Two Days Before Remissions Deadline, ASD Members Receive Yet-Another Confusing, Highly Questionable Email That Suggests Victims Seeking Restitution Should Tell Administrator That Program Was Not An Investment

Andy Bowdoin.

Some AdSurfDaily members have received an email that appears to be attributed in part to Sara Mattoon, the embattled autosurf firm’s former spokeswoman. The most recent correspondence fractures facts, suggests the government has no credible witnesses or evidence in its wire-fraud and securities-fraud case against ASD President Andy Bowdoin and implies suggestions given to recipients are a legal “opinion” from a qualified expert.

The date upon which the email was sent was unclear. At least one former ASD member reported receiving a copy of it today.

Like previous emails, the content of the email appears to be a compendium in which Mattoon and perhaps others assembled information and passed it along as though it were fact.

Among the claims are that federal prosecutors are creating victims out of thin air, that the government is engaging in trickery, that a pyramid-scheme case filed against ASD in Florida “was decided in ASD’s” favor, that “the government is in a very bad position to win a jury trial,” that prosecutors have “have no material tangible evidence and no credible witnesses to prove their case” — and that the remissions program is a “scam.”

Contrary to the claims in the email, the pyramid case brought by the state of Florida was not decided in ASD’s favor. The case did not go to trial, and no judge ruled that the government’s case was fatally flawed. Moreover, no judgment was issued in ASD’s favor.

State prosecutors said they dismissed the Florida civil case because two final orders of forfeiture already had been entered by U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer in civil litigation in federal court and that victims had a compensation remedy through the federal remissions program.

The deadline for filing a claim through Rust Consulting Inc. — the official claims administrator — is Jan. 19. There have been repeated attempts by some ASD members to discredit Rust, which is under contract with the U.S. government to administer the program.

A list of Florida victims already had been submitted to Rust, Florida prosecutors said. In October 2010, Florida confirmed it had dismissed the state-level pyramid case. Two months later, in December 2010, Bowdoin was charged criminally under federal law with wire fraud, securities fraud and selling unregistered securities. An investigation into his business practices has been under way since July 2008.

Regardless, the most recent email suggests that government evil is afoot.

“And we all need to be very pragmatic about this,” the email read in part, citing a purported “opinion” without providing the source of the opinion. “We purchased advertising legitimately. … Now it’ll be up to a real jury, and if ASD/Andy have lawyers that are even remotely competent, the verdict will be not guilty.”

Bowdoin was arrested Dec. 1. Federal prosecutors accused him of operating a Ponzi scheme that had gathered at least $110 million. Bowdoin, 76, is free on bail.

In the email, the criminal charges against him were pooh-poohed, apparently by the author of the “opinion.”

“But the bottom line on all of this is twofold,” the email read. “First, the government is in a very bad position to win a jury trial – they have no material tangible evidence and no credible witnesses to prove their case. Second – all these ‘scams’ including the Rust group are ploys, most likely instigated by the government to try and turn up ‘witnesses’ who will say they have been victims of investment fraud. But those who will say that can be torn apart by the ‘Terms and Conditions’ they agreed to during Defense cross-examination. The other witnesses – the government agents (or informers) can also be torn apart during cross examination. The vote by the jury must be unanimous in a felony case BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT and the government knows that they simply don’t have the evidence or the witnesses to get by that.”

Repeated claims have been made by some ASD members for months that the government lacked both witnesses and evidence. Despite the claims, the government announced last week in court filings that it had gathered at least 500,000 pages of emails and at least 100,000 pages of bank records as part of the probe.

Meanwhile, prosecutors said the U.S. Secret Service had identified at least 40,000 potential ASD victims.

Like a previous email, the most recent email also suggested that ASD members should use the remissions form to claim ASD was not an investment program. Such an approach potentially could result in a situation in which participants disqualified themselves from receiving restitution from assets seized in the case by the U.S. Secret Service.

Prosecutors alleged that ASD was an investment business masked as an advertising company.

Even so, some ASD members are sticking with an assertion that ASD was a legitimate advertising firm.

“If you feel that you want to fill it out, [the claims form] must be mailed to [Rust] by 1/19/11,” the email read. “If you do choose to fill it out, then where your signature would be, you may want to write the words ‘See Addendum.’ Then attach a statement something like this (in your own words):

‘I am very clear that this was not an investment and that I was purchasing advertising. And, since the government shut down my advertising company and I therefore did not get the advertising I paid for, I would like to get my advertising money back from whomever is holding it now.’

“Sign it and send it in with the forms supplied by Rust,” the email advised recipients.

At the same time, the email solicited prayers and cautioned against working with AnShell Financial Services, a company that says it is helping some ASD members fill out the remissions form for a fee.

Rust, the official claims administrator, has specifically disclaimed any affiliation with AnShell and has urged caution in dealing with the firm, which is approved neither by Rust nor the government.

Some ASD members appear to be as paranoid about the work AnShell is doing for certain members as they are about the government and Rust.

