Zeek Promoters Send Email To AdSurfDaily Members, Asking Them To Wire Money To Confessed Ponzi Schemer Andy Bowdoin’s Jailhouse Account In The District Of Columbia; Zeekers ‘Owe This Man A Great Deal Of Gratitude And More’ For Opening ‘Path To Success,’ Email Claims

ASD's Andy Bowdoin

UPDATED 8:42 A.M. EDT (JULY 14, U.S.A.) It’s beginning to look as though the Zeek Rewards’ MLM “program” has within it a large downline consisting of members of the AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme. And in what may go down as one of the most spectacular PR blunders in the history of multilevel marketing, some former ASD promoters who now are Zeek promoters are encouraging their email contacts and downline members to wire money to jailed ASD President and recidivist securities huckster Andy Bowdoin — while using Zeek’s name in the appeal and describing Bowdoin as a pioneer who inspired “programs” such as Zeek to model themselves after ASD.

“You are also all aware that I believe those of us in Zeek and other programs that modeled themselves after the business model that Andy pioneered owe this man a great deal of gratitude and more,” the email read in part. “Please get in touch with your down lines as well.” (The email is reproduced below.)

For good measure, the email described Bowdoin as the man who’d provided MLMers the “path to success.” It also included a link to join the Zeek “program” under a headline of “Tired of Recruiting and Selling?” and this text teaser: “Get Rewarded DAILY for Placing Ads just like this one! Get Paid Every 24 Hours.”

A second ad in the email encouraged readers to “Get your FREE Gold Savings Account here and qualify to receive Free Gold.”

The PP Blog received news of the email early last evening, as it was preparing a post that reported an alleged HYIP purveyor in Ohio had been named in a 49-count federal indictment charging him with wire fraud and money-laundering. Terrance Osberger, 48, of Genoa, Ohio, was accused of pushing HYIP Ponzi schemes through an enterprise known as Eagle Trades LTD.

The returns Osberger allegedly offered were on par with the returns suggested by both ASD and Zeek: in the hundreds of percent per year. And like ASD and Zeek, Osberger allegedly used SolidTrustPay, an offshore payment processor, and issued a preemptive denial that a fraud scheme was under way. The alleged Eagle Trades HYIP fraud appears to have gathered at least $1.8 million, a relatively modest sum compared to HYIP frauds such as ASD ($110 million), Legisi ($72 million), Pathway To Prosperity ($70 million) and Genius Funds (an estimated $400 million).

In February 2012 — while announcing the guilty plea of Gregory McKnight in the Legisi HYIP Ponzi scheme — a special agent of the U.S. Secret Service noted that such schemes engage in form-shifting.

“Fraudulent schemes such as this have evolved significantly over the last several years,” said Jeffrey Frost, special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service Detroit Field Office.

AdSurfDaily was an online Ponzi scheme that said it set aside 50 percent of its daily revenue to share with affiliates. Those affiliates received an unusually consistent return of 1 percent a day. ASD described itself as a revenue-sharing program and encouraged members not to describe the “opportunity” as an investment.

Zeek also says it is a revenue-sharing program. Like ASD, Zeek claims it sets aside 50 percent of its daily revenue to share with affiliates. Affiliates have said they are earning between 1 percent and 2 percent a day, a percentage that corresponds to an annualized return of between 365 percent and 730 percent.

And like ASD, Zeek tells affiliates not to describe the “opportunity” as an investment program. Some Zeek affiliates are said to earning $1 million a month. Similar to ASD, which preemptively denied it was a Ponzi scheme, Zeek has preemptively denied it is a “pyramid scheme” — all while planting the seed that the U.S. government is running a pyramid scheme through its Social Security program.

In May, ASD’s Bowdoin pleaded guilty to wire fraud in the ASD Ponzi case. The ASD patriarch admitted his “program” was a Ponzi scheme, saying in a statement of offense the company never operated lawfully from its 2006 inception. As part of a plea bargain, Bowdoin has been banned from multilevel marketing, Internet programs and mass-marketing.

The email circulating yesterday disclosed none of these things, instead painting Bowdoin as an MLM pioneer and inspirational figure.

