MAJOR DEVELOPMENT: AdSurfDaily Remissions Payments Will Be 100 Cents On The Dollar; ‘Thousands’ Of Payments To Go Out; ‘Overwhelming Majority’ Of Claims Approved; Members React With Joy

Thousands” of AdSurfDaily Ponzi victims with approved claims will receive remissions payments of “100 percent” in the coming days, a source familiar with the process tells the PP Blog.

It is quite rare “to have a remissions program that comes back with 100 percent,” the source said.

The claims process was administered by Rust Consulting Inc. of Minnesota. The process was coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Secret Service and the office of U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. in the District of Columbia.

After three long years waiting for the process to be finalized after two forfeiture appeals by ASD President Andy Bowdoin and attempted pro se interventions by dozens of members who claimed the government was the bad guy, ASD members who stuck with the process expressed joy.

“YAYAYAYAY!” exclaimed one. Another characterized the news as “amazing.”

A small percentage of ASD members who filed claims will not receive compensation because they failed to demonstrate a loss, the source said.

An “overwhelming majority” of claims were granted, the source said. Court records show that about 11,000 people filed claims.

Payments are expected to begin within 15 days. The money will be deposited electronically into the accounts of ASD members whose claims were granted.

In 2008, Bowdoin compared the prosecutors in the case to “Satan.” Other ASD members described the U.S. Secret Service as “Nazis” and “goons.” A poster on the now-defunct Surf’s Up forum said that the lead prosecutor in the case should be placed in a medieval torture rack and that ASD members should draw straws to determine who received the honor of carrying out the torture.

A federal judge was called “brain dead” if she did not agree with ASD’s side of the case, and a purported “prayer” was circulated among ASD members calling for the prosecutors to be struck dead. One prosecutor was described derisively as “Gomer Pyle,” and rumors were unleashed on the Surf’s Up forum that the government had admitted secretly that ASD was not a Ponzi scheme.

Some ASD members encouraged others not to file for remissions. Those who ignored the advice and were able to demonstrate a loss now will receive back 100 cents on the dollar.

Remissions payments will be made from funds seized by the U.S. Secret Service in the earliest days of the ASD probe more than three years ago.

Bowdoin filed appeals in the forfeiture cases, but lost. He is now soliciting funds to pay for his criminal defense to charges of wire fraud, securities fraud and selling unregistered securities.

Some ASD members ignored the seizure and a parallel criminal investigation. They immediately joined other autosurfs, HYIPs and cash-gifting programs, claiming they were excellent ways to make up their ASD losses.

In a March 2009 letter to ASD members on the Surf’s Up forum, Bowdoin chided prosecutors and the Secret Service, claiming his pro se filings in the civil portion of the case “should really get their attention.”

A month later — in April 2009 — prosecutors revealed in a final response to a series of pro se pleadings by Bowdoin that Bowdoin had signed a proffer letter in the case and acknowledged that the government’s material allegations were all true.

Bowdoin acknowledged in his own court filings that he had given information against his interests and had met with prosecutors over a period of at least four days in late 2008 and early 2009. In January 2009, he abandoned the forfeiture cases, releasing his claims to the seized money “with prejudice.”

By the end of February 2009, however, Bowdoin reentered the case as a pro se litigant, claiming later that his decision was driven by a “group” of ASD members. He did not identify members of the group.

ASD is known to have so-called “sovereign citizens” in its ranks.

Bowdoin has not referenced the proffer letter in his fundraising bid. Nor has he referenced a racketeering lawsuit filed against him in January 2009 by some members.

It was not immediately clear how many members destroyed their chances to receive remissions after coming under the influence of various crackpot theories spun by certain ASD members. One of the theories held that all commerce is lawful if a contract exists. Another held that members should include notes on the claims forms that explained Bowdoin was conducting business lawfully.

Another theory held that the government had invested approximately $80 million seized in the case, had earned a return in excess of  $1 billion — and that prosecutors were partying with the money. Still another held that a federal judge was conspiring with another federal judge to deny ASD justice and that at least one of the judges was guilty of 60 felonies.

