Is An AdViewGlobal Member Unhappy With AdSurfDaily Members Who Choose To File Remission Forms? Rant Accuses Filers Of Selling Their Souls And Destroying Lives

EDITOR’S NOTE: Content from an email referenced in the story below has not been edited by the PP Blog for spelling, punctuation, grammar or clarity.

Some AdSurfDaily members have received a disturbing email that accuses them of selling their souls and destroying lives by participating in the government-approved remissions program designed to mitigate their losses, the PP Blog has learned.

The author of the email is unclear.

It is possible, however, that the email rant originated with a member of the AdViewGlobal (AVG) autosurf, which had members and promoters in common with ASD and crashed and burned in June 2009. An email address under which the rant against ASD members appeared included the apparent abbreviations “fms” and “avg” as part of the address in this format: fms.avg@

Even so, it was unclear if the person who used the address was the author of the rant, which was unsigned and appears to have been forwarded to multiple ASD members. The rant makes the claim that ASD never sold an “investment” product and that the company was an “online advertising system.”

ASD President Andy Bowdoin was indicted earlier this month. Federal prosecutors described ASD as a wink-nod investment business through which Bowdoin sold unregistered securities as investment contracts by calling member payouts “rebates” to avoid regulatory scrutiny.

AVG, which launched in the aftermath of the seizure of tens of millions of dollars from Bowdoin in 2008, advertised 200 percent “bonuses” for months. The surf announced it was suspending payouts in June 2009. Just days later, AVG’s name was cited in a racketeering lawsuit filed against Bowdoin by ASD members.

The rant surfaced yesterday, in advance of a purported phone conference to be held by Sheldon Drobny of AnShell Financial Services at 9 p.m. (ET) today. Drobny, whose company is not the official ASD claims administrator, says he can assist in helping ASD members file claims forms with Rust Consulting Inc., the official administrator, and help them recover money.

Apparently unhappy that ASD members even would think about filing claims, the author of the email rant wrote that participants who filed a claim would be signing their “morals and soul away” and supporting “innocent peoples lives being destroyed.”

The email claimed that a “back lash” would occur against any ASD member who participated in the claims program. The author did not say who would carry out the purported backlash and what it would entail.

“Again, if you continue to pass on and support meaningless calls like this and help people build their belief the actions done to ASD were right and the claim form is asking you the appropriate questions and truly believe it was an invstment you made and your friends and family referred you to a securities investment then by all means fill out the scandalist claim form,” the author wrote. “Just be prepared for the back lash and consequences to come.”

Persons who agreed with the government’s contention that ASD scammed investors “should hide under a rock and stay their,” according to the rant.

Some ASD victims are believed to have lost tens of thousands of dollars in the alleged, $110 million Ponzi scheme. Regardless, the rant implied that there are no victims and that ASD members who filed claims did so at the cost of the “sacrafice of other decent human beings such as your family and friends.”

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19 Responses to “Is An AdViewGlobal Member Unhappy With AdSurfDaily Members Who Choose To File Remission Forms? Rant Accuses Filers Of Selling Their Souls And Destroying Lives”

  1. I think “Honest” Andy and/or his minions are attempting to set up his defence for the trial. I think these type of threats, along with the instructions to add extra comments to the claim form, are an attempt to present “evidence” that Andy can use. I believe he will try to show that ASD was not a ponzi because “lots” of people used it for “advertising”.

    I wonder if anyone who didn’t have a business to “advertise” and so used one of the recommended alternatives will add to the “it’s just advertising” pool?

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  2. what gets me going is WHEN we were told not to say it was an investment. When Dawn took over as MC on the Monday night calls. she did a rotten job controlling the guest ASD member who would say “What an investment!!!!” so this I do not know anyone who thought is was an investment is a joke.

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  3. My sponsors are freaking out. That is all I will say right now.

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  4. The only people who are signing their “morals and soul away” are those who are trying to convince members who have lost their money NOT to file claims.

    It’s a bit late in the day to start the old argument about “we bought advertising”. That particular defence to the prosecution charges have been dealt with and dismissed many times in the courts already. It has long been established that it is highly unlikely that ANYONE bought ASD ad packs solely for the advertising. They either bought it for advertising that had a superb and improbable return on their investment in adverting or just as a straight investment.