Nor did the email disclose Bowdoin’s felonious history as a securities huckster in Alabama a decade before he rolled out ASD in 2006. And it did not disclose that one of his business partners in ASD was implicated by the SEC in the 1990s in three prime-bank swindles, including one that suggested prospects could earn a return of 10,000 percent. In court documents originally filed under seal in February 2009 — as an upstart autosurf known as AdViewGlobal was launching — the U.S. Secret Service alleged that Bowdoin also had a “silent partner” in ASD.

That silent partner, according to the Secret Service, was Bowdoin’s sponsor in the 12DailyPro Ponzi scheme that sucked in tens of millions of dollars before the SEC destroyed it just months before ASD launched in the late summer and fall of 2006. Bowdoin and his silent partner simply tweaked the 12DailyPro business model, reducing the daily payout rate to about 1 percent and using linguistic sleight of hand in a failed bid to keep ASD under the radar, according to court filings.

Bowdoin’s nearly four-year-long legal saga began in July 2008, with the U.S. Secret Service starting an undercover probe. That probe has led to the filing of at least three civil forfeiture complaints, the seizure of tens of millions of dollars, court actions and seizures of bank accounts against certain individual ASD members, special statements by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Secret Service and the ultimate filing of criminal charges against Bowdoin.

In 2009, Bowdoin and former ASD attorney Robert Garner were accused of racketeering in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by three former ASD members. That lawsuit was placed on hold because of all the other litigation piling up against Bowdoin and ASD-related assets.

All of it appears to be meaningless to certain ASD members now promoting Zeek.

Also apparently meaningless is Bowdoin’s record of criminality in Alabama in the 1990s in at least three counties

In June 2012, Bowdoin’s bond was revoked after federal prosecutors proffered evidence that he continued to promote scams after the seizure of more than $80 million in the ASD case by the U.S. Secret Service in August 2008 and after Bowdoin was arrested on the ASD-related Ponzi charges in December 2010. One of the alleged “programs” linked to Bowdoin by investigators was AdViewGlobal, an ASD-like autosurf that collapsed during the summer of 2009.

Bowdoin also was linked to a “program” known as “OneX,” which prosecutors described as a “fraudulent scheme” and “pyramid” that was recycling money in ASD-like fashion. Some Zeek promoters also are known to have been OneX promoters. It also is known that some Zeek promoters also are pushing JSS Tripler/JustBeenPaid, a “program” that purports to pay 2 percent a day (730 percent a year) and may have ties to the “sovereign citizens” movement.

In recent days, JSS/JBP published a claim that it had hired a criminal defense lawyer in Salt Lake City. Like ASD, Zeek, OneX and Eagle Trades, JSS/JBP has a business relationship with SolidTrustPay. (NOTE: OneX now claims it no longer uses SolidTrustPay and is trying to get a new processor after a deal it thought it had with another processor fell through. In a conference call earlier this week, OneX blamed its members for the developments and claimed it had been targeted by fraudsters. Now under indictment in Ohio, Eagle Trades’ Osberger told investors in Massachusetts that his “program” also had been targeted by fraudsters, according to records.)

The email some ASD members received last night that references Zeek appears to have forwarded by former ASD pitchman Todd Disner, who became a Zeek promoter. Former ASD member Barb Alford — also a Zeek promoter — appears to have been the author. The email’s “To” line also references Jerry Napier, another former ASD promoter who became a Zeek promoter.

Napier once was featured in a promo on Zeek’s Blog. Records suggest he signed a petition in 2008 — after two forfeiture complaints were filed against ASD-related assets — that asked the U.S. Senate to investigate the ASD prosecution team and the U.S. Secret Service agent who developed the ASD Ponzi case with the assistance of a Florida-based Task Force consisting of investigators from the IRS, the Secret Service and other agencies.

Alford is a former moderator of the pro-ASD Surf’s Up forum, which disappeared mysteriously in 2010. Teralynn Hoy, another former Surf’s Up moderator, hosted a conference call for Zeek last year. Zeek once listed Hoy as an “employee.”