Yet another theory held that ASD members should not cooperate with investigators and should not file remissions forms.

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34 Responses to “MAJOR DEVELOPMENT: AdSurfDaily Remissions Payments Will Be 100 Cents On The Dollar; ‘Thousands’ Of Payments To Go Out; ‘Overwhelming Majority’ Of Claims Approved; Members React With Joy”

  1. I wonder what the ASD crackpots have to say now!!!

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  2. :))) If this really happens I will be one of the happiest people around.. learned a really good lesson from this mess,” if it sounds to good to be true it is”… do you have a link to this info???? Thanks Patrick for being there since the beginning..

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  3. Admin plug-in test.

    Patrick

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  4. Brenda, it IS happening now.

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  5. Very interesting development!

    Because Andy Bowdoin, et al, and ASD incurred expenses while the company was running, i.e., payroll costs for employees and other outlays – some of which were reportedly very large – there’s no way 100% of the money sent to ASD by “members” could still be available for distribution to claimants.

    To pay back 100% to the 11,000 claimants (or however many qualified for refunds) means others must have made contributions to the refund pool and left that money there, perhaps by not filing claims.

    I wonder what the blowback will be from those who lost everything while others get made whole…

    – PWD

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  6. Patrick Dunn: I wonder what the blowback will be from those who lost everything while others get made whole…

    I’m wondering about this, too, Pat. Could another conspiracy theory be in the offing?

    Patrick

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  7. Patrick(s),

    According to Rust’s website, “the DOJ released $54,762,447 for distribution to verified victims of the Ad Surf Daily Ponzi schemes.” They said they forfeited a little over $85 million, so there’s around $31 million left over.

    I bet all those people who believed the “don’t file a claim form” based on a lot of ridiculous reasons are now wishing they have filed. Problem is, if 11,000 people got the $54.7 million out of a possible $85 million, a lot of ASD members must have taken out a lot of money prior to the raid. Those are the people who should be looking over their shoulder for guys in dark suits and sunglasses.

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  8. Wizzard7: Patrick(s),According to Rust’s website, “the DOJ released $54,762,447 for distribution to verified victims of the Ad Surf Daily Ponzi schemes.” They said they forfeited a little over $85 million, so there’s around $31 million left over.
    I bet all those people who believed the “don’t file a claim form” based on a lot of ridiculous reasons are now wishing they have filed. Problem is, if 11,000 people got the $54.7 million out of a possible $85 million, a lot of ASD members must have taken out a lot of money prior to the raid. Those are the people who should be looking over their shoulder for guys in dark suits and sunglasses.

    Hi Wizzard7,

    I believe the official amount decreed forfeited was just a smidgen over $80 million — not $85 million. The lion’s share was roughly $65.8 million from Bowdoin’s accounts (August 2008 case). Another sum of a bit over $14 million from Golden Panda was forfeited (August 2008 case), and a Golden Panda related sum of $634,000 was forfeited in the December 2008 case.

    Given Rust’s statement today about the government’s release of $54.7 million, there may be about $25 million remaining. No one should interpret that as gospel. It is simply an estimate based on the figures Rust released and how they compare to the overall amount ordered forfeited — a smidgen over $80 million.

    I largely agree with your assessment that “all those people who believed the ‘don’t file a claim form’ based on a lot of ridiculous reasons are now wishing they have filed.”

    Can’t agree fully with the “all” proposition because some of them were in the Kool-Aid and delusional wing.

    The danger of that Kool-Aid was that the drinkers could have included real victims out real money — and they screwed themselves out of getting remissions because they were heavily influenced by the delusional wing.

    There were repeated attempts by the delusional wing to influence people NOT to file claims. I read them as a bid to keep down the victims’ count and to provide cover for the insiders, but there is no way of knowing for certain right now.

    Patrick

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  9. Well in my case I have a problem. I filled out the forms and sent them in before the deadline and just forgot about the whole thing. Today I called some # and was told 2 things:

    Person A- IT’s too late to file, game over. They had me in the data base but hadn’t received my form.

    Person B- Send in another form as we will make every attempt to honor it.

