made Friday but then please give us a week or so to set up the conference call. I will email you with information as soon as I am given permission to communicate, so please don’t email me asking for information as I can’t handle the volume of communications.
    As always, this is subject to change, as rabbits are pulled out of hats working toward the best possible outcome.
    Stay Tuned and Keep the Prayers going,
    Sara

    What on earth is he going to find to say in his long awaited conference call? “Sorry guys, I am really trying to get your money back, it was just a trick to see if I could get less jail time”!??

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  17. I can’t wait for the 18th.

    Rocky and Bullwinkle enter the ASD case.

    Bullwinkle: Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of a hat.
    Rocky: Again?? That trick never works.
    Bullwinkle: This time for sure.
    Lion: ROARRRR!!
    Rocky: Wrong hat!
    Bullwinkle: I take a size seven and a half.

    alasycia ne Sara: As always, this is subject to change, as rabbits are pulled out of hats working toward the best possible outcome.

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  18. Well Don…sorry about that. This case sort of reminded me of divorce. You know..the screwing you get for the screwing you got.

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  19. I can see the movie headlines Friday night,

    Andy Bowdoin – Meets Deliverance II –
    The Country-Club Jail from Hell

    Starts today – check your listings.

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  20. Hi Richard,

    Richard: What lawyer would want to defend you, if all you are going to do is claim that they misrepresented you.

    Good question.

    Andy has shown himself to be a client who works against his own interests and yet somehow believes law is like the fast-food business: Drive up to the window and order your result, even if you’re at Burger King and want Chicken McNuggets.

    There is an easier way to look at all of this if your head is hurting:

    * “Never pick Quincy Tech when it’s up against Notre Dame, even if the spread is +51.”

    * “Never get involved in a land war in Asia.”

    These are only two of the classic blunders, of course. :-)

    Patrick

    P.S. This is not a slam against Andy’s lawyers. I just happen to believe Andy engaged in selective listening and arrived at the conclusion that they could get him Kentucky Fried Chicken at Wendy’s — but only until someone persuaded him there existed an Arby’s that offered a smorgasbord from all its principal competitors.

    And I think that’s what Andy wanted to hear and that the “group” that gave him this advice was serving its own interests, not Andy’s.

    I do not believe Andy is a sociopath. Emotionally, Andy knows he put his family in a legal box. He just can’t go there and is engaging in all sorts of fantastic, narcissistic constructions to avoid the imagery of his wife and loved ones spending years in prison. I do not believe he is an unfeeling man.

    But it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Andy knew what the ultimate pro se plan was even as he was meeting with prosecutors. Here’s hoping there will be an allocution one day, with Andy acknowledging his crimes before a judge so ASD members can get some closure.

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  21. Patrick,

    I would strongly disagree with your conclusion — I believe that he is deeply sociopathic. This is not the first time he has driven down the pathway of criminal fraud — it would appear he’s been a criminal his whole life. He knowingly, and with full intent, built ASD, lied to the members, and traded on the Christian angle. He portrayed himself as a devout Christian, and used affinity fraud on that front. If he is a Christian, he blasphemed in the most dramatic fashion. He has shown zero remorse, and in fact it is highly likely that he was deeply involved in starting another criminal Ponzi scheme (AVG) even while his neck was in the noose so to speak for ASD. He has not shown even the slightest regret that he has damaged many people, and many of those people were amongst society’s most vulnerable. The cold, calculating, uncaring way in which he preyed on his victims, and the “easy going, aw shucks,” religious affinity angles he employed knowing full well it was 100% a put-on speaks undeniably toward sociopathy, IMO.

    admin: ….snip….
    I do not believe Andy is a sociopath. Emotionally, Andy knows he put his family in a legal box. He just can’t go there and is engaging in all sorts of fantastic, narcissistic constructions to avoid the imagery of his wife and loved ones spending years in prison. I do not believe he is an unfeeling man.But it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Andy knew what the ultimate pro se plan was even as he was meeting with prosecutors. Here’s hoping there will be an allocution one day, with Andy acknowledging his crimes before a judge so ASD members can get some closure.

