URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: Andy Bowdoin Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud

Thomas "Andy" Bowdoin: Pleaded guilty today.

URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: (5TH UPDATE: 5:54 P.M. EDT) Andy Bowdoin has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in the AdSurfDaily Ponzi case.

A bond-review hearing for the 77-year-old ASD patriarch had been scheduled for 2 p.m. today. Instead, the proceeding turned into a plea hearing.

“The Internet now allows swindlers to perpetrate fraud on a much larger scale than Charles Ponzi could have imagined 100 years ago,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. of the District of Columbia. “Andy Bowdoin’s online Ponzi scheme took in $110 million from thousands of people across the United States and other countries. His guilty plea today is another milestone in our efforts to protect the public from being ripped off over the Internet. This case is a healthy reminder that the public should be skeptical when evaluating investment opportunities: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Bowdoin, who was arrested in Florida by the U.S. Secret Service on Dec. 1, 2010, has been free on bond since his arrest. He will remain free at least until June 12, when another hearing is scheduled.

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer is presiding over the case.

Bowdoin admitted today that he knew ASD was a fraud — but nevertheless continued to operate it between 2006 and 2008. He also admitted that he siphoned more than $1.16 million from the scam, using it to enrich himself and his family.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, Bowdoin faces a maximum sentence of 78 months in federal prison. How soon he would begin any sentence handed down remains unclear. It is believed that Bowdoin — who’d initially began negotiating with prosecutors in late 2008 — reentered negotiations after prosecutors accused him last month of pitching a “fraudulent scheme” and “pyramid” known as OneX.

Prosecutors also say they tied Bowdoin to an autosurf known as AdViewGlobal.

 

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31 Responses to “URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: Andy Bowdoin Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud”

  1. “Under the terms of a plea agreement, Bowdoin faces a maximum sentence of 78 months in federal prison.”

    If he receives the 15% “discount” allowed for federal sentences he’ll serve 6.3 years in prison after stealing $110 million. This after a couple of previous felony convictions?

    Even though he’d be 83 by then, this is amazing!

    -PWD

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  2. What is truly going to be interesting now is to see what happens to all the major promoters of ASD. You can bet Andy is talking and naming names. I think there are a lot of major promoters shaking in their collective boots right about now.

    Hopefully the feds will now go after these promoters and charge them too. Andy could not have pulled this off without them, and they knew what they were doing.

    The sentencing hearing will be telling of just how much Andy has revealed to the feds and how useful it was.

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  3. So much for fighting for Justice and his innocence until his last breath!

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  4. Kind of puts a crimp in Dwight and Todd’s lawsuit doesn’t it.

    I think the government and Rust should counter sue them for the cost of their frivolous lawsuit.

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  5. When he gets out, his new career will be trying to scam others in his nursing home out of Depends and dessert…!

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  6. Yummy…. tapioca!!

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  7. Remember the discussion topic on the old Surfs Up forum following the Emergency Motion? Fireworks, popping champagne corks and Gomer Pyle jokes all around.

    I know how they feel.

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  8. My all-time favorite line from the Surfs Up Forum was “Andy is too honest to testify,” when he said if he was asked to testify at the Evideniary Hearing (he had requested) he would plead the 5th.

    This after telling the faithful that he couldn’t “WAIT” to tell his story and it would exonerate ASD and prove it was not a Ponzi.

    There were other quotable quotes for sure, but that one is absolutely the funniest one to me in over eight years of people posting in the Ponzi forums.

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  9. While the Government was thanking all the government agencies for all their hard work I do believe that they should have thanked all the non gov people who worked so hard and devoted a lot of time to bring the truth about Andy and his scam to the surface and continued to pursue him with the truth. Those people and there were many are the real hero’s of this case and not all those Government agencies who came with their shovels later to clean up all the crap left behind.

    To all those nameless in many cases people I can only say…Job well done!

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  10. Only 78 months! He must have spilled a lot of beans to get off so lightly.

    It is to be hoped that the government will not waste this opportunity to make a very large dent in the online HYIP “industry” by bringing his cohorts to justice.

    It is fairly sickening to think of all the time and public money this man has wasted, when he could have stuck to his original submission to forfeiture WITH PREJUDICE way back when.