    Seriously, WE need the money badly; more than you’ll ever know. Do you know of an attorney to take my case shoulsd I need one? Thanks.

    DonD

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  10. admin: There were repeated attempts by the delusional wing to influence people NOT to file claims. I read them as a bid to keep down the victims’ count and to provide cover for the insiders, but there is no way of knowing for certain right now.

    Given the fact we’re talking about the HYIP ponzi game arena, one could reasonably assume that there are as many underhanded reasons why people were advised to NOT file claims as there were possible claimants.

    IOW, schemes within schemes within schemes.

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  11. hahahah I am getting ALL my money back! I have always said I would!!! hahahahah

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  12. ANDY YOU DID NOT WIN..hahahahahaahahahah

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  13. You did not steal my money…hahahahahahah I get it ALL BACK!!!hahahahahahahaha

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  14. littleroundman:
    Given the fact we’re talking about the HYIP ponzi game arena, one could reasonably assume that there are as many underhanded reasons why people were advised to NOT file claims as there were possible claimants.IOW, schemes within schemes within schemes.

    Very well put, LRM. Snappy ending with the “schemes within schemes within schemes” part, too.

    Patrick

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  15. admin:
    There were repeated attempts by the delusional wing to influence people NOT to file claims. I read them as a bid to keep down the victims’ count and to provide cover for the insiders, but there is no way of knowing for certain right now.Patrick

    Or as a bid to create a larger slice of the pie for those who did file claims.

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  16. okosh: Or as a bid to create a larger slice of the pie for those who did file claims.

    Let’s face it, we’re talking about a large number of professional fraudsters and 80 million bucks up for grabs.

    I think it highly unlikely that anyone will ever know exactly what went on behind the scenes at ASD.

    IM(very)HO, the whole internet based HYIP ponzi scene is more like an iceberg than an industry.

    The bulk of what’s going on is under the surface.

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  17. littleroundman: Given the fact we’re talking about the HYIP ponzi game arena, one could reasonably assume that there are as many underhanded reasons why people were advised to NOT file claims as there were possible claimants.
    IOW, schemes within schemes within schemes.

    For some strange reason I got out my folder today to check to see if there was any updates about the remission form I submitted to Rust Consulting back in Dec 2010. Before I did I googled “adsurfdaily rust consulting” and got to the Patrick Pretty site. I started seeing comments dated today on how people were starting to get their money back. Then I remembered Rust had my bank acct #…. Went online to my bank website and sure enough “automated credit rust consulting ad surf daily” popped up under deposits with the amount. 100% of what I gave ASD back in August 2008 was there. Unbelievable. It still hasn’t sunken in.

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  18. While I’m sure more than a few people were fooled into not filing a claim by the Arby’s Indian All Star Team, but there’s another thing to consider here. At least $30 million dollars worth of investments were put in by people who would rather give it up than put themselves on the radar by claiming it.
    There is an urban myth that it’s more or less safe to rob some people. Or safe if you mean getting caught by the police anyway. The idea is that drug dealers, terrorists,organized crime and the like don’t report theft to the police (they do of course have their own internal enforcement methods).

    Now think a minute. Andy’s little scam surely took in quite a bit more than was recovered. I’d guess half again as much, at least. So, the potential claims were surely quite a bit more than what ASD didn’t manage to squander, what the early entrants managed to claim as “profit”, in short, there was a very big bag of money left on the table, because the people who were entitled to it were just plain ashamed to fill out a form to get it back. It takes a minute to think through the hows and whys, but that should scare the hell out of you.

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  19. schemes within schemes within schemes

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  20. Gregg: At least $30 million dollars worth of investments were put in by people who would rather give it up than put themselves on the radar by claiming it.
    There is an urban myth that it’s more or less safe to rob some people. Or safe if you mean getting caught by the police anyway. The idea is that drug dealers, terrorists,organized crime and the like don’t report theft to the police (they do of course have their own internal enforcement methods).

    This is a very good point, Gregg. And let’s not forget that one of the allegations in the ASD civil cases is that Bowdoin himself did not report the purported theft of $1 million that purportedly occurred as the original iteration of ASD was collapsing.