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  22. alasycia: And now this from He WHO is Too Honest to TestifyHi Everyone-
    I spoke with Andy yesterday and there was an extension until Friday 9/18. It is expected that a decision will be made Friday but then please give us a week or so to set up the conference call. I will email you with information as soon as I am given permission to communicate, so please don’t email me asking for information as I can’t handle the volume of communications.
    As always, this is subject to change, as rabbits are pulled out of hats working toward the best possible outcome.
    Stay Tuned and Keep the Prayers going,
    Sara
    What on earth is he going to find to say in his long awaited conference call?“Sorry guys, I am really trying to get your money back, it was just a trick to see if I could get less jail time”!??

    There was an extension of WHAT to the 18th? I don’t remember reading anything about that. Jenny, was that from the Surf’s Up forum? I am keeping up the prayers — all I have to do is pray that Andy gets what’s coming to him, and that I’m doing.

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  23. Patrick, after following this case since it was raided, and having been a member for a long time before (albeit without profit), I respectfully agree with Entertained. I have spoken to the man. I know many who have met him personally. He is capable of looking you in the eye and lying without blinking an eyelid or changing his cardiac rhythm. he will be whatever you want him to be. He may not be the brightest crayon in the box. He didnt make it big before ASD. His frauds were smaller and grubbier. However, with ASD he found better backers and made it big. Andy Bowdoin doesnt give a **** about people who he has worked with for years. Andy Bowdoin paraded people on a stage in front of thousands of people who had found a way to pay for their life saving medications through his ASD. Andy Bowdoin set himself up as a saviour.

    When they raided his business, he spent the next year trying to protect his own skin and make some more money. His family were all in it too. Are you asking us to believe that they are any better than he is and that he has a conscience? You are far too kind.

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  24. Marci it was the text of a message sent out by an ASD promoter which purported to come fromm Sara M. I received it because I must be on their mailing list.

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  25. Hello Entertained,

    Entertained: I would strongly disagree with your conclusion — I believe that he is deeply sociopathic. This is not the first time he has driven down the pathway of criminal fraud — it would appear he’s been a criminal his whole life. He knowingly, and with full intent, built ASD, lied to the members, and traded on the Christian angle. He portrayed himself as a devout Christian, and used affinity fraud on that front. If he is a Christian, he blasphemed in the most dramatic fashion. He has shown zero remorse, and in fact it is highly likely that he was deeply involved in starting another criminal Ponzi scheme (AVG) even while his neck was in the noose so to speak for ASD. He has not shown even the slightest regret that he has damaged many people, and many of those people were amongst society’s most vulnerable. The cold, calculating, uncaring way in which he preyed on his victims, and the “easy going, aw shucks,” religious affinity angles he employed knowing full well it was 100% a put-on speaks undeniably toward sociopathy, IMO.

    The only part of your analysis I’d quibble with is your conclusion he is deeply sociopathic and that his behavior speaks undeniably toward sociopathy. Don’t have a bone to pick with anything else you’ve said.

    I see Andy as a career criminal and thief who finally got caught in a big way while in his 70s. I think he snowed himself and now is conflating impossible realities because he lacks the strength to acknowledge what he always has known about himself: That he is a liar and thief who prefers the company of other liars and thieves.

    This is not to say he does not have a number of traits in common with sociopaths.

    The reason I don’t think he is a true sociopath is that he seems to lack a despotic impulse and nothing I’ve seen suggests a tendency toward violence targeted at people and/or animals. He also impresses me as a person who is easy to manipulate, which might be inconsistent with sociopathy.

    I think he is a grandiose schemer and religious fraud who knows precisely with whom his stage message resounds — and that he knows that’s who he is.

    The reason I don’t think he’s OK with that is that he seemed eager to confess but just didn’t want to face the music of what the confession meant.

    He no longer is protesting his innocence. Rather, he is trying to sell his way out of guilt. I see him as a sort of MLM equivalent of an Elmer Gantry figure, only with fewer stage talents.

    Regards,

    Patrick

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  26. Patrick,

    If Andy is not a sociopath he is doing one heck of an imiatation. From a variety of references regarding characteristics of sociopaths:

    Glibness and Superficial Charm

    Manipulative and Conning — They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet see their victims as merely instruments to be used.

    Grandiose Sense of Self
    Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”

    Pathological Lying
    Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

    Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
    Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

    Shallow Emotions
    When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

    Callousness/Lack of Empathy
    Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

    Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet “gets by” by conning others.