    So the only reason that anyone may have to try to threaten members from claiming must surely be that they dont want too many claims made, in order to reduce the pool of claimants and dminish the aqpparent gravity of the losses AND that they certainly dont want their names mentioned as sponsors, nor do they want any other details of the ASD heirarchy and structure to come out.

    They must be seriously stupid if they believe that threatening members with unforseen consequences will stop the Government from proceeding with the clawback and the prosecution of guilty participants.

    The only people who are involved in any “sacrafice of other decent human beings such as your family and friends.” are the people trying to stop people from claiming.

    I have said before and will repeat

    IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE – PUT IN A CLAIM. BEING A VICTIM OF A FRAUD IS NOT A CRIME and dont let anyone threaten you. They are not thinking of you and your family. They are only trying to cover their own backs.

    If some people used dirty money to invest in ASD or have some other reason to lie low – that’s their problem, but it has nothing to do with the thousands of people who were conned out of their money by a bunch of professional con men (including some highly professional promoters who knew exactly what ASD was when they recruited you)

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  5. This person said it best.

    IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE – PUT IN A CLAIM. BEING A VICTIM OF A FRAUD IS NOT A CRIME and dont let anyone threaten you. They are not thinking of you and your family. They are only trying to cover their own backs.

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  6. I was a relatively small time loser, around $7000. (I have heard of others in the $50-$100,000 range) My sponsor broke even, but his sponsor made a bundle. Remodeled her house with ASD (other peoples money)and had close to $300,000 in ad-packs when it was shut down. Should I jump over him and try to get the money from her? Is that even possible? I had $3000 in uncashed checks from ASD. I had just started to try and get my original stake back. I was not an auto-surf player and had never played HYIPs. My sponsor talked me into it, and I blindly accepted that it was real. Big mistake, but I admit it.

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  7. Can’t someone (Don?) who’s been the recepient of ASD email blasts, recognize the author of the email, based on the garbled syntax, appalling spelling, and non-existent puncuation?

    I can’t get inside the minds of people who would encourage other ASD members to continue to believe in Andy Bowdoin’s reputation for honesty, even if it means foregoing a refund of money the member desperately needs. Andy did more than set up and steal from a highly successful Ponzi scheme; he also established a cult in which he plays the role of the god-like figure whose word must never be questioned.

    In their email exchanges, are they still talking about praying for Andy and Faye?

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  8. Yes, you can in principle go after your sponsor and your sponsor’s sponsor. They have a civil liability toward you for (presumably) knowingly bringing you into an obviously illegal Ponzi scheme. I have no idea how easy or difficult such a court case would be — you should consult with an attorney. At the very least, you could provide lots of details on your experience, and on the “winnings” of your sponsor’s sponsor to the authorities (the AUSA for example). That could help in increasing the size of the clawback pool. Your sponsor also could be subject to clawbacks. In principle, your sponsor is not allowed to “break even.” They broke even on your losses, and in principle all victims should lose equally.

    I was a relatively small time loser, around $7000. (I have heard of others in the $50-$100,000 range) My sponsor broke even, but his sponsor made a bundle. Remodeled her house with ASD (other peoples money)and had close to $300,000 in ad-packs when it was shut down. Should I jump over him and try to get the money from her? Is that even possible? I had $3000 in uncashed checks from ASD. I had just started to try and get my original stake back. I was not an auto-surf player and had never played HYIPs. My sponsor talked me into it, and I blindly accepted that it was real. Big mistake, but I admit it.  (Quote)

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  9. Quick note:

    It is clear that the prosecution anticipated the wink-nod arguments and addressed them in the August 2008 forfeiture complaint. It is equally clear that the indictment against Bowdoin unsealed earlier this month also anticipated them and addressed them.

    Other than a mere charging document, the indictment can be viewed as the document that ushered in the death of “wink-nod” arguments in ASD and the surf/HYIP biz in general, in my view. The prosecution has an email from Bowdoin in which Bowdoin himself allegedly lays out the wink-nod nature of the program and explains his bid to skirt securities laws by coming up with naming conventions to keep the government at bay:

    Here’s what Bowdoin said in the email, according to the indictment:

    “[L]et’s don’t (sic) use the words investment and returns. Instead, lets (sic) use ad sales and surfing commissions. The Attorney Generals in the U.S. don’t like for us to use these words in our program?”