In 2011, Disner joined with former ASD member Dwight Owen Schweitzer — who also became a Zeek promoter — in a lawsuit against the United States for alleged misdeeds in bringing the ASD Ponzi case. Disner and Schweitzer, who have raised the prospect in court filings that they could face prosecution for tax evasion in the aftermath of the the ASD investigation, continue to press the lawsuit — despite Bowdoin’s guilty plea to wire fraud in the ASD Ponzi case and acknowledgement he was operating a Ponzi scheme.

Here is the email circulating last night (italics/bolding added):

As you all are aware, Andy, is now sitting in a DC jail ward. He is in need of funds in his account so that he can purchase shoes, tooth brushes, tooth paste etc. the prison system charges ridiculous prices for this stuff. A pair of shoes alone in there costs 65.00.

You are also all aware that I believe those of us in Zeek and other programs that modeled themselves after the business model that Andy pioneered owe this man a great deal of gratitude and more. Please get in touch with your down lines as well.

I have received info where funds can be wired into his account to help him with his daily needs.

We can do this one of two ways. Anyone wishing to assist in the effort can send the money to me and I will wire all at once or we can do it individually. I have enclosed the wiring information below.

Let’s not drop the ball on this one. Anyone willing to do the right thing, one more time, please contact me.

I would appreciate any help you can give. It is not right that this man sits alone in jail hundreds of miles from home with no end in sight when it was he who gave us the path to success.

Respectfully
Barb Alford
[Phone number deleted by PP Blog]

It has to go through Western Union to be placed on his account.

City Code: [Deleted by PP Blog]
State: Tennessee
Senders Acct # [Deleted by PP Blog]
Sender: Thomas Bowdoin

Here is his address if you want to write him
Correction Treatment Facility
1901 East St. SE
Med-96 Inmate 335084
Washington DC 20003

George said he gets his mail on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Anyway, GF, I know you said a few people might want to donate to help him. I know he would love to get a letter from YOU. I am sending one tomorrow so he can get it on Saturday, I hope.

 

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26 Responses to “Zeek Promoters Send Email To AdSurfDaily Members, Asking Them To Wire Money To Confessed Ponzi Schemer Andy Bowdoin’s Jailhouse Account In The District Of Columbia; Zeekers ‘Owe This Man A Great Deal Of Gratitude And More’ For Opening ‘Path To Success,’ Email Claims”

  1. Do these people never learn? Will it take the threat of jail time for them as well before they stop bragging about breaking the law with their scam promoting?

    Do they not “get it”? Bowdoin pled GUILTY to the criminal charges against him and so admitted that “the business model that he pioneered” was fatally flawed and illegal.

    A Duh moment is required after reading Mrs. Alford’s BS.

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  2. If I were on the Zeek board of directors I’d be FURIOUS that someone was comparing ASD, a proven ponzi, to Zeek.

    ARWR

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  3. @ARWR

    Why would you be furious? The people comparing ASD to Zeek were insiders at ASD. They know the business model better than anyone. ASD is a proven ponzi just as Zeek is. What, do you need a judges ruling before you recognize it?

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  4. These people are not brilliant, by any means. Remember when Andy went to the Florida AG to complain about people saying bad things about him? Guess how that ended up… yep, he’s in jail now. Soon enough, so will these Zeek pimps.

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  5. Until the second level promoters of these scams start seeing criminal charges, this whole class of crimes will just continue to grow.
    In all of 2010 the total take in real life bank robberies was just $48 million, or less than what Andy managed to steal without ever taking the chance of getting shot, in a high speed chase or any of the other physical dangers of violent crime.
    Billions of dollars are being stolen here, and the current model of prevention clearly isn’t working. Nevermind how much of it is laundered drug money, or funding terrorism and organized crime, just the domestic take by the relative amateurs exceeds traditional bank robbery. I really wish we could at least catch the stupid ones, who are using their real names as they brag about how much their take is on internet forums.

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  6. If they consider Andy a model for success, I hate to think what they consider the model for failure.

    I agree Gregg, and hopefully law enforcement is finally listening after almost 4 years of advising they need to go after the promoters too.