    Irresponsibility/Unreliability
    Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

    Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
    Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

    Criminal Versatility
    Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.”

    and from perhaps the most respected source, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition:

    “There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following:

    Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviours as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;

    Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;

    Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;

    Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;

    Reckless disregard for safety of self or others;

    Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honour financial obligations;

    Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another”

    For the latter, Andy has effectively demonstrated 5 of the 7….

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  27. Hi alasycia,

    alasycia, quoting an email from sara: I spoke with Andy yesterday and there was an extension until Friday 9/18. It is expected that a decision will be made Friday but then please give us a week or so to set up the conference call.

    Nothing has appeared on the record about an “extension.” And I’m not sure what, exactly, would be extended, considering Andy already has met the deadline and then filed a corrected affidavit. His affidavit, though, does seem to be at odds with his attorney’s accompanying motion, so perhaps there is another filing to come.

    The government was not on a deadline, and neither was the judge.

    This “extension” claim sounds somewhat like the “Ponzi scheme charges were dropped in Florida” claim last year, which caused ASD members to sprint to forums to share the joyous news, which proved later to be false.

    Few people seem willing to sprint for Andy these days.

    Patrick

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  28. Quite right, they prefer to send signed confessions to the evil gubmint c/o Judge Collyer.

    admin: Few people seem willing to sprint for Andy these days.

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  29. If the Feds ever raid AVGA, you can expect this defense from Andy: I thought if it was registered offshore it was legal. Therefore I didn’t know it was illegal, and you had to tell me it was illegal so I could make it legal.

    I think it is past time to unseal the indictments and let the criminal charges and arrests begin. I think I hear the fat lady warming up. Sometimes it take her a little longer to get warmed up, but when she does, look out.

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  30. Hi Entertained,

    I think the opinion you stated above is valid. Any person who shares those views also has a valid opinion. In fact, I think people who haven’t considered the possibility of sociopathy are out of touch and incapable of considering any argument that does not validate their views.

    Like you, I have spent considerable time pondering these issues. I happen to think it more likely that Andy is/was being manipulated by superior criminals and true sociopaths because their messages resonated with him, but that he is not a sociopath himself.

    I also think he is seeking a sort of painless redemption, a huckster desperately selling himself on the thought it is possible through confession alone. That tells me he feels pain, which means redemption is possible, though delayed for now.

    I do think relief for Andy will come only through imprisonment. There just is no shortcut in this case, and Andy’s sentence would have a deterrent effect on this Internet crime wave.

    There is no small amount of irony in Andy’s affidavit, perhaps especially in the claim that he was the one who was hoodwinked in a case that featured thousands and thousands of individual hoodwinkings at his hands/behest.

    His claim of being hoodwinked, though, never will gain traction. I view it as a manifestation of his shame. He knows the government exposed him as an air-guitarist, not a real guitarist, a lip-syncher, not a real singer, a fraud, not a genius. The government already has taken away his star, and Andy finds himself a shamed general with no Army to command.

    So, no, Entertained, I don’t believe you are “wrong” and I am “right” on the issue of sociopathy; it’s not that there is no “there” there.

    The distinction I am drawing is a fine one; I’m interpreting his gymnastics as shame manifesting itself and perhaps assigning more weight than you to the thought he is easily manipulated. That’s why I don’t believe it’s a slam-dunk case of sociopathy.

    As things stand, I believe truly wicked people — genuine sociopaths — understood that this Elmer Gantry-like figure gave them the cover they needed to line their pockets without getting caught. The miscalculation they made, I believe, was in thinking he was smart enough to manage a criminal operation of this magnitude.

    All it took to get caught was for the soundtrack to skip during a song. There stood Andy, the air-guitarist, trying to explain that what the audience had just seen hadn’t really happened — and it all came tumbling down.

    Thanks for sharing the info above, Entertained. It will help readers consider the possibilities.

    Regards,

    Patrick

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  31. I’ll go with Entertained on this one Patrick. ASD was the break that Andy had been looking for all his life – a major well backed scam where he could exercise his talents on a larger scale and line his pockets for a very comfortable retirement for himself and his partner, Mrs. Faye Bowdoin. There is no law that says a sociopath has to be very intelligent.