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  11. Jack Arons: While the Government was thanking all the government agencies for all their hard work I do believe that they should have thanked all the non gov people who worked so hard and devoted a lot of time to bring the truth about Andy and his scam to the surface and continued to pursue him with the truth. Those people and there were many are the real hero’s of this case and not all those Government agencies who came with their shovels later to clean up all the crap left behind.To all those nameless in many cases people I can only say…Job well done!

    Okay, we’ll get someone to issue a public “Thank You” to Bob Guenther. :)

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  12. Do not forget his buddy Larry!!! Mr. I can get your money back after I get mine Freidman.

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  13. Lynn wrote: My all-time favorite line from the Surfs Up Forum was “Andy is too honest to testify.”

    I replied. That was a good one, to be sure. But I liked one by a self-identified “helpful and honest Christian” who was pushing the AdViewGlobal scam at a now-defunct forum known as FreeLunchRoom.

    “Most if not all of your leaders are joining,” he counseled.

    http://patrickpretty.com/2009/02/02/adviewglobal-touted-as-billion-dollar-company/

    Patrick

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  14. If the gov’t said he stole 1.1 million or whatever, there was a ton of cash
    left over that they took that he didn’t steal, so how do we get our money
    back from the gov’t?

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  15. doug lewis: If the gov’t said he stole 1.1 million or whatever, there was a ton of cash
    left over that they took that he didn’t steal, so how do we get our money
    back from the gov’t?

    Where have you been? The government has already given back money to everyone who filed a remission form with Rust Consulting just as they said they would. Those who did file received 100% of their claim.

    So I have to wonder why you didn’t file the remission form with Rust? Did you buy the lie the promoters were telling their downline if they filed the remission form it would hurt Andy’s case and make you subject to criminal charges? For if you did, that was your big mistake. Your only recourse may be to talk to an attorney to see if it would be wise and beneficial to sue your sponsor in civil court if you fell for their lie.

    There is a remote chance, and I mean it is very remote, that when the government sells off the houses, cars, water toys and the building Andy bought for ASD headquarters, they might..MIGHT do another round. But do not count on it.

    Since you were part of a criminal enterprise and all the money was a part of that criminal enterprise the government is not required to give any of it back. But they said they would refund to the true victims of ASD upon filing the remisson form and it being approved for payment. In fact those who did file the remission form received 100% of their money back.

    So I don’t really understand why you said what you did since the remisison form was posted on the DOJ website, E-mails were sent out advising victims to file a remisison form, and this blog as well as so many other forums provided all this information about the remission process, etc., etc..

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  16. doug lewis: If the gov’t said he stole 1.1 million or whatever, there was a ton of cash
    left over that they took that he didn’t steal, so how do we get our money
    back from the gov’t?

    I think you’ve got the figures mixed up there, Doug.

    The Justice Department says:

    $110 million was raised from 96,000 investors.

    $45 million was “paid out” to members.

    $55 million was returned to 8,400 of the duped investors who replied to Rust Consulting.

    $8 million was used to “operate and promote the company”

    (all figures approximated)

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  17. The federal govt is the crook. I bought into ASD, I was never told that it was any kind of investment. No “return” was ever promised to me, in fact in the TOS I read before I purchased it said there was absolutely no guarantee of any return whatsoever. It wasn’t even called an investment, you purchased ads and you got what you paid for. The “rebates” only applied in the event that the company made enough profit to pay them. Again and again it was made clear that there were no guarantees of rebates being paid out. It doesn’t matter how crappy or “fake” you think the product was. You got exactly what you paid for, if you thought it was crap or over-priced you didn’t have to buy it. As a customer and a “victim”, I don’t feel there was any deception from ASD. I feel victimized alright, by the stupid feds who took it down, and it was them who ended up with my money. People filing the claim typically got a fraction or nothing at all… I’ve talked to them personally.

    it’s funny how if you lost money, you were a “victim”, but if you so much as promoted it in any way, well, guess what? Now your a criminal too, and should also be punished for your heinous crimes? LOL You guys don’t think too much do you?

    Everyone wanting to demonize Andy fails to recognize this. It doesn’t matter to me how much it may have ‘resembled’ a ponzi… the fact is there was never any “investment” and you were delivered exactly what you paid for.