    I know these things take time, but as you and I have said repeatedly, this is what it is going to take to stop these Ponzi’s from proliferating like they do.

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  7. The thing that I don’t understand is how ponzi cesspools like MMG and TalkGold are allowed to continue to operate.

    Isn’t that like having a website that says, “Buy your cocaine here”?

    I would think that some aggressive A.G. wanting to make a name for him or herself would take action to close them down.

    That’s surely not restraint of trade – it’s stopping the criminal activities at one of the source points.

    ARWR

    Gregg: Until the second level promoters of these scams start seeing criminal charges, this whole class of crimes will just continue to grow.
    In all of 2010 the total take in real life bank robberies was just $48 million, or less than what Andy managed to steal without ever taking the chance of getting shot, in a high speed chase or any of the other physical dangers of violent crime.
    Billions of dollars are being stolen here, and the current model of prevention clearly isn’t working.Nevermind how much of it is laundered drug money, or funding terrorism and organized crime, just the domestic take by the relative amateurs exceeds traditional bank robbery.I really wish we could at least catch the stupid ones, who are using their real names as they brag about how much their take is on internet forums.

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  8. ARWR: I agree but not only the Ponzi forums, but the payment processors too. Go after these big 3 as well as the perps running the Ponzi’s, and they all go bye-bye.

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  9. Oops, I clicked too soon.. Gregg, do you mean people like Todd and Bruce Disner, who bragged in a newspaper article about their ASD takings? Now we have Todd Disner showing off his new ~$500,000 home to some prospective new Zeek members. Will it ever end?

    They may as well wear a sandwich board with “Arrest me” on both sides.

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  10. “…You are also all aware that I believe those of us in Zeek and other programs that modeled themselves after the business model that Andy pioneered owe this man a great deal of gratitude and more. Please get in touch with your down lines as well…”

    – Attributed to Barb Alford

    ———————-

    cult /k?lt/[kuhlt] noun

    [Definition #1 deals with religion, which doesn’t apply here]

    2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.

    3. the object of such devotion.

    4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.

    Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cult

    -PWD

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  11. ARWR: The thing that I don’t understand is how ponzi cesspools like MMG and TalkGold are allowed to continue to operate.Isn’t that like having a website that says, “Buy your cocaine here”?

    I believe that’s exactly why they are allowed to still operate. It’s being used as a resource. They’ve already been mentioned in one court filing. Expect more in the future.

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  12. The payment processors are the important link, but Canada has weak laws to begin with and chooses not to enforce them anyhow.

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  13. They already started turning on each other with “test of purity”. RealScam found one instance where one member is ratting out another’s “negativity”

    http://www.realscam.com/f10/zeek-rewards-how-get-3k-month-starting-free-member-642/index13.html#post24855

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  14. Gregg: Until the second level promoters of these scams start seeing criminal charges, this whole class of crimes will just continue to grow.
    In all of 2010 the total take in real life bank robberies was just $48 million, or less than what Andy managed to steal without ever taking the chance of getting shot, in a high speed chase or any of the other physical dangers of violent crime.
    Billions of dollars are being stolen here, and the current model of prevention clearly isn’t working.Nevermind how much of it is laundered drug money, or funding terrorism and organized crime, just the domestic take by the relative amateurs exceeds traditional bank robbery.I really wish we could at least catch the stupid ones, who are using their real names as they brag about how much their take is on internet forums.

    Exactly

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  15. Time will tell how similar Zeek is to ASD and if it is a Ponzi scheme. I think there is a possibility that it is not a scam. They have a good legal team and I think they would not jeopardize their reputation of defending something that is most likely illegal. Like I said, time will tell.

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  16. To be honest, this link is pretty tenuous. Andy ain’t the inventor of this genre. He may be the one who refined it, but he ain’t the father of Autosurf.

    —-

    Slight aside, according to Rod Cook, MLM Watchdog, it takes at least 20 complaints, usually at BBB and AG’s office, to get an investigation started. 20 is the usual tipping point.