    My view is that his downfall wasnt caused by a lack of sociopathy, but by the fact that he was playing out of his league and didnt understand the rules of his new game.

    If he hadnt let his ego get ahead of him, he might even have pulled it off, but the enormity of his popularity went to his head and then he started to make some very big mistakes with his declarations at rallies and his GOP medal, and traffic jams in Miami, the home of vice. He started flying so high above the radar that he screwed up.

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  32. To throw another couple of possibilities into the mix:

    1) While it is possible Bowdoin is one of the estimated 4% of the American population who would fall under the classification of “sociopath” it is more likely he simply displays a (large) number of sociopathic tendencies, while simultaneously demonstrating a number of non sociopathic traits e.g his apparent family loyalty/ies.

    2) It is entirely possible, indeed, IM(very)HO, highly probable, the whole ASD saga could have been orchestrated by a series of “steroidal puppeteers” WITHOUT Bowdoins’ involvement, knowing or otherwise.

    Long term observers of the HYIP ponzi “scene” can point out a series of similarities between the often mentioned 12DP, CEP and P.I.P.S. frauds which reinforce the “invisible” steroidal puppeteers theory.

    a) The Marsdens, Johnson, Kimbrell, Reed and Bowdoin had not previously demonstrated the levels of skill required to introduce or sustain frauds of the size which eventuated.

    b) All of them “hung in there” way past when logic or tradition should have told them to “cut and run”

    c) A great many of the “usual suspects” of the HYIP ponzi industry were all glimpsed on occasions associated in some way with ASD.

    d) All of them recklessly put their real names and addresses “out there”

    e) All of them had some history of minor involvement in HYIP ponzis.

    f) NONE of their respective frauds, other than (perhaps) 12DP, are or were sufficiently innovative to warrant the explosive growth, number of eventual victims or amounts involved.

    Again, IM(very)HO it is more probable all of the abovementioned frauds were anointed “the next big thing” by loosely allied “players” who then brought considerable resources to bear on a carefully crafted and well executed campaign of promote and profit, then disappear BEFORE the figureheads or Joe Public knows what hit ’em.

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  33. Hi alasycia,

    alasycia: When they raided his business, he spent the next year trying to protect his own skin and make some more money. His family were all in it too. Are you asking us to believe that they are any better than he is and that he has a conscience?

    I do believe Andy has a conscience. As I mentioned to Entertained, I believe it is manifesting itself through his gymnastics. I see shame there.

    At the same time, I believe Andy knows he has subjected people to criminal and civil liability. I think his gymnastics are designed to provide cover for them, just like the “Legality Statement” was designed to provide cover for the enterprise.

    That’s one of the things that makes ASD not only reprehensible, but dangerous. It brings a false-reliance defense into play. Clarence Busby already has used it. He said he believed ASD had been properly vetted because ASD told him so. That’s one of the reasons I believe the Feds need to bring out 1,000 bulldozers to destroy these enterprises.

    You asked if I wanted readers to believe Andy’s family is better than he.

    The short answer is no; I want people to examine the possibilities, engage in critical analysis and arrive at their own conclusions. That’s why I seek to provide reporting that fills in some gaps.

    Basically, I think George and Judy Harris — perhaps particularly Judy — are drunk on a false religion. This was the Prosperity Gospel bastardized to an extreme, so much so that it was used to rationalize getting wealthy by any means, including criminality dressed up as down-home goodness.

    Makes me want to hurl, actually. Perhaps I’m like poster Sicilian in that respect. It makes him sick to imagine criminal behavior being reinforced with cards and gifts of Brownies and delicious baked goods.

    One of the reasons I wrote the stories on the death of the print version of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Reader’s Digest bankruptcy was to point out the lies used by autosurf hucksters. Both the PI and Reader’s Digest chose legal, rational remedies to address what ailed them. But the surf crowd would have people believe they could have avoided unpleasant fates by employing a surf model and saying “rebates aren’t guaranteed.”

    Seems anyone can go from struggling online entrepreneur to wealthy advertising executive these days. Send a check. Send a wire. Your problems are over.

    AVG, I believe, is actually worse than ASD. That any person who had knowledge of ASD could divine a reason to join AVG speaks so compellingly of unqualified greed and criminality that it’s hardly worth it even to write this sentence. The dangers and potential fallout were obvious.