    You all enjoy riding up there in your perceived moral high ground, looking down your nose and passing judgment on any you deem to be criminals, and worship the so-called “criminal justice system” with a disgusting fervor, believing anything they say without a modicum of objectivity, because it allows you to get your jollies by being condescending and judgmental.

    Have fun being so retarded! :)

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  18. Marc Greene: I feel victimized alright, by the stupid feds who took it down, and it was them who ended up with my money. People filing the claim typically got a fraction or nothing at all…

    Actually, Marc, the people who filed approved remissions claims received back 100 pennies on the dollar. There was some money left over, and the people you call the “stupid feds” are using it to provide a second round of remissions because ASD’s record-keeping appears to have been less than desirable.

    I am not citing a matter of opinion; it is a matter of fact, recorded in various public records. Andy Bowdoin, BTW, admitted ASD was a Ponzi scheme and that the company never operated lawfully from its inception.

    Patrick

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  19. I remember talking with people and numerous reports of people not getting full remissions. How is it a fact? Because it was an official statement to this effect?

    If you think that “admitting guilt” when faced with prosecution means anything, then I seriously question your level of experience or intelligence. Those prosecutors are out for blood…. their job is to fry you no matter what and often you have to take a plea bargain even when you know you are innocent. This is routine.

    The definition of a ponzi is when you guarantee or promise a return on investment. There was no investment and no promise of returns. With ASD you purchased advertising. And everyone was receiving the advertising they paid for. There was no investing going on at all. Never mind the fact that people were making money on the rebates right up until the day they were raided.

    And don’t give me that malarkey about how it *really* was an investment, just couched in the terminology of a purchase. If someone tells me that I can buy advertising, then I spend my money and get what was promised, then that’s what it is…

    So please explain to me how ASD fit the definition of a ponzi… you can’t do it without a disingenuous and warped interpretation of the ASD TOS.

    admin:
    Actually, Marc, the people who filed approved remissions claims received back 100 pennies on the dollar. There was some money left over, and the people you call the “stupid feds” are using it to provide a second round of remissions because ASD’s record-keeping appears to have been less than desirable.I am not citing a matter of opinion; it is a matter of fact, recorded in various public records. Andy Bowdoin, BTW, admitted ASD was a Ponzi scheme and that the company never operated lawfully from its inception.Patrick

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  20. The definition of a ponzi is when you guarantee or promise a return on investment.
    Aaaaaaaaaand you’re wrong.

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  21. Marc Greene: The definition of a ponzi is

    Ummn, sorry to rain on your parade, but, Bowdoin was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, multiple charges including fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit fraud and mail fraud.

    He was NOT charged with “running a ponzi” no matter how many “definition” red herrings people with no actual knowledge of the law or the particular case try and throw into the mix.

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  22. Marc Greene: I remember talking with people and numerous reports of people not getting full remissions. How is it a fact? Because it was an official statement to this effect?

    Actually, Marc, there was an effort behind the scenes by some ASD insiders to poison the well against the remissions program and to influence people not to file for a distribution. People who did not file or filed without supporting material did not get remissions. It’s as simple as that — no matter how much you refuse to believe it.

    About 9,000 people received remissions of 100 percent.

    One of the persons with whom ASD’s Obstruction Wing was communicating is in jail near Seattle for filing false liens against five public officials. Meanwhile, Todd Disner and Dwight Owen Schweitzer sued the government and the remissions administrator on various crackpot theories, including a theory that undercover agents who joined ASD had a duty to tell ASD management.

    Disner and Schweitzer later joined Zeek, BTW.

    Marc Greene: If you think that “admitting guilt” when faced with prosecution means anything, then I seriously question your level of experience or intelligence. Those prosecutors are out for blood…. their job is to fry you no matter what and often you have to take a plea bargain even when you know you are innocent. This is routine.

    The Feds had evidence that 98 percent of ASD’s money came from members and was recycled in classic Ponzi scheme fashion. They also had evidence that Andy Bowdoin was a recidivist securities fraudster who was well aware be was breaking the law because he’d done something similar in the 1990s in Alabama.

    They also had evidence that one of his partners was implicated by the SEC in the 1990s in THREE prime-bank swindles. Beyond that, they had evidence that Bowdoin continued to promote scams even after the seizure of the ASD cash and his indictment.

