NOTE TO ASD VICTIMS: Rust Consulting Inc. Is The ONLY Authorized Claims Administrator; Don’t Be Confused By Claims Another Company Can Expedite Refunds

ASD's Andy Bowdoin.

In early September, federal prosecutors informed U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer that an official website had been established to inform victims of the alleged AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme about the remissions and restitution process.

The government’s filing, which lists the URL of the website — http://www.adsurfdailyremission.com/ — is a public record. It has been on Collyer’s docket since Sept. 2. It is signed by three federal prosecutors, including Ronald C. Machen Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

What the filing means is that the government has formally notified Collyer that it has done what it said it would do all along: Arrange for ASD victims to receive restitution from seized funds through a formal process known as remission.

The remissions website is operated by Rust Consulting Inc., which is under contract with the government to handle the remissions and restitution process.

The PP Blog has seen reports and received inquiries from readers about a company known as Anshell Financial Services LLC (AFS). Among other things, AFS claims to be able to “expedite” the process of recovery. It also claims it has “established an efficient business relationship” with Rust, the official claims administrator.

Not so fast, says Rust.

“Rust Consulting, Inc. is an independent claims administrator that has been retained by the U.S. Secret Service to assist in processing Remission Forms,” Rust said. “Neither the U.S. Secret Service nor Rust Consulting, Inc. are in any way affiliated with or endorse AnShell Financial Services.”

AFS published a document on its website that says it will charge a recovery fee to assist ASD, Golden Panda and LaFuenteDinero members. The document was called a “retainer agreement.”

“The fee for these services is a retainer of the lesser of 10% of your investment or $1,000 against 10% of the recovered investment,” AFS said. The company also noted in an email to victims that it may be “intimidating and unpleasant” to work with the government.

There is no need to pay any company to recover money seized by the Secret Service in the ASD case. Contrary to claims made by some ASD members, the government has said all along that it intends to form a restitution pool from the seized assets. It has hired Rust to administer the process and the pool.

As things stand today, the pool is not fully funded because of appeals filed by ASD President Andy Bowdoin. The government is 3-0 in the forfeiture litigation so far, and 1-0 in the appeals process — with a Bowdoin appeal remaining to be decided.

Among the bizarre claims circulated by some ASD members is that prosecutors placed approximately $80 million seized in the case in interest-bearing accounts that generated $1 billion or more in revenue.

Some ASD members claimed prosecutors were partying with the money and had stolen at least some of it. Others claimed Collyer was conspiring with another federal judge to deny ASD members justice.

Even as some ASD members were making one bizarre claim after another, others added to strange nature of the case by claiming there were no “witnesses” and no “evidence” against ASD in the case.

These claims were made despite the fact Collyer conducted an evidentiary hearing in open court over a two-day period in the fall of 2008. ASD members attended the hearing and even testified. Evidence was tested and witnesses examined by both the government and the ASD side.

Some of the evidence against ASD has been in the public record since Aug. 5, 2008. Regardless, dozens of members continued to insist there was no evidence against the company.

In November 2008, Collyer ruled that ASD had not demonstrated it was a lawful business and not a Ponzi scheme.

Bowdoin later signed a proffer letter and acknowledged the government’s material allegations all were true. He met with prosecutors over a period of at least four days, and gave information against his interest because he believed that cooperation possibly could help him avoid a prison sentence, according to Bowdoin’s own court filings.

In January 2009, Bowdoin submitted to the forfeiture. In March 2009, he said through a letter released on the now-defunct Surf’s Up forum that he changed his mind after consulting with a “group” of members. Bowdoin tried to renew his claims to the money, but the effort failed after a months-long court battle.

Bowdoin next tried to have Collyer removed from the case, another effort that failed. He has blamed lawyers from both sides of the case for his legal predicament, and claimed his continuing fight was inspired by a former Miss America.

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7 Responses to “NOTE TO ASD VICTIMS: Rust Consulting Inc. Is The ONLY Authorized Claims Administrator; Don’t Be Confused By Claims Another Company Can Expedite Refunds”

  1. Patrick, it never ceased to amaze…. I wonder what other nonsensical claim will be made next. I like the “$1 Billion in interest” paid in a bit over 2 years on 80 Million. I was unaware that there was a HYIP bank around paying that extremely high a rate of interest. Please find out what financial institution it is so I can put some money in with them. I’d be a millionaire faster than Andy Bowdoin’s money laundering ASD could make me.