    Did they need a sign that said, “Remarkably stupid barnyard animals have touched this buzzing, electric fence you’re thinking about touching. This is why they now stand a safe distance from it. If you touch this fence, you’ll get a serious jolt and will stagger backward 35 feet across two high-speed traffic lanes and onto the berm on the other side of the road, with your stomach pushed all the way to your backbone and your lungs void of oxygen and unable to draw a breath. You’re going to feel pain if you touch this fence and possibly get hit by a tractor-trailer, but don’t blame us. We have a contract that insulates us from liability. This is the SECOND time you’ve signed it, and we used the contract against you — and for us — when the government took all our money the first time.”

    AVG also speaks to something else: genuine mental illness, a viral madness of sorts that needs to be studied by experts. The sociopaths in the background once again knew they had a perfect collection of Stepfords to help them carry out a fleecing.

    This is a weird manifestation of what fundamentally is organized crime. It strikes me as a massive co-dependency, with the addicts enabling each other so the addiction can live for another day. I think master criminals and sociopaths are controlling it and that the true power is the ability to attract Stepfords in almost unlimited numbers.

    Patrick

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  34. admin: I think master criminals and sociopaths are controlling it and that the true power is the ability to attract Stepfords in almost unlimited numbers.

    Below is an example of the criminals’ ability to attract “Stepfords”. It’s a comment posted om Mike Mason’s blog post, the one about Andy saying he was “hoodwinked” [paragraph breaks added for easier reading]

    ♦♦♦

    Anonymous said…

    “How can the government disperse the money fairly when they froze our assets and the government did not allow customer service to post and give credit to all the people concerned?

    The government tore the money orders off the sheets with the information and threw them on the floor. Andy Bowdin and his people are the only ones that can fairly release the funds to the ASD members.

    ASD was a successful business until the government intervined. Over 120,000 people concerned. The government put business’s and jobs down the drain.

    Those jobs would have created revenue through taxes and also help to keep business thriving though out the USA.

    From an ASD satisfied customer.”

    September 16, 2009 7:15 PM

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  35. The proflific writing and thought processes of this forum are simply amazing. Thank You for the education. In my own simplistic mind I accuse Andy and others like him at being nothing more than the worst of criminals. There are many people who have lost everything because of his activities. Some people will suffer undue hardships and may never recover. It is difficult to imagine a proper jail term for him, but 20-40 years in prison per count doesn’t seem to be adequate.

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  36. If Andy would just figure out if he was going to sign or challenge, without the delays, we’d be farther on down the road. The “half-time” show lasts longer than the game in these cases unfortunately.

    And when you get down to it, Andy is just a two bit criminal who’s delaying justice as long as he can.

    In the mean time, people will entertain the possibilities.

    Richard: The proflific writing and thought processes of this forum are simply amazing.Thank You for the education.In my own simplistic mind I accuse Andy and others like him at being nothing more than the worst of criminals.There are many people who have lost everything because of his activities. Some people will suffer undue hardships and may never recover.It is difficult to imagine a proper jail term for him, but 20-40 years in prison per count doesn’t seem to be adequate.

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  37. And now a promise of the long awaited conference call!

    Hi Everyone-
    A decision regarding what direction ASD will take regarding the
    government’s current position will still not be made until Friday
    9/18/09 but we have taken steps to set up an ASD Conference Call
    Monday night 9/21/09.
    It will be at the following time: 6:30pm Pacific; 7:30pm Mountain;
    8:30 pm Central; 9:30pm Eastern.
    Changes are still possible so, if the call will still be Monday as
    now planned, you will receive a confirmation email before Monday
    night that will also include the phone number and access code. That
    confirmation will be sent to my ASD email update list as well as to
    the official ASD database list so you may get it twice. If you know
    of any member whose ASD e-address has changed since July 2008, be
    sure they email me with their new address so they can at least get
    the messages from me.
    I just wanted you to have a “heads up” so you can plan, and also have
    time to alert others. Feel free to pass this info on to other members
    you know and invite them to get the messages directly from me by
    requesting to be on my ASD email update list.
    Blessings,
    Sara

    She omits to mention who will be taking the decision about the direction ASD will take. It is to be assumed that it will be the Judge

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  38. He no longer is protesting his innocence. Rather, he is trying to sell his way out of guilt. I see him as a sort of MLM equivalent of an Elmer Gantry figure, only with fewer stage talents.

