Florida Drops State-Level Pyramid Case Against AdSurfDaily; Says It Has Supplied Victims’ List To Claims Administrator For Restitution From Assets Seized By Secret Service In Federal Case

Andy Bowdoin

UPDATED 7:40 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) Certain members of Florida-based AdSurfDaily began crowing last week that the office of Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum had dropped the pyramid-scheme case it had filed against ASD in August 2008.

“The State of Florida has dropped all charges against Ad Surf Daily, Inc. This is wonderful news!” an email received by some ASD members exclaimed.

Florida prosecutors, however, tell a different story.

Although McCollum’s office confirmed today that the pyramid case has been dropped “without prejudice” — meaning it can be refiled — it noted that state investigators have forwarded a list of Florida victims of ASD to a federal claims administrator “for processing and reimbursement purposes.”

Florida initially had sought restitution for victims, along with the dismantling of ASD. ASD essentially dismantled itself in September 2009 by not filing required forms with the state, which revoked its corporate registration. Less than four months later, in January 2010, the federal government was awarded title to more than $65.8 million seized in the case. The government earlier had been awarded title to more than $14 million. In March 2010, the government was awarded title to more than $600,000 that had been seized in a separate forfeiture action filed against ASD connected assets in December 2008.

All in all, the federal government was awarded title to more than $80 million seized in the ASD case, gaining a clean sweep in the forfeiture proceedings.

The U.S. Secret Service raided ASD on Aug. 5, 2008.  Florida followed up with a lawsuit of its own a day later, but federal prosecutors later said they intended to form a restitution pool from seized assets. That process now has begun, although ASD President Andy Bowdoin is appealing the January 2010 forfeiture order entered by U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer.

In its paperwork to dismiss the pyramid case, McCollum’s office pointed to Collyer’s forfeiture order, saying ASD victims from Florida and elsewhere had been provided an opportunity for restitution by the federal government.

On Sept. 28, 2009 — three days after Florida revoked ASD’s corporate registration and dissolved the registration of a shell company known as Bowdoin/Harris Enterprises — federal prosecutors filed a U.S. Secret Service transcript of a conference call ASD had recorded Sept. 21.

In the call, Bowdoin told members that the government had seized their money. In his court filings, however, Bowdoin claimed the money was his.

Federal prosecutors said the recording was evidence that Bowdoin could not keep his stories straight, arguing that he had told members one story and a federal judge another. Collyer issued the forfeiture order for more than $65.8 million less than four months later.

Although an email some ASD members received in recent days claimed that “It looks like things are moving in the right direction” with the Florida dismissal, the email urged members to “only share this with those whom you trust.

“Do not post on forums or blogs,” the email urged.

Federal prosecutors noted last month that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had dismissed one of two appeals Bowdoin had filed in the forfeiture cases, noting his second appeal was pending before the same court.

The court should reject that appeal as well, prosecutors argued.

With the federal procedure for restitution established, ASD victims now have a remedy for reimbursement, McCollum’s office advised a state judge.

In late 2008, Bowdoin told ASD members that Florida had dropped “Ponzi scheme” allegations against the firm. McCollum’s office immediately countered with a statement that it never even had accused ASD of operating a Ponzi scheme, noting that it had alleged a pyramid scheme only.

When Bowdoin made the 2008 claim, some ASD members raced to forums and websites to spread the news, which turned out not to be true. He later tried to sell members a VOIP telephone service, explaining the price he offered was a gift to his loyal supporters.

Even as Bowdoin was telling members in September 2009 that he had big plans for ASD, he did not explain why he had permitted its corporate registration to lapse or explain that the state had revoked the registration.

Instead, Bowdoin told members that the government had seized their money — a claim in opposition to his own court filings that advised a federal judge the seized money belonged to him.

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9 Responses to “Florida Drops State-Level Pyramid Case Against AdSurfDaily; Says It Has Supplied Victims’ List To Claims Administrator For Restitution From Assets Seized By Secret Service In Federal Case”

  1. The decision “without prejudice” to drop the case against ASD by the Florida AG makes good sense as it simply avoids parallel trials, and the additional cost to the public coffers. It looks as if Bill McCollum is more than satisfied with the way that the Federal case against Andy Bowdoin and ASD is going, as he has indeed passed his victims list over to them and will doubtless collaborate with the Federal prosecution with the information he has already collected.

    If any of the ASD gang see any reason to celebrate, they are a little misguided to say the least. How funny that they dont want anything posted on blogs and forums. Well I guess they dont want to look stupid.

  2. “Stupid is as Stupid does!”

    I believe that the next wild card that Bowdoin will play when his latest appeal is denied is that he is too sick to stand trial and probably will get himself signed in to some sort of Sanitarium or private hospital unfortunately that will not stop the Feds from signing him into their own exclusive prison hospital.

  3. Quick note:

    Some MPB Today members have been pitching the purported “grocery” program to ASD victims.

    If you were reading comments left on the PP Blog yesterday by MPB Today supporters, perhaps you noticed that critics of the program were called names such as “roaches” and “IDIOTS” and “clowns.” The critics also were called “terrible” people and “misleading” people.

    Separately, at least one MPB Today member apparently believed that the way to drive business to the firm was to attack President Obama by depicting him as a Nazi who cowers to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also depicted as a Nazi.

    Obama and Clinton are Democrats.

    It’s worth noting that, after McCollum’s office filed the pyramid allegations against ASD in 2008, some ASD members opined that McCollum should be charged with Deceptive Trade Practices for holding the view that ASD was a scam.

    McCollum is a Republican.

    A Florida TV station that had the temerity to report on the ASD allegations also should be charged with Deceptive Trade Practices, some ASD members claimed.

    Meanwhile, some members claimed the ASD prosecutors and Secret Service were Nazis and “Satan.” The prosecution was compared to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    ASD continues to both marvel and baffle — even after all this time. It is perhaps the strangest story I have ever covered, with MPB Today perhaps now nipping on its heels while serving up its own bizarre drama.


  4. I think the Florida AG just got out of the way to let the Feds have at Andy. He will certainly not get off scott free. I would not be at all surprised if the Florida AG refiles the case in a month or so. We will know more in November, once the Appeal is denied and the criminal case begins. I bet Andy is shaking in his Gucci loafers that were paid with ASD member money. He will surely be jailed soon, but not soon enough for most of us.

  5. Don:

    The Feds asked Florida to drop the charges against Andy so that there would be nothing that may hinder their Pursuit of Justice. The only way that Florida would refile charges would be if Andy was some how able to get out of going to jail on all of the Federal charges that are currently pending against him (which I have been told amount to over 500 years behind bars).


  6. Does this in anyway mean that we will get at least a partial amount of our monies returned? When do we find that out for sure?

  7. Look here, If only I had my money back.



  8. Well this looks promising if you ask me – looks like we’re making progress on getting part of our money back. I can wait another year. Thanks for posting the new remission website Patrick – I might not have found out about it otherwise

  9. […] Florida dropped the lawsuit “with prejudice,” meaning it can be refiled. The state said it had turned over a victim’s list to the federal government for the purposes of securing restitution from funds seized by the U.S. […]