    It was blamed on “Russian” hackers.

    There also are allegations that Bowdoin knew that individuals were stealing from ASD and did not report them.

    One of the core dangers of ASD, IMHO, is that it set the stage for money to be laundered twice — i.e., people ALREADY laundering money through their shell companies were directing some of it to ASD to “cleanse” it some more.

    Some of the ramifications of recent cases brought by the SEC and FTC, for two examples, are chilling.

    In the Jeremy Johnson/IWorks FTC case, for instance, there is an allegation that more than 50 shell companies were used to keep the $300+ million money wheel greased and to stay under the radar of the chargeback monitors.

    Got a problem? Solve it by starting a shell company.

    This potentially opens doors to all kinds of abuses, of course.

    In the Jesse Willms FTC case ($467 million/cross-border), some of the money allegedly made its way to Cyprus. The case has proven to be difficult to reverse engineer, which is one of the reasons the judge approved an asset freeze and TRO.

    The long and short of it is that online schemes have shown the capacity to gather money by the HUNDREDS of millions of dollars in an age in which cash moves at the speed of an electronic impulse. The poker cases in New York are another example in which online companies allegedly were set up for the sole purpose of circumventing law enforcement and tricking the banks.

    There can be no question that the business model “works”; the big question is where the money ends up and who is sitting at the end of the conduit.

    In 2010, FINRA referenced a figure of $400 million in the Genius Funds Ponzi. The Legisi (SEC) and Pathway to Prosperity (USPIS) Ponzis were about $70 million each. Gold Quest International (SEC) about $29 million.

    The SEC’s case against Commodities Online raises some of the same questions. We again are talking about tens of millions of dollars, with some of the cash allegedly making its way to Europe and Mexico. At the center of the alleged scheme was a convicted felon allegedly embarking on new felonies — only these ones with an international flair.

    In essence, the principal purveyor has been painted as another Andy Bowdoin.

    There are lots of cases such as these.

    Patrick

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  21. As I reflect upon the 100% refund to those who both submitted claims AND qualified for refunds, something else crossed my mind.

    There were reportedly “members” who gave their money directly to individual promoters as opposed to ASD. The promoters reportedly then transferred some of their ASD “adpacks” to the account of the person who paid them, which was allowed by ASD at the time.

    The result of such transactions is that promoters converted some of their “adpacks” into cash, which was obviously good for the promoters. However, this left no paper trail within ASD’s records to show that the victim made any investment. This would, I suspect, have caused their claims to be denied if they submitted them.

    In effect, they have been victims twice: First by ASD’s illegality and second by the informal way in which they made their investments, which prevents them from obtaining a refund.
    It’s one result of the “schemes within schemes”, as it’s been previously labeled.

    -PWD

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  22. Patrick Dunn: As I reflect upon the 100% refund to those who both submitted claims AND qualified for refunds, something else crossed my mind.
    There were reportedly “members” who gave their money directly to individual promoters as opposed to ASD. The promoters reportedly then transferred some of their ASD “adpacks” to the account of the person who paid them, which was allowed by ASD at the time.The result of such transactions is that promoters converted some of their “adpacks” into cash, which was obviously good for the promoters. However, this left no paper trail within ASD’s records to show that the victim made any investment. This would, I suspect, have caused their claims to be denied if they submitted them.
    In effect, they have been victims twice: First by ASD’s illegality and second by the informal way in which they made their investments, which prevents them from obtaining a refund.
    It’s one result of the “schemes within schemes”, as it’s been previously labeled.-PWD

    Your post is on-point with these stories (below) about the allegations against Erma Seabaugh, the so-called ASD web-room lady.