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  17. Bill: Time will tell how similar Zeek is to ASD and if it is a Ponzi scheme. I think there is a possibility that it is not a scam. They have a good legal team and I think they would not jeopardize their reputation of defending something that is most likely illegal. Like I said, time will tell.

    I would disagree. Gerald Nehra is WELL-KNOWN to have declared ASD “not a Ponzi” before it was hit by the IRS/SecretService/whole enchilada. Bowdoin hired him for a review. In fact, “Gerry” Nehra testified IN COURT at Bowdoin’s trial saying ASD is not a Ponzi. His testimony was tossed out of court because even ASD’s own lawyer contradicted him.

    He’s doing the same thing to Zeek now.

    Are you STILL not worried?

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  18. These scams are learning, and learning the hard way, that having a lwyer say you’re not a ponzi works alot better when they do it in your protected forum than when they try it in a court of law. Mr. Nehra being just one such case.

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  19. Got ANOTHER report of Zeek processing credit cards through Korea, though different merchant name: Global Kamba. Previously they seem to have used “Internet Paygate Seoul”. This is in addition to processors traced to Panama, Cyprus, Malta, and Costa Rica.

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  20. Forums Like MMG and Talkgold are just that, forums. There is nothing illegal about talking about these programs. Such actions fall under free speech laws and would never be challenged in the court of law. There are plenty of program “cheerleaders,” as well as those people against the programs posting in these forums. As long as the forum owners themselves are not posting advice to invest into these programs don’t expect much to be done. The can’t make it illegal to discuss a particular ponzi scheme, and certainly can’t hold forum administrators responsible for what are the opinions of people.

    ARWR: The thing that I don’t understand is how ponzi cesspools like MMG and TalkGold are allowed to continue to operate.Isn’t that like having a website that says, “Buy your cocaine here”?

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  21. I just go off the phone with the Federal Trade Commission and they said they need to see a pattern of complaints before they take any action. They also referred me to the North Carolina Department of Justice for their local jurisdiction.

    If someone really believes Zeek Rewards is a ponzi or pyramid scheme, then file a complaint. It is not hard and it takes about 10-15 minutes. If Zeek Rewards is compliant with federal and state laws, then they would welcome an investigation. It would be the best marketing material they ever received and would silence all of the critics.

    This is something to consider if you truly believe Zeek Rewards is a scam. I do not think anyone should play games to disrupt a business otherwise.

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  22. @Brad — nobody is going to complain in a Ponzi scheme UNTIL the endgame, when there’s no more money to be paid out. Just look at Madoff. Everybody who’s dumb enough to buy into the hype *want* to see it succeed, so they can get *their* share, except there is NO SHARE to be had in a Ponzi except the early birds.

    You are welcome to your OPINION on what constitutes legitimacy, and have your own opinion on whether we critics who asks serious questions merely “play games to disrupt a business”.

    You really think we do this because we prefer to see regular businesses *fail*? No. We want to see scams DEAD. If a business shows signs of being a scam, we expect them to explain and reform. So far, Zeek has shown very little of either. (hiring compliance team is not an explanation nor reform in itself, merely “intention to”)

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  23. I am not implying at all Patrick, K Chang, Oz, or anyone else are playing games. What I mean is I do not want someone to file a complaint just to file a complaint to make someone’s life difficult. Some people like to play these types of “games” and I do not propose this type of action at all.

    If there is a legitimate complaint that a company is operating a scam, then consider voicing your convictions in the form of an official complaint with the proper government authorities. This can be in addition to the work on various blogs. It is up to the individual in how they want to conduct their life and voice their concern. They may not feel to file a complaint and that is there right. My bottom line is that a scam most likely continues longer than necessary without contacting the proper authorities. Only do so if there is enough conviction and facts to support the complaint.

