Some things have happened here in the past 24 hours that deserve their own post and discussion thread.
Poster “Tony H,” a longtime, thoughtful contributor, observed there could be more than one reason why some ASD members appear to be trying to discourage other members from filling out the government information form and claim form that will follow.
“Perhaps the reason some ponzi promoters have been advising the flock not to file a claim is because the ponzi supporters have filed multiple claims themselves,” Tony said.
Tony’s post struck us instantly as worthy of a wide-ranging discussion. Previously we noted that various bids to discourage ASD members from filing claims and cooperating with investigators smacked of a conspiracy to obstruct justice. We still believe that to be true.
But, as Tony pointed out, the shenanigans may not begin and end there. If he is correct, one possible reason some ASD members are discouraging others from filing claims is to create a condition under which they can maximize their shares of the restitution pool at the expense of victims, thus fleecing them twice.
If fewer people file claims, the pro rata shares of refunds from the government program would be higher. Beyond that, if an upline sponsor is discouraging downline members from filing individual claims by casting the government as evil, it could set the stage for all kinds of shenanigans.
- Upline sponsors could gain disproportionate shares of the restitution pool because “Mom” and “Pop” in the downline — the real victims — became fearful of filing a claim.
- Upline sponsors could be trying for reasons of self-interest to plant the seed that the sponsor has a duty to file a claim for the entire downline. Are some upline sponsors employing tactics of deceit, perhaps by saying things such as, “Don’t worry; I’ll fill out the form for you” or “Filling out the form only will get you in trouble” or “My downline members all agree that I’ll file the only claim and distribute refunds to members when I get the money from the government?”
The rules suggest each ASD member is/will be required to file an individual claim through a process in forfeiture cases known as “remission.” Upline sponsors appear to have no authority to file claims for downline members.
Because it is known that some downline members paid upline sponsors directly for “ad-packs” — as opposed to paying ASD itself for “ad-packs” — is is possible that some sponsors may try to manipulate members into not filing claims in a bid to keep the heat off the sponsors. Such direct sales by sponsors could affect a downline member’s standing in the case if the downline member cannot produce documentation that the purchase was made directly from ASD.
This is troubling. As poster “dirty_bird” has noted, such devious upline tricks have been pulled in other dying Ponzi schemes — and ASD is known to have a good number of professional Ponzi promoters in the organization.
We encourage readers to share their thoughts on this issue.
ASD mainstay Bob Guenther, de facto head of the ASD Members Business Association (ASDMBA), once again rattled the china when he bulled his way into a thread here.
In one thread, Guenther said the government was capturing “personal information” from people who called the new Justice Department hotline for ASD or visited the website prosecutors set up for ASD victims.
“So because the US Government sets up a hotline and a website, both of which will capture YOUR personal information, people think they will see a refund,” Guenther said.
We wondered if it had not occurred to Guenther that victims in criminal cases all have to make a showing to receive justice. It’s one of the reasons rape cases often are particularly difficult to prosecute and why prosecutors set up information/support networks to aid victims through horribly painful ordeals.
At the same time, we wondered why Guenther — who implies he can help ASD members get refunds faster than the government — suggested the government hotline was nefarious, that people should avoid it because of all the purported capturing of personal information.
Perhaps the answer to that question can be found in yet another thread into which Guenther plowed. He reminded our readers that ASDMBA used “pressure” to gain a refund for an ASD member.
“Letâ€™s just say a little pressure was applied in the right places,” he said. Guenther was describing a case in which ASDMBA encouraged website visitors to “make Dan Trost’s life miserable until he refunds Mr. Smith’s $2,000.00 dollars.”
For good measure, the ASDMBA website provided Trost’s postal address, email address and phone number, along with these instructions:
“Call, email and write this man until he gives Bill Smith, Jr. his $2,000.00,” the ASDMBA website instructed, on a page marked “Testimonials.”
“With Unity there is Power,” ASDMBA instructed.
People can get in trouble for engaging in threatening behavior and vigilanteism.
A poster, “Arnet,” pointed out that there seems to be a disparity between the amount ($93.5 million) the U.S. Secret Service listed as seized in the ASD case and the amount ($65.8 million) federal prosecutors said was seized from ASD President Andy’s Bowdoin’s bank accounts.
Arnet noted the disparity is $27.7 million.
We noted that Golden Panda also is part of the ASD case, and the total seizure listed from Golden Panda/ASD combined was $79.88 million. This takes the seeming disparity down to $13.62 million.
But we also pointed out that perhaps no disparity exists because of reconciliations that occurred after the seizure. Some banks might have stopped payment on seized checks that had been deposited, for example.
It’s also possible that no disparity exists because the ASD case is proceeding on two separate tracks — civil and criminal — and that the $93.5 million figure reported by the Secret Service reflects what is publicly known about the forfeiture case ($79.88 million) and an additional amount that is filed under seal in a criminal matter.
It could be that $13.62 million — the difference between the amount published in the forfeiture case ($79.88 million) and the total seizure amount published by the Secret Service ($93.5 million) — is being held in a separate account in a case under seal.
As we pointed out, we’re not sure precisely what accounts for the seeming disparity of $13.62 million. We believe it a virtual certainty, however, that no disparity actually exists.
We believe the government will explain this issue in detail at an appropriate time. The investigation still is in progress. It’s important to remember it also involves the LaFuenteDinero autosurf, and that information concerning how LaFuenteDinero managed its operations and finances is particularly sketchy.