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  2. Patrick:
    I want to clarify some unfair criticisms we are receiving. If you checked our web site, my CV shows that I have been a forensic auditor for 43 years including uncovering frauds that yielded over $100,000,000 to my clients. I was contacted by a client in August to check out whether the Government was going to return assets seized by them from ASD et al. I contacted the AUSA Barry Weigand who told me that the government was hiring an outside contractor to process claims. He directed me to the web site at http://www.adsurfdailyremission.com/. I then contacted Sandra Peters from Rust Consulting, Inc and I told her that I was representing several clients who had contacted me to help them get their claims filed. By that time I had several clients through word of mouth or email. I asked her about the claims process and I told her that I would be representing many clients. She did not give me the form nor had she determined any deadline date for filing the claim. Rust services the public and private sector in making distributions of money either in class action matters or seizures by state and local governments.

    When I originally contacted both Rust and the AUSA they both encouraged me to contact them to get the claims form and other information to help investors file claims. To the extent that we are experienced CPAs who have filed thousands of claims for clients, our experience has been that the process is much smoother and faster if we represent the clients in filling out the forms and organizing and presenting the required documentation. To that extent, we can speed up the process. Even though the government is not going to accept claims after January 19, 2011, the deadline for filing, that does not necessarily guarantee that the claims will be paid without any review on their part. More than likely people will make mistakes in filling out the claim forms and submitting the required substantiation. The form is very detailed and complicated. Nevertheless, we deleted all references to speed from our web site.

    There was some confusion from investors about who we represented and we made it clear that we are not working for the government. Our job is to help investors file claims with the government contractor. That is probably why Rust put the disclaimer on their web site. We did as well with regard to our not being affiliated with Rust. The fee we are charging is the same as those who retained our firm before we started the web site. Investors have no obligation to use our services and Rust only stated in its disclaimer that investors should be cautious about hiring anyone who promised that the claims would be processed faster. I disagree with Rust’s opinion about the speed of processing claims. Certainly claims that are accurately filed with the proper substantiation will be processed faster as mistakes will naturally slow down the process.

    In addition,Rust’s web site suggests that`some people will disagree with the amounts they will receive and in these cases, we will act as investors’ advocates since as CPAs we are familiar with the appeals process. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the government will reach all investors by email and our web site’s popularity may lead investors to our site who may not have gotten notification by the government. Once the January 19, 2011 deadline expires, investors will not be able to file claims even if they were not contacted. So despite the disclaimer by Rust, I believe that we are providing a valuable service for many of the thousands of investors who lost their investment in ASD.

    Hope this clarifies the confusion.

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  3. do we submit the refund paperwork that is available & involves Rust & Anshell? your advice?-i’m an investor in ASD -i lost my kids tuition money for college.

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  4. Patrick:
    blah, blah, blah, blah

    Problem is….you ARE NOT NEEDED to be involved for people to get back all that they can without another scammer ripping them off for no reason. All you have to do is direct them to their official place to get their own forms and have them fill them out and send them in.
    Patrick’s article is valid. Thanks for proving that.

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  5. Gerry,

    You need to submit the refund paperwork to Rust. They are the one who are dealing with it. if you have questions about the paperwork, you can certainly call Rust and ask their advice.

    If people are honest about the information they give, it will doubtless tie up correctly with the ASD data which Rust have in their possession. If people conceal information, this should show up discrepancies with the data base. If, for example you “forget” to mention that you had a downline of 30 investors who invested very large sums of money, I cant see how it will help you. Rust already know about the downlines and sponsors.

    I personally cant see how an outside “go between” can help speed up anything, as you can ask for help filling out the form from anyone who understands legal forms, including Rust themselves. I am sure that there will be some claims that are questioned – and possibly because sponsors themslves have not told the truth or havent claimed annd there will be some errors in the data base, but the members and their paperwork will be powerful evidence that they are telling the truth.

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  6. Gerry, Anshell has nothing to do with the remissions process, other than someone who is trying to get a fee for doing nothing. They cannot get your money returned any faster, and are ambulance chasing here. Anshell is a company that is less than 6 months old and thought up by a convicted tax dodger, stay away from them!!

    Rust is the officially contracted administrator, so deal with them only.

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  7. Some ASD Members are concerned about giving out their personal banking information to this Rust Consulting, Inc. What is your take on this and is there anything we could furnish our bank with that would eliminate any additional money being tampered with by this Company. At this point I think most of the victims of ASD do not trust anyone but it looks as though we are forced to give this information or not be able to participate in recovering any of our money. I just have this fear now not to trust ANYONE!!!

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