    I am not certain how often ASD purveyors employed this alleged artifice. But, as you point out, it opens doors to abuse and makes an already-murky situation even murkier. It also creates a condition under which the “rebate” liabilities get passed downstream to incoming members, thus putting even greater strain on the Ponzi.

    http://patrickpretty.com/2010/12/17/urgent-bulletin-moving-secret-service-has-seized-more-asd-cash-forfeiture-complaint-filed-today-against-bank-accounts-controlled-by-erma-web-room-lady-seabaugh-and-robyn-lynn-stevenson/

    http://patrickpretty.com/2011/07/03/missouri-based-trainer-for-florida-based-adsurfdaily-was-head-of-purported-religious-nonprofit-firm-in-oregon-state-dissolved-firm-over-which-erma-wed-room-lady-seabaugh-presided-address/

    Also, some readers may find value in this story:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2011/06/03/developing-story-are-adsurfdaily-pitchmen-who-also-joined-adviewglobal-and-recruited-members-for-collapsed-asd-knockoff-confused-or-are-they-trying-to-scam-downline-members-and-claims-administrato/

    Finally, longtime readers will recall the flap that ensued over this post:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2009/06/03/adviewglobal-promoter-says-prospects-can-bypass-company-and-purchase-ad-packs-directly-from-sponsors-to-ensure-they-get-credited-with-200-percent-match-before-deadline/

    Patrick

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  23. what about people who did not file paperwork or did not do it it in time. Do they have a chance to file paperwork or are they pretty much out of it?

    JB

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  24. Hi JB,

    I am hoping that you are not in the group that did not file. People had two and one half years to file for remission (or at least 2.5 years from the shutdown of ASD), plenty of time. Per the Rust Consulting site, the deadline for filing for remission was much earlier this year. Also, I am hoping that you did not listen to the people who were ASD cheerleaders who encouraged people to NOT file for remission. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me……..

    JB: what about people who did not file paperwork or did not do it it in time. Do they have a chance to file paperwork or are they pretty much out of it?JB

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  25. With all due respect, Entertained, not everyone received an email from Rust. Remember that their data base was based on the ASD data base which was hardly an example of excellent record keeping, to put it mildly. This certainly seems to be the case with many overseas members and originally the percentage of non US members in ASD was high.

    Many members did not follow blogs and internet forums, so if they did not receive notification from Rust, they will be in the dark.

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  26. LORM,

    No question not everyone received an email from Rust. No doubts either that the record keeping was poor at best. Given that the average restitution thus far is around $7000, I would have thought that a much higher number of victims would have come forward. The math shows that about 85% of ASD members were net losers, and even for the lower end of the membership estimates, this would mean around 65,000 victims. Still, only 11,000 or so filed for restitution. Pretty surprising….. I would think that if people had lost significant money they would follow up in some way. Every one of them has some measure of internet savvy — they were “advertising” on line and surfing as well. Google and the other search engines quickly lead to the restitution information, using just about any key words. Further, the information about the restitution was out there a long, long time ago, especially if one listened to the “naysayers”

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  27. Did anyone received their money back???

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  28. Show me the money: Did anyone received their money back???

    Yes, around 8,400 out of the 11,000 members with enough sense to file. Those who filed got 100% of their money back.

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  29. I did a direct deposit from my B of A account to ASD’s B of A account in August of 2007. I filled the paperwork out and mailed in my bank statement, they are telling me I need more documentation which I don’t have.My statement clearly shows my $10,000 deposit. I’ve been into B of A 3 times now, they are telling me they can tell me the account # of ASD. Does anyone have the ASD bank account #

    Thanks

    John Barry
    [deleted by admin]

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  30. John Barry: Does anyone have the ASD bank account #

    John,

    Andy Bowdoin had at least 10 accounts. See this document:

    http://patrickpretty.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/166.pdf

    Patrick

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  31. They have all my paperwork and still no refund. They could not read the first copy of I sent them and I had to go to the bank for a more eligible copy. This was done before any refunds were sent out. However, I received no refund. When I have contacted them (Rust) I was told my refund would be in the next check run – that was 5 months ago. Now I am being told that if I am eligible, I will receive a letter after the secret service approves everything. I spoke with the attorney general’s office in D.C. the beginning of December. He sent an email out about my concern. I was then contacted by the secret service (who was very nice) and told me that as soon as they had verified everyone the refunds would be sent. His estimated time was 3 to 4 weeks. It is now 3 months later, so I have no clue. Does anyone have any information or updates on this?

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