    That is a very astute observation, Patrick. Andy, in his official government fiings, makes no attempt to deny his criminal conduct, he’s just negotiating the penalty.

    I have come to the conclusion that the “big” HYIPs and Autosurfs are the ones founded and run by the people inchoate enough to have lost big money to schemes and deciding that they are good enough to run one themselves. Several recent ones show this model in action. For instance, Nick Smirnow of P2P can be seen posting several months before he was an international millionaire running a program to “help the little guy” whining on a few forums about not receiving payments in amounts less than $10. Mrs. V of Mrs VIP/V Lane Traffic/GMS had quite a reputation as a scam finder (albeit a bad one, she gave her approval to dozens of scams) years before she started a “program that is NOT A PONZI”, likewise Trevor Reed and the list goes on. The real pros know to fold up the tent before they get big enough to draw some attention from law enforcement. For good or ill, the authorities have other things on the plate and if you’re smart enough to have “server issues, hackers” and of course the need to “do a complete audit” of all accounts before you’ve taken in a certain amount, and then have the sense to disappear quickly and kill any hope before people start looking for you, the scam is successful. So what if you only make, say a few hundred thousand dollars on each one, the pros are running dozens of them at any given time. It’s sad, but until you steal a certain amount, apparently the amount is currently over a million dollars in the USA, and if you get invisible quick when you close up shop, the odds of getting caught are small. For the pros anyhow. It’t the useful idiots who try to promote themselves to “honest admins” who make the headlines. They start believing their own press releases, get addicted to the tens of thousands of dollars coming in every day… Everyone knows who Brian Marsden is, Any Bodwin, Trever Reed….but who ran Megalido? Or any of the other dozen programs that opened to great hype, had “honest admins” with no real name and no address, and very quickly went belly up. These are the guys who are good at this game, cause we have no idea who they are. They run a few ads, get a few shills to talk them up on forums, and within a few months they’re gone. No explanation, no excuses, they’re just gone, and with them, your money. It’s easy to deride the people we’re more familiar with, because the fact is we’re chasing the B team, the ones who are losers and think they’ve found the one scam that they’re smart enough to pull off. And that belief is only reinforced when they see big bucks coming in, and happy hypers praising their honest, business acumen and general goodness all over the internet. They’re the All Star Team of Stupid Criminals.
    I’m just about at a loss on how to stop them. Maybe the next one who sues a program needs to name Solid Trust Pay, A few of the Ponzi Pimps and even the Forums like Talk Gold, Moneymaker Group etc… in a RICO suit. I know that Bank of America has the deep pockets but these enablers are the ones who are truly involved in Corrupt Practices.

    Okay, I’ve unloaded enough. And strangely enough, my good friend Jake Amedee from ASA Monitor has just called and left me a voice mail as I write this, so I guess I may call him back. I wish I could tell him what I want to, which is “Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid” but the sad fact is, even though I do think Jake is gonna be in trouble soon, if he is he’s an exception, not the rule.

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  39. Ah, somewhere in that last I was looking for a phrase that I couldn’t remember, and now it comes to me. The Admins are “smoking their own dope”

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  40. Without the collaboration of the offshore payment processors, it would be very very difficult for any of these schemes to get off the ground. It is unusual to see a major national bank like Bank of America so closely involved with something that most accountants would spot immediately as a ponzi scheme.

    It is certainly time that the Canadian Government took a closer look at the processors on their shores which enable the schemers to involve citizens from all over the world with a few clicks and an elevated comission level. And the same applies to the British with Moneybookers and a long list of etceteras

    It is also time that US government took a closer look at the ease with which their own citizens can send money to schemes that are illegal in their country, through the same enablers.

