EDITORIAL: Andy Bowdoin, Have You No Shame?

Andy Bowdoin, have you no shame? Once again your closest followers and insiders are asking rank-and-file members to believe you are acting in their interests. They do this after you turned to the membership in August and asked for letters of support while not sharing details members needed to make informed decisions.

The membership delivered more than 3,000 letters. And then the lies were exposed, and they looked like fools for having lent their voices to this awful chorus. Andy Bowdoin should be held accountable for that. So should the followers and insiders who are helping him cloud the issues.

Members should ask Bowdoin why he was running an ad for a failed, dissolved business in his own rotator. And they should ask why Bowdoin was paying an employee to surf for his son. They also should ask why a police report never was filed when Russian hackers purportedly stole $1 million from ASD — and why a police report wasn’t filed when others purportedly stole money from the firm.

Those questions are just for starters, of course. There are lots of suspicious financial transactions involving family members and insiders.

Playing The Deflection Game

Some of those pulling strings are doing it because they have financial exposure; some are doing it because they have criminal exposure, and some are doing it for both reasons. Even so, some are almost catastrophically ignorant of the danger they are in. The information is being disseminated by crackpots and filtered through crackpots. Much of it is self-validating drivel, the stuff from which indictments are made.

If you’re an AdSurfDaily member, you’ll serve yourself ill if you attach any importance to any of today’s self-filed legal pleadings by Andy Bowdoin or if you listen to anything the closest followers and insiders have to say. You got hoodwinked the first time. Don’t let it happen again.

Think of his principal cheerleaders and major promoters as potential co-defendants in both civil and criminal prosecutions. Ask yourself if you’re being asked to provide cover for criminals before you invest in any of this, including the writing of letters to politicians.

Bowdoin does not dispute a single fact in today’s filings. All three documents offer technical challenges to the forfeiture actions. The documents paint Bowdoin the victim of a police state despite the fact he hasn’t been arrested or incarcerated. It is a subdued rant against a perceived police state. Nothing more.

Any person who tells you that Americans are free to sign contracts and engage in commerce for any purpose that pleases them is a crackpot.  If this were the case, drug dealers and customers could escape prosecution simply by agreeing not to call a crime a crime.

The documents appear to have been written by someone who wishes the case were a criminal indictment, not a civil forfeiture proceeding. The person may get his wish soon enough. Prosecutors wouldn’t have to use a word Bowdoin said in the presence of any Secret Service agent to bring an indictment or get a conviction.

Bowdoin also appears to be confused about his own case — something that’s not surprising, considering he once told members that Ponzi charges had been dropped against him in Florida when they had never been brought to begin with.

In his current pleadings, Bowdoin appears to be claiming he submitted to forfeiture under duress. But he never submitted to the forfeiture of the money and property he points to in today’s pleadings. He has submitted only to the forfeiture of money and property seized in August, not December, and Bowdoin appears to be trying to have the December forfeiture reversed while not mentioning the August forfeiture or providing corresponding dates when specific actions took place. At present, the documents appear to show that Bowdoin isn’t challenging the August seizure of $93.5 million and other property, including two homes.

Members should ask him about that. They need to know if he is challenging the August seizure. They need to know precisely why he appears only to be challenging the seizure of property linked to his family members and Golden Panda President Clarence Busby.

So Simple, Anybody Can Be A Lawyer

Earlier Bowdoin had competent attorneys from a prominent law firm. He also paid $24,000 to retain an expert witness. All of these people went to real law schools and are members of the bar.

Neither the attorneys nor the expert could score a win for ASD at the Sept. 30-Oct. 1.  evidentiary hearing that ASD itself requested. Bowdoin could have scored his own win by producing documents and audited financial statements that demonstrated ASD was not a Ponzi scheme. He didn’t do it. Not only did he not do it, he didn’t even do what his attorneys asked him to do, namely submit documentation to them to aid in the preparation of his case in the forfeiture matter.

And now he’s doing what Andy Bowdoin does: playing the victim and creating hope where none exists. He did largely the same thing when he was accused of a huge fraud in Alabama a decade ago.

You see, the whole, ugly mess in Alabama that resulted in felony charges being filed against Bowdoin was not his fault.

Bowdoin told the St. Petersburg Times that “he ran into trouble in Alabama because his company, Mobile International, sought to raise $1-million through a stock issue, and someone was improperly paid a commission to sell the stock,” according to the newpaper.

“That nullified the registrations that our attorney had done with the state of Alabama,” he said.

Bowdoin did not explain why he pleaded guilty to felonies if he had done nothing wrong and how one couple got hoodwinked out of $450,000. Bowdoin and his cronies bought expensive cars and expensive office trimmings with the money.