“The form you received from Sheldon Drobny, CPA/AnShell Financial Services is someone who was retained by a group of ASD/Golden Panda members to get their money back from the government,” the most recent email read. “This is the company that is holding the conference calls. If you feel you want to participate, be careful here also. Use the same attitude there: you didn’t make an investment; you purchased advertising. There is danger that this could be used against ASD also. Pray about it and decide for yourself if you want to participate.”

The email ended by citing the name “Sara” as the sender.

“That’s all I have for now,” the email concluded. “I am still very swamped caring for my husband and I am not a lawyer so I can’t really advise you further and answer any questions. Hope this is helpful. I still haven’t been able to process all the emails I received from ASD members in the Fall of 2009, giving me their change of e-address, so please pass it on to all ASD members you know. God’s Blessings, Sara.”

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7 Responses to “Two Days Before Remissions Deadline, ASD Members Receive Yet-Another Confusing, Highly Questionable Email That Suggests Victims Seeking Restitution Should Tell Administrator That Program Was Not An Investment”

  1. It’s still hard to believe these proponents of ASD never mention that Andy signed a Proffer letter. It must have absolutely no bearing on things, in their minds anyway.

    I found this explanation of what a Proffer Letter is, does, and means to a defendant: http://library.findlaw.com/2005/Feb/21/138691.html

    Maybe Andy’s lawyers and the few people who still extol his innocence need to read this…

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  2. It is equally hard to believe that these same people are keeping up the pretence that ASD couldnt continue to run the advertising rotator.

    In spite of all his protests, Bowdoin is on record confirming that ASD had back ups of all the information on their hard discs and it was confirmed in court that he had substantial sums offshore – with which he could have run it

    Funny that these people didnt pressurize Bowdoin to reinstate the advertising rotator at the time that these declarations were made, and most illogical, when you consider that they only spent their money with ASD because they wanted to advertise. lol

    Let’s hope that noone falls for the bad advice given in the email. The only people who have anything to lose if people fill out the forms are the uplines who made profits – and the Government knows who most of them are anyway (if not all of them).

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  3. So,

    the campaign works, and the SEC declares “AdSurf Daily was NOT an investment”

    Then what ????

    “Distraction” is one of the most commonly used techniques of magicians, ventriloquists and fraudsters.

    While everyone is being asked to look at the SEC and whether or not ASD was an investment, they are ignoring the fact the allegations are of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering and the SEC isn’t directly involved.

    The whole point of Bowdoin continually warning members not to use the word “investment” was never to avoid SEC interference, it was to lull members into a false sense of security.

    Anyone who has kept up to date with the proceedings realizes that while the focus was being deliberately kept on the SEC, the Secret Service/IRS task force was quietly gathering evidence of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering and NOT “securities violations”

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  4. The outcome of Andy’s criminal trial is not even relevant to the forfeiture case, which is where the restitution funds would come from. That in rem proceeding is nearly a settled case and there’s not a lot of prospects of any successful appeal. Even if Andy is acquitted on the criminal charges, that does not be a longshot mean he gets any of the seized money back.

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  5. Gregg, that is true; Andt won’t get back any of the seized money. But Andy has money offshore. Plus he likely has hidden Millions in cash reserves that will keep him in the life style to which he became accustomed after he took the ASD members for all he could before someone stepped in. He should have learned much from his previous 2 Felony convictions.

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  6. It’s still hard to believe these proponents of ASD never mention that Andy signed a Proffer letter. It must have absolutely no bearing on things, in their minds anyway

    Hi Don,

    Your comment reminded me of dirty_bird’s classic, June 2009 observation that the purveyors will ignore or explain away even the severing of a limb as “merely a flesh wound” if a fact set becomes too unpleasant:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2009/06/30/breaking-news-adviewglobal-cited-as-extension-of-adsurfdaily-in-rico-complaint-against-andy-bowdoin/comment-page-1/#comment-4275

    Back in February 2009, BEFORE it was publicly known Bowdoin had signed a proffer letter but AFTER he had submitted to the forfeiture, the RICO lawsuit had been filed and AdViewGlobal had launched, Surf’s Up hinted about an ASD secret weapon to come.

    That secret weapon proved to be Bowdoin’s 11th-hour conversion into a pro se litigant. On or about Feb. 25, 2009, he signed the first of his pro se pleadings. Around the same time, AVG reportedly was consulting with a convicted felon and going underground as a “private association.”

    On or about March 13, 2009, Surf’s Up released a purported letter from Bowdoin in which he noted he had gone the pro se route after meeting with a “group” of members who were smarter than his paid attorneys. The letter on Surf’s Up did not reveal that Bowdoin had signed a proffer letter after meeting with prosecutors over a period of FOUR days and acknowledged the government’s material allegations were all true.

    Nor did the letter explain what sort of information Bowdoin might have provided prosecutors about other ASD members during his debriefing. Bowdoin also did not acknowledge the fact he had been sued for racketeering and that a SECOND forfeiture case had been filed against ASD’s assets (in December 2008).

