Bowdoin, Busby, Garner: Still No Attorneys In RICO Case

Nearly a month after being named defendants in a civil racketeering lawsuit filed in Florida, Ad Surf Daily President Andy Bowdoin, Golden Panda President Clarence Busby and ASD attorney Robert Garner have not filed notice with the court naming their attorneys.

Such notices typically are filed by the attorneys themselves and are designed to notify the court the parties to a lawsuit have retained counsel.

The lawsuit was brought as a RICO action and is contemplated as a class-action involving other ASD and Golden Panda members. The plaintiff is Natures Discount, a former ASD advertiser. The case is separate from a federal-forfeiture action filed in August by the office of U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor of the District of Columbia. It also is separate from a state lawsuit filed in August by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum.

Attorneys for Natures Discount today filed time records with the Florida court. The records are under seal and are filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Talahassee Division.

Natures Discount filed the RICO lawsuit on Nov. 19, the same day U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled ASD had not demonstrated it was a legal business and not a Ponzi scheme during a Sept. 30-Oct. 1 evidentiary hearing.

Bowdoin notified the court he would invoke his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination if called to the witness stand during the evidentiary hearing. Busby previously had withdrawn Golden Panda’s claim to funds seized as part of the ASD investigation. Garner was not named a defendant in the forfeiture case.

In the forfeiture case, Bowdoin named his attorneys within five days. Busby named his in about 20 days. It is possible appearance notices will be filed in the coming days.

Federal prosecutors claimed ASD was selling unregistered securities while calling itself an advertising firm and operating a Ponzi scheme. Nearly $100 million and real estate in Florida and South Carolina have been seized as part of the probe.

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