    The SEC, BTW, says 98 percent of Zeek’s money came from members and was redistributed in classic Ponzi scheme fashion.

    Marc Greene: The definition of a ponzi is when you guarantee or promise a return on investment.

    Actually, Marc, this is not the definition of a Ponzi. And yet here you are — more than four years after the ASD seizure — trying to rewrite history.

    The prosecution, BTW, has a document that showed ASD promising rebates “will” be paid. That document was examined in open court and was the subject of cross-examination — also a longstanding matter of public record.

    I am well aware that a certain sphere of the HYIP world long has advanced a theory that a Terms of Service can be constructed whereby Ponzi schemes can be made legal through wordplay and disclaimer.

    Had Bernard Madoff tried that defense, he would have gotten 250 years, not 150.

    Ponzi schemes are per se fraud. 80/20 “programs” and “rebates aren’t guaranteed” disclaimers are just a means to trying to hide a Ponzi or skirt securities laws.

    Marc Greene: And don’t give me that malarkey about how it *really* was an investment, just couched in the terminology of a purchase.

    Actually, it really was an investment by every definition with which I’m familiar. And ASD members routinely called it an “investment” — sometimes getting shouted down or prompted later by folks who thought that sticking to the company’s “advertising” line somehow would insulate ASD from prosecution.

    Marc Greene: So please explain to me how ASD fit the definition of a ponzi… you can’t do it without a disingenuous and warped interpretation of the ASD TOS.

    You’re welcome to spend as much time on this Blog as you wish. You’ll find your answers.

    Patrick

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  23. Marc Greene:
    The federal govt is the crook. I bought into ASD, I was never told that it was any kind of investment. No “return” was ever promised to me, in fact in the TOS I read before I purchased it said there was absolutely no guarantee of any return whatsoever. It wasn’t even called an investment, you purchased ads and you got what you paid for. The “rebates” only applied in the event that the company made enough profit to pay them. Again and again it was made clear that there were no guarantees of rebates being paid out. It doesn’t matter how crappy or “fake” you think the product was. You got exactly what you paid for, if you thought it was crap or over-priced you didn’t have to buy it.As a customer and a “victim”, I don’t feel there was any deception from ASD. I feel victimized alright, by the stupid feds who took it down, and it was them who ended up with my money. People filing the claim typically got a fraction or nothing at all… I’ve talked to them personally.

    it’s funny how if you lost money, you were a “victim”, but if you so much as promoted it in any way, well, guess what? Now your a criminal too, and should also be punished for your heinous crimes? LOL You guys don’t think too much do you?

    Everyone wanting to demonize Andy fails to recognize this. It doesn’t matter to me how much it may have ‘resembled’ a ponzi… the fact is there was never any “investment” and you were delivered exactly what you paid for.

    You all enjoy riding up there in your perceived moral high ground, looking down your nose and passing judgment on any you deem to be criminals, and worship the so-called “criminal justice system” with a disgusting fervor, believing anything they say without a modicum of objectivity, because it allows you to get your jollies by being condescending and judgmental.

    Have fun being so retarded! :)

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  24. I never felt I was a victim until the
    gov. stepped in and stole everyone’s money and put us all out of business. It would apear from this and many other experiences that if you aren’t as big a crook as certain individuals in the Gov. they will take you down. It’s like a bully kicking over your lemonade stand.

    Now as to the refund, I know several people who never got their money back because they were never contacted. Those who had changed their email or mailing address. I am one of those.

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  25. Lynn D. Prine: I never felt I was a victim until the
    gov. stepped in and stole everyone’s money

    Lynn D. Prine,

    Here’s how much money the government “stole” in the ASD case: ZERO dollars.

    What’s next? A conspiracy theory that the government secretly invested the money it “stole” and then used it to fund black ops?

    Lynn D. Prine: Now as to the refund, I know several people who never got their money back because they were never contacted.

    This could be true. The government event acknowledged that it was likely true because ASD’s database was a mess. That’s why the government is opening a new round of remissions. The timing on that is still unclear.

    It also is undeniably true that certain ASDers influenced members NOT to file for remissions.

    Patrick

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