    So, according to the indictment, Bowdoin UNDERSTOOD the core vulnerability of the program and how it could be attacked by regulators/prosecutors — in other words, he PLANNED the crime and relied on wink-nod to carry it out.

    The government further bolsters its claim by pointing out that Bowdoin urged members not to report ASD to the authorities.

    “I ask you . . . to please work with me on a payment plan,” Bowdoin wrote, according to the indictment. “If an agency came in for an investigation it would hurt a lot of people.”

    So, in other words, Bowdoin KNEW the scheme he had hatched could hurt a lot of people if it came up on law enforcement’s radar.

    Of course, the indictment also notes that Bowdoin had previous encounters with securities regulators — including a guilty plea to selling unregistered securities in one Alabama county and a previous indictment in which he was charged with securities fraud for selling unregistered securities in another Alabama county. He avoided jail by agreeing to pay restitution to people he scammed.

    Now, looking back to the August 2008 forfeiture complaint . . .

    After telling an undercover agent that he believed ASD was a Ponzi scheme masked as an advertising business, an ASD member “ended the call by asking the [undercover agent] if he needed a sponsor and offered his own ASD member number. This person invited the TFA to join ASD’s Ponzi scheme as his referral even though he knew it was a Ponzi.”

    Source: Paragraphs 38 and 39 of the August 2008 forfeiture complaint

    Quick side note: I have seen videos in which members of the purported MPB Today “grocery” program fundamentally did the same thing: pointed out that there clearly were problems with the program, including lying and scamming affiliates — but encouraged prospects to join REGARDLESS.

    Now, back to ASD and the August 2008 forfeiture complaint. From Paragraph 40:

    “On or about July 16, 2008, a[n] [undercover agent] interviewed an ASD participant at his residence in Orlando, Florida. The participant stated that in June 2008 he joined ASD by making a direct deposit into ASD’s BOA account and linking his website, a newsletter promoting different HYIPs or auto-surf programs, to his ASD account. The participant acknowledged that he joined ASD for its returns – not to advertise his webpage. The.participant explained that he logged onto his ASD account and looked at advertisement as part of ASD’s requirements, but said that the
    advertisement side of ASD was a ‘joke’ and that he just clicked a button and stayed on a site for a few seconds and moved on to another site. The participant said there is no requirement to actually view the websites or purchase products promoted by the websites. He explained that ASD was an ‘auto-surf’ program that he learned about from the Internet and other individuals. According to the participant, he was familiar with online investing and in the past he had participated in other scams that were HYIPs and ‘auto-surfs.’ Specifically, he mentioned 12daily Pro, and claimed to have lost $9,300 in that Ponzi scheme.”

    So, this member allegedly also UNDERSTOOD the wink-nod nature of ASD and also was using it to promote other HYIP and autosurf schemes — AFTER losing nearly $10,000 in 12DailyPro.

    Meanwhile, in this allegation from Paragraph 43 of the August 2008 complaint, an ASD member tells an undercover agent about the wink-nod nature of ASD:

    “The [undercover agent] asked her about investing with ASD. She immediately said, ‘Don’t call it investing, you know what I mean, we can get in trouble if we say that, we have to be careful.'”

    Flash forward to the birth of AdViewGlobal. What do you get? More of the same:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2009/04/27/avg-forum-mod-warns-members-not-to-call-purchases-an-investment-says-posts-referencing-return-or-roi-will-be-deleted/

    Patrick

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  10. Should I jump over him and try to get the money from her? Is that even possible?

    In addition to what Entertained has pointed out, something which is often overlooked is that if a “sponsor” accepts payment for the act of introducing someone to the fraud, that sponsor immediately moves into an entirely different category of liabilty

    ESPECIALLY if he or she makes statements as to the legality and/or risks involved or repeats untrue statements from the fraudsters or others, without personally verifying the accuracy of the information being relayed.

    FYI, reading the following page will give you some deeper insight into the legalities which exist WRT HYIPS and autosurfs.