    In the meantime, a few lawsuits that name the processors as well as the owners of the ponzi schemes, as aiders and abetters, would not go amiss

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  41. Gregg Evans: He no longer is protesting his innocence. Rather, he is trying to sell his way out of guilt. I see him as a sort of MLM equivalent of an Elmer Gantry figure, only with fewer stage talents.That is a very astute observation, Patrick.Andy, in his official government fiings, makes no attempt to deny his criminal conduct, he’s just negotiating the penalty.I have come to the conclusion that the “big” HYIPs and Autosurfs are the ones founded and run by the people inchoate enough to have lost big money to schemes and deciding that they are good enough to run one themselves. Several recent ones show this model in action.For instance, Nick Smirnow of P2P can be seen posting several months before he was an international millionaire running a program to “help the little guy” whining on a few forums about not receiving payments in amounts less than $10.Mrs. V of Mrs VIP/V Lane Traffic/GMS had quite a reputation as a scam finder (albeit a bad one, she gave her approval to dozens of scams) years before she started a “program that is NOT A PONZI”, likewise Trevor Reed and the list goes on.The real pros know to fold up the tent before they get big enough to draw some attention from law enforcement.For good or ill, the authorities have other things on the plate and if you’re smart enough to have “server issues, hackers” and of course the need to “do a complete audit” of all accounts before you’ve taken in a certain amount, and then have the sense to disappear quickly and kill any hope before people start looking for you, the scam is successful.So what if you only make, say a few hundred thousand dollars on each one, the pros are running dozens of them at any given time.It’s sad, but until you steal a certain amount, apparently the amount is currently over a million dollars in the USA, and if you get invisible quick when you close up shop, the odds of getting caught are small.For the pros anyhow.It’t the useful idiots who try to promote themselves to “honest admins” who make the headlines.They start believing their own press releases, get addicted to the tens of thousands of dollars coming in every day…Everyone knows who Brian Marsden is, Any Bodwin, Trever Reed….but who ran Megalido?Or any of the other dozen programs that opened to great hype, had “honest admins” with no real name and no address, andvery quickly went belly up.These are the guys who are good at this game, cause we have no idea who they are.They run a few ads, get a few shills to talk them up on forums, and within a few months they’re gone.No explanation, no excuses, they’re just gone, and with them, your money.It’s easy to deride the people we’re more familiar with, because the fact is we’re chasing the B team, the ones who are losers and think they’ve found the one scam that they’re smart enough to pull off.And that belief is only reinforced when they see big bucks coming in, and happy hypers praising their honest, business acumen and general goodness all over the internet.They’re the All Star Team of Stupid Criminals.
    I’m just about at a loss on how to stop them.Maybe the next one who sues a program needs to name Solid Trust Pay, A few of the Ponzi Pimps and even the Forums like Talk Gold, Moneymaker Group etc… in a RICO suit.I know that Bank of America has the deep pockets but these enablers are the ones who are truly involved in Corrupt Practices.
    Okay, I’ve unloaded enough.And strangely enough, my good friend Jake Amedee from ASA Monitor has just called and left me a voice mail as I write this, so I guess I may call him back. I wish I could tell him what I want to, which is “Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid” but the sad fact is, even though I do think Jake is gonna be in trouble soon, if he is he’s an exception, not the rule.

    Your assessment is spot on. Its going to take somebody to sue the referral whores, the payment processors and drag the forums into it and put the fear of God into everybody. Im not sure you would get anywhere with the forums but may as well list them as well and drag them into it.

    Please let us know how your call goes with Jake. I would really like him and a few others behind bars sooner rather than later. You have no idea how many people feel the same way. I sure would like to see Ken Russo drug into this mess along with many others.

    Keep you eye on Gold Nugget Invest that is pimped by the ASA clowns. Its getting huge and not a single sole knows who the admin is other than he goes by “Robert”. LOL

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  42. Gregg Evans: I’m just about at a loss on how to stop them.

    I have been pondering for a long time how to stop them. I have come to the conclusion that with the current version of the “The Wild Wild West Internet”, the bad guys can’t be stopped.

    All we can do is warn people.

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  43. This all could have been avoided if they had allowed Mark Simmons to testify

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  44. Sicilian: This all could have been avoided if they had allowed Mark Simmons to testify

    okay, for that you owe me a keyboard

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  45. Well he and Barb were the only ones who really understood the business model!!

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  46. Sicilian: Well he and Barb were the only ones who really understood the business model!!

    Not true. Jason George and Jeff Vavra(?) do as well. Just ask them.

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