    Plenty of ASD members, apparently thrilled that Bowdoin had gone pro se after AVG had gone underground after meeting with a convicted felon and declaring U.S. Constitutional protections in the paper state it appears to have sought to create in Uruguay, cheered for Bowdoin on Surf’s Up.

    Prayers and statements of support were issued. Bowdoin, believed by some members to be a racketeer associated with other racketeers, was cast as a heroic figure who was demonstrating his unwavering support for ASD members. People less enthused about the bizarre developments either were banned or hectored on Surf’s Up.

    Bowdoin’s March 2009 letter also chided prosecutors, claiming his pro se filings “should really get their attention.” He asked for yet-another letter-writing campaign, this one incongruously to President Obama and Glenn Beck of Fox News.

    So, in capsule form, a man facing criminal indictment, two civil forfeiture complaints, a racketeering lawsuit and his own history of felonious scheming, was lionized on Surf’s Up — even as the government had his signed proffer letter, had debriefed him for four days — and even as Bowdoin was saying he had new tricks that should get the attention of prosecutors and soliciting members to get the President of the United States and Fox News to sanitize the ASD scheme.

    This allegedly occurred after Bowdoin and ASD members had sought to use a previous President of the United States — George W. Bush — to sanitize the ASD scheme.

    By April 2009, prosecutors had revealed the existence of the proffer letter.

    http://patrickpretty.com/2009/04/24/prosecution-bombshell-bowdoin-signed-proffer-letter-prior-to-submitting-to-forfeiture-that-said-governments-material-allegations-were-all-true/

    The existence of the proffer letter demonstrated that Bowdoin, cast as a hero on Surf’s Up, had created a monumental legal problem for himself, members of his family — and other ASD members.

    We now know that the grand jury that indicted Bowdoin began to meet in May 2009 — perhaps within days of the prosecutors’ revelation that Bowdoin had signed a proffer.

    Demonstrating once again that any unpleasant fact set can be overlooked and perhaps dismissed as merely a flesh wound, Surf’s Up spent the balance of 2009 misinforming ASD members, rebirthing already-discredited stories and displaying an ability to shape and twist like Gumby.

    http://patrickpretty.com/2009/09/22/theyre-gumby-dammit-purported-asd-flexible-plan-now-so-flexible-it-changes-with-every-argument/

    The various emails that have circulated among members since then is just more of the same. The recent claim that prosecutors “have no material tangible evidence and no credible witnesses to prove their case” is belied by the record of the August 2008 forfeiture case.

    So is the thuggish claim by some ASD members that ASD members who believe they are victims can be can be “TORN APART by the Terms and Conditions” when cross-examined by Bowdoin’s lawyers and that the agents and “informers” also can be “TORN APART.” (Emphasis added.)

    Me? I think the use of the word “informers” is a “tell” of the paranoia that exists in some ASD quarters. I also think that certain ASD members are seeking to chill other ASD members. The chillers want victims to imagine themselves being “torn apart” on the witness stand.

    Expect to get “torn apart” on the stand if you identify yourself as a victim — but by all means, enjoy “God’s Blessings.”

    These competing notions are irreconcilable — as is so much about ASD.

    It is horrifying that Bowdoin’s supporters apparently believe it prudent to ignore the fact that Bowdoin was named a defendant in a racketeering lawsuit that alleges AVG was the next iteration of ASD — while the supporters at once say people who appear on the witness stand against ASD will be “torn apart” by the lawyers for a man who purports to be a Christian.

    Moreover, the record of the civil case already shows that ASD’s own witnesses were cross-examined on various issues, including rebates and the language of ASD’s Terms of Service.

    Then-prosecutor William Cowden even cross-examined ASD’s expert witness — MLM attorney Gerald Nehra — who asserted ASD was not a Ponzi scheme.

    Cowden cross-examined Nehra on Nehra’s opinion ASD was not a Ponzi scheme and on the subject of ASD’s “rebate” program. Cowden demonstrated in the courtroom — with Nehra on the witness stand — that ASD had said rebates “will” be paid until a customer received 125 percent of his or her ad spend — in other words, 25 percent more than the customer had paid ASD for “advertising.”

    “Now,” Cowden asked Nehra, who was on the witness stand, “have you ever seen in the ASD rebate program the representation that [ASD] makes that rebates WILL (emphasis added) be paid up to a hundred and twenty-five percent, correct?”

    “We have discussed that in the — ” Nehra answered.

    “Is that correct?” Cowden asked, returning to his question about whether ASD had said rebates “will” be paid.

    “Yes,” Nehra responded, “I have seen that.”

    “Mr. Nehra, yes or no answer, that’s what it says, rebates will be paid up to a hundred and twenty-five percent?” Cowden asked again, in a bid to solidify the answer for the record.

    “It does say that, counselor,” Nehra answered.

    “One hundred twenty-five percent is more money than you put in, right?” Cowden asked.

    “Yes,” Nehra answered.

    Patrick

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