UPDATE: ASD’s Andy Bowdoin Asks Judge For Mercy; Requests Sentence Of ‘Time Served’ And ‘Home Incarceration’ In Ponzi Scheme That Gathered At Least $119 Million And Caused Millions Of Dollars In Losses
UPDATED 2:32 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) Confessed Ponzi schemer Andy Bowdoin of AdSurfDaily has asked U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer for mercy and for a sentence of “time served” and “home incarceration.”
Federal prosecutors have asked Collyer to sentence Bowdoin to 78 months, the maximum sentence under a plea agreement Bowdoin signed in May.
Bowdoin, 77, is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 29 in an online Ponzi caper federal prosecutors now say gathered at least $119 million and created at least 9,000 victims. The ASD patriarch has been jailed since June. Collyer ordered him jailed after prosecutors produced evidence that Bowdoin continued to promote scams — including another 1-percent-a-day scam — after the U.S. Secret Service raided ASD in August 2008 and arrested Bowdoin on Ponzi-related charges in December 2010.
The other 1-percent-a-day scam was AdViewGlobal, which collapsed in 2009. Bowdoin also promoted “OneX,” which prosecutors described as an ASD-like pyramid scheme.
Bowdoin’s sentencing is expected to be closely watched by members of Zeek Rewards, which the SEC described Aug. 17 as a $600 million online Ponzi and pyramid scheme that potentially could affect more than 1 million participants. Zeek’s business model of suggesting a return of more than 1 percent a day was possible strongly resembled the ASD business model.
“As an initial matter, Mr. Bowdoin pleaded guilty to the instant offense [wire fraud] [and] stands before this Court accepting of its punishment,” Bowdoin’s attorneys wrote in a memo to Collyer. “The Defendant does not accept punishment bitterly, but understands that he has committed a crime and that he must be punished.”
Bowdoin, according to his lawyers, disputes a government analysis that pegs total ASD losses by investors at $75 million. The actual loss, the lawyers argued, was $19 million.
“Mr. Bowdoin does not make this objection to minimize his activities,” the lawyers argued. “He only wishes to put the extent of the harm caused by his activities in the appropriate context.”
But Bowdoin’s advancing age and declining health are factors the judge should consider when sentencing Bowdoin, whose wife also is sick, the attorneys argued.
Bowdoin is remorseful for his illegal conduct and has accepted responsibility for his crime, his attorneys argued to the judge.
Unlike many Ponzi scheme cases, the government was able to seize tens of millions of dollars of assets in the ASD case before they could be dissipated, according to court filings. In August 2008, the U.S. Secret Service seized about $80 million from 15 ASD-related bank accounts.
Other seizures occurred in December 2008 and December 2010, for much smaller amounts, according to court filings. Some of the later seizures involved the bank accounts of individual ASD members.