    I am zeroing in on Zeek Rewards because I have family and friends becoming affiliates. I was asked to look into Zeek and have learned a lot over time. I felt compelled to file a complaint because being awarded 1% to 2% PER DAY (average 1.4% to 1.5%) with only having to sign up as a silver, gold, or diamond affiliate, deposit $10 to $10,000, and then cut and paste a pre made ad to post on the interest (I just learned for $10 per month you can have a company do this for you) means Zeek is possibly running a pyramid or ponzi scam. Also, it seems that most of Zeek customers are not buying bids to support the penny auction and there are approximately 300 penny auctions per day but there are over 100,000 affiliates taking the compliance course and some say there are 400,000 to 500,000 worldwide. I do not have enough evidence to see how the math works to have 50% of the daily net profits shared with affiliates.

    I have seen some blog posts where people get caught with the semantics of a question or concern and do not answer serious questions directly. For example, when I asked someone regarding using a spread sheet to calculate potential future growth with an average of 1.5% PER DAY award, they say they just do not agree with the calculations. This made me feel good because the compensation is unrealistic. When pressed for clarification, they say it is not an investment at all, the future revenue is unknown and the math will never be correct, and it is out of compliance. But the elephant in the room is that Zeek Rewards is being presented as a business opportunity where a person can be awarded 1% to 2% PER DAY for very limited work. Stretch out 1% to 2% PER DAY over one, two, or three years and the results are absolutely unbelievable. Even with certain bids retiring every 90 days. Again the compensation is the elephant in the room, but then the cloak of compliance tries to deflect and defuse this concern. I work in the financial services industry and as a member of the CFA Institute, I understand compliance. A person can put a number of disclaimers around statements, projections, and not make any guarantees, but you have to have something to work with to know what you are getting into even if it is a business and not an investment. A stock is ownership in a business, so they are not two entirely different entities. Once I mention I am in the financial services industry, then affiliates say this is not an investment and the direct specific question does not get answered.

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  24. Thank you for the clarification. For a moment there you really sounded like a Zeek defender, which is why I responded as such.

    I run a blog that documents a lot of these bogus excuses as well as reports on scams. Click on my name to see my blog. I’ve been tracking various schemes for a while, not just Zeek.

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  25. I felt compelled to file a complaint because being awarded 1% to 2% PER DAY (average 1.4% to 1.5%)

    This one is tricky. The lure is 1.4% to 1.5% per day but you only get those returns for the first 90 days, then the return depends on your period due to the 90 day expiration. If you keep your reinvestment at 100% for at least a year, the return after day 1 is about 0.72% daily compounded. Your blended rate after a year is about 0.82% compounded daily.

    Of course, the above is based on virtual points. When you withdraw, after the initial 90 day period, you incur about a 25% haircut on converting points => cash due to the expiring points.

    One key issue to note is the daily compounded rate. Patrick has written where 1-2% equates to 365-730% annualized return, but the I think the returns are even higher than that. Start at $1k cash for 1k points, your point balance at 1.5% average (with expiring points) after 365 days is 20,800. So the annualized return is about 20x the original investment (less 25% haircut if you withdraw at 100% due to point expiration).

    Net net, if you withdraw the 20,800 points at day 365, on day 455 you will have converted 20,800 points to $15,650, assuming the rate stays at 1.5% and the thing doesn’t get collapse before then, of course. SO $15,650 from $1000 = profit of $14,650 less some monthly fees. The rate of growth with daily compounded results in much higher rate than 730% annualized return!

    there are approximately 300 penny auctions per day

    The actual number of auctions per day is less than what you would think looking at just the auction id and tracking it over time. You may think “there are 2200 auction Id numbers in the past 12 days, therefore 3100/12 = 258 auctions per day” but there is some weird numbering going on. If you check the auction then 5 hours later you see the numbers jump 200 and you know there were not 200 auctions in those 5 hours. Since Zeek lists no time or date information on closed auctions, the only way to monitor this is to track it all day/week long.

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  26. Rod H: Forums Like MMG and Talkgold are just that, forums. There is nothing illegal about talking about these programs. Such actions fall under free speech laws and would never be challenged in the court of law.

    There are different “free speech” laws in different countries. What countries do you think apply to talkgold and/or MMG?
    Also, these ponzi promoting forums actively accept “advertising” from obvious ponzi schemes. In my country there are laws against advertising fraud, unlicensed investment schemes etc. They would very likely be breaking those laws.

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