World-class crackpots are pulling Bowdoin’s strings now. Don’t be surprised if he gets indicted soon and takes a haf-dozen or more people down with him. An alleged $100 million Ponzi scheme is still extraordinary, despite its seeming smallness when compared to Bernard Madoff.

The government should leave no stone unturned in its investigation into Bowdoin’s actions. On Aug. 18, Bowdoin filed an emergency motion that asked the court to free up money so ASD could operate post-seizure.

Bowdoin did not advise the court from which it sought emergency relief in the Aug. 18 brief that ASD had more than $1 million on deposit in a bank in Antigua. Instead Bowdoin told the court that ASD couldn’t pay its bills.

“ASD needs emergency relief,” Bowdoin said in Aug. 18 filings. ” . . .  In a matter of a few days, ASD has gone from a vibrant internet advertising business with approximately 100,000 members to a hollow shell without a working office and without the means to resume its business . . .  It has also been unable to pay its bills (to creditors, such as its landlord) and is hurtling down into a steep financial tailspin. To provide one concrete example, on August 14, 2008, ASD’s hosting company threatened to shut down the company’s servers because its bill is unpaid.”

Only after prosecutors pointed to the Antigua money on Aug. 25 did Bowdoin acknowledge its existence in court briefs. He declared an emergency despite the fact ASD had more than $1 million offshore — in an account under a different name — and he didn’t tell members about the Antigua money until prosecutors raised the issue.

Why not?

At first, part of the circus surrounding ASD was mildly amusing, despite the fact a $100 million, international Ponzi scheme is very serious business. But all the air is out of the balloon now, and the government should pursue justice that is equivalent with crimes being committed right in plain sight.

This is not a comedy; it is a tragedy.

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5 Responses to “EDITORIAL: Andy Bowdoin, Have You No Shame?”

  1. Here’s hoping the Akerman firm is preparing a defamation lawsuit against Andy. After all, he accused them of actions so egregious they deserve to be disbarred. Nah, they won’t bother. I bet there were a lot of champagne corks poppin down in Miami, when Andy “fired” them for incompetence.

    One has to wonder why Andy didn’t call on his good friends George and Dick; after all they were still in office when this travesty of justice was first undertaken by the evil government. But what’s really amazing is that a man so prominent he was awarded a White House medal for his business acumen, a man who had God in his pocket, a man who had trained under Dale Carnegie, a man who had been mayor of Perry, FL, could be so easily coerced by his own lawyers, never mind the government. To hear him tell it, he was just a cowering old man who was easy prey for unscrupulous lawyers. (As late as last week, the Mods at the Surf’s Up site were claiming he absolutely did not buy the Medal, it was awarded to him for his service to his country. Guess he just didn’t think to pick up the phone and call George.)

  2. Hi Marci,

    I’ve thought that Bowdoin’s lack of forthrightness to his attorneys put Akerman Senterfitt in a box.

    On Aug. 18, for example, the lawyers filed the emergency motion for relief, citing ASD’s dire financial condition.

    But on Aug. 25, the prosecution revealed ASD had more than $1 million in Antigua — money that had not been seized. I have my doubts that Bowdoin told the firm about the money. The lawyers could have been caught completely off guard by the prosecution’s revelation, and then had to spin things furiously to try to make the damage Bowdoin caused his own case to go away.

    Imagine having argued that your client can’t pay the hosting bill or pay his wife rent for the flower shop — and then discovering that he has $1 million tucked away on an island nation known as a haven for money-launderers. His lawyers rightly could have been furious.

    It’s possible — and this is a guess — that the prosecution anticipated some bizarre legal developments in December, with the filing of the second forfeiture complaint.

    The Dec. 19 documment pointedly states that no one from Akerman Senterfitt EVER told ASD during its operation that it was operating legally. The document also pointedly states that the firm was waiting for Bowdoin to send documents prior to the seizure — and that Bowdoin didn’t send the documents.

    You might be right: Akerman Senterfitt might have jumped for joy when the relationship with Bowdoin ended. He was a loose cannon.

    Now, Surf’s Up is describing it as David Vs. Goliath, with Andy as David and the wicked government as Goliath, with some people blaming Bowdoin’s lawyers for the pickle he is in.


  3. I like the David vs. Goliath thing, but people need to remember that the reason the phrase exists to begin with is because Goliath wins often enough to be notable 3,000 years later when he lost.

  4. I noticed that Andy was acting as his own process server. Wonder if he can do that in Florida? I know some states require it be a different person, and the signatures notarized. Since this is a federal case, not sure what their rules are. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if the judge threw it out for lack of proper service!

  5. Since Andy wants to have criminal charges filed against him, maybe now is a good time for the US Attorney to release the sealed indictments and give him his wish. Now that would really T-off the faithful and take the wind out of their sails.