Accused Ponzi Scheme Felon Andy Bowdoin Launches Facebook Page, Asks Members To ‘Like’ Him And ‘Share’ Link To Defense Fundraising Site ‘Right Away’
After weeks of delays, a Facebook “Fan” page for accused Ponzi schemer Thomas Anderson “Andy” Bowdoin finally has launched. The site includes a link to “Andy’s Fundraising Army,” the web venue at which Bowdoin’s bid to raise $500,000 to pay for criminal lawyers has fallen 95 percent short of its goal.
Bowdoin, 76, was arrested in Florida in December 2010 and freed on bail. Federal prosecutors described him as a recidivist securities huckster who’d presided over Quincy-based AdSurfDaily.
ASD was an “autosurf” Ponzi scheme disguised as an “advertising company,” and Bowdoin used some of the money sent in by members to make campaign donations to the National Republican Congressional Committee, prosecutors said.
An early version of Bowdoin’s alleged $110 million Ponzi scheme collapsed in 2007, leaving members holding the bag, according to records. After weeks in limbo, ASD switched the URL from which the purported “program” operated and relaunched under the new name of ASD Cash Generator, sucking in a new crop of victims, prosecutors said.
The accounts and unpaid redemptions of participants active at the time of the 2007 collapse were rolled into the new scheme, and incoming members were not told about the original Ponzi failure and that members were getting paid with recycled cash, prosecutors said.
ASD eventually gained momentum by creating a video lie about the program’s purported legality and by arranging “rallies” in U.S. cities. In late 2007, Bowdoin added a second autosurf Ponzi known as LaFuenteDinero — Spanish for “the fountain of money” — to his criminal tool kit, and compounded his deception, prosecutors said.
In 2008, Bowdoin and Clarence Busby Jr. of Acworth, Ga., struck up a partnership that resulted in the creation of an autosurf known as Golden Panda Ad Builder, describing it as ASD’s “Chinese” option, according to records.
The SEC has described Busby as a prime-bank swindler implicated in three securities schemes in the 1990s. Busby has described himself as a minister and real-estate professional. Records suggest he has lost property in Georgia to foreclosure, was the operator of yet-another surf scheme known as BizAdSplash (BAS) and was on the receiving end of an IRS tax lien.
BAS went missing in early 2010, after positioning itself as a purported offshore business. Its web servers resolved to Panama.
Like Busby, Bowdoin also was implicated in securities schemes in the 1990s, according to records. He narrowly avoided prison time in Alabama by agreeing to make restitution to defrauded investors.
Bowdoin has asked Facebook members to “like” his site. The Facebook site does not mention that three ASD members filed a prospective-class action lawsuit against Bowdoin in 2009, accusing him of racketeering and disguising the nature of ASD’s business.
Nor does the Facebook site reveal that ASD and related businesses have been on the receiving end of at least three civil-forfeiture judgments totaling about $80 million. In August 2008, the U.S. Secret Service seized about $65.8 million from 10 personal bank accounts of Bowdoin through which he was operating the ASD business, according to records.
The seizure occurred after ASD members falsely claimed that Bowdoin had received an award for business acumen from then-President George W. Bush, prosecutors said. Bowdoin filed two appeals when forfeiture orders were entered against his assets, but lost both. His new appeals for cash are targeted at the people Bowdoin is accused of defrauding: the ASD membership base.
In the aftermath of the 2008 seizures, Bowdoin described federal prosecutors in the District of Columbia — the venue in which the forfeiture actions were filed — as “Satan.” Bowdoin’s use of the word “Satan” occurred just weeks after he described himself at a company “rally” in Las Vegas as a Christian “money magnet.”
Bowdoin also compared the seizures to the 9/11 attacks, saying the actions against ASD by the Secret Service were “30 times worse” in some ways than the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington.
One of the Washington victims of the 9/11 attacks was Barbara Olson, an author, television commentator and former assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in the District of Columbia office. Olson was the wife of former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson.
In commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, prosecutors in the District of Columbia dedicated a national-security conference room in Barbara Olson’s memory last week.
“As an AUSA in [the District of Columbia] office, and throughout her career, Barbara proved that her convictions ran deep, and that her fidelity — to the values she held dear, the principles she fought to defend, and the countless people whose lives she touched — was unshakeable,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last week.
ASD is known to have so-called “sovereign citizens” in its ranks. Two ASD figures — Kenneth Wayne Leaming and Christian Oesch — sought unsuccessfully to sue the government for its actions in the ASD case, apparently seeking the staggering sum of more than $29 trillion, more than twice the U.S. Gross Domestic Product in 2009.
Leaming was accused in Washington state in 2005 of practicing law without a license. Records show he also was involved in a lawsuit that sought more than $9 billion against a local hospital in Washington state. Filings in the case show that Leaming sought liens against the hospital and even sought to attach it water and mineral rights. At least two notaries public in Washington state with ties to Leaming have had their licenses revoked. The names of both notaries appear on the docket of U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer in the District of Columbia.
Collyer is presiding over the ASD-related forfeiture actions and the criminal case against Bowdoin. Bowdoin twice has tried to have Collyer removed from the case. Both efforts failed, and the U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld the forfeiture orders she issued in the case.
Sixty-two people (as of the time of this post) have “liked” Bowdoin’s Facebook fan page. It is unclear if Bowdoin’s fans have followed the ASD case closely.