    Pay particular attention to the section headed: “BROKERS BEWARE!! Whatever the case may be, if you are an intermediary, broker, facilitator, or self-styled “commitment holder” or “trader”, with regard to high yield investment programs”

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  12. Thanks for the replies, and the links. very informative. My sponsor held a three way call with the women who made the money. She claimed it was a legal and honest venture, and that I should get involved immediately. ASD paid two levels of referral fees, so she made money every time I bought new ad packs.

    Thanks

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  13. Hi, Patrick;

    Your comments re AVG remind me that Andy Bowdoin and/or his minions appear to have escaped cleanly with whatever funds were in AVG’s hands at the time they closed things down.

    Don’t know how much money may have been involved, but my recollection is that they were reporting about 39,000 “members”. If the amount they contributed averaged just $100 apiece, the gross revenue would have been almost $4 million. Whatever the amount, I imagine it was a large sum. Can’t help but wonder if the purveyors of that leg the “family business” will ever be called to account.

    -PWD

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  14. …..sounds like your sponsor has provided the petards upon which your sponsor, the “winners”, and your sponsor’s sponsor can be hoisted, if you so choose. As LRM points out, they drew you in by falsely claiming the legality of the (obviously) illegal Ponzi scheme known as ASD. Let us know what you decide to do. Know that these people have benefitted illegally from your loss, they intentionally brought you in and caused your loss (although you bear some responsibility as well), and may very well have known from the beginning that this was a scam. At the very least, you could help yourself and the other victims by detailing to whatever extent you can to the authorities, enabling the authorities to recover the illegal gains from these people, for redistribution back to the victims. You’ll notice in the news right now that the widow of Madoff’s biggest “winner” has agreed to return $7.2 BILLION without a challenge, stating that she wants to help the victims as much as possible. Unlikely that the Bowdoin gang and your sponsor/upline will be so honorable (well, they haven’t yet anyway….)

    Thanks for the replies, and the links. very informative. My sponsor held a three way call with the women who made the money. She claimed it was a legal and honest venture, and that I should get involved immediately. ASD paid two levels of referral fees, so she made money every time I bought new ad packs.Thanks  (Quote)

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  15. my recollection is that they were reporting about 39,000 “members”.

    Hi Pat,

    My recollection from the spring/early summer of 2009 was that AVG reported on its website in three different places on the very same day that it had 15,000 members, 17,000 members and more than 20,000 members.

    This was near the time of the June 25 collapse, so I’m thinking that it probably didn’t increase its ranks to 39,000.

    It’s really hard to tell how much money AVG gathered. Among the absurb claims were that ads would convert at 37 percent** regardless of the product or the quality of the traffic, that AVG would would post $1 billion in revenue by the end of 2009, that it would become a Fortune 500 company and that it was 100 percent legal.

    Patrick

    ** If the sales copy didn’t “suck.”

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  16. They must have made some money or they would be back in the States and not living where they are.

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  17. and may very well have known from the beginning that this was a scam.

    The acceptance of a “referral fee” makes what the referrer knew or didn’t know largely irrelevant.

    Once the referral fee has been accepted, the member is legally entitled to assume the upline “knew or should have known” the facts being presented were true.

    IM(very)HO it is only a matter of time before some of ponzi fraud insiders will face criminal and/or civil action based not on on what they “knew” but based on what they “SHOULD HAVE KNOWN” before accepting commissions.

    Especially given the amount of some of the reported losses incurred by ASD members and the unlikelihood of any substantial rebates being available.

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  18. As I recall, ASD was adding 1000 people a day in the summer of 08 before the doors were shut. I think there were close to 130,000 members at the time. My guess is that most ‘invested’ at least a test spend of a little money. The ones who knew it, or suspected, it of being a scam threw in the big bucks. Many of the so called winners made their big money by referring others and getting the matching bonuses. If I put in $1000 for ad packs in ASD my sponsor got a matching bonus of $1000 in the Spanish site. That is when I started to question the program. I told him it could not sustain this activity. ASD announced the matching bonuses were to be discontinued. I started to withdraw, the checks were mailed, and ASD was closed before I could cash them. Ouch. Painful lesson.

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