PROSECUTION BOMBSHELL(S): ASD Had ‘Special’ Class Of Members; Bowdoin’s ‘Silent Partner’ Was His 12DailyPro Sponsor; ‘North Carolina Lawyer’ (And Co-Owner) Of LaFuente Dinero Told Bowdoin U.S.-Based Attorneys Would Be His Business Partners In ‘Offshore’ Surf; Employees Caught ‘Minister’ Stealing From ASD Before He Launched Golden Panda Ad Builder

Thomas Anderson "Andy" Bowdoin Jr.

EDITOR’S NOTE: First of two parts. Part Two will be published later tonight or tomorrow.

Even as AdSurfDaily President Andy Bowdoin was venturing to Washington in June 2008 to receive what his members and prospects were told was the “Medal of Distinction” from the President of the United States, he was harboring terrible secrets and knew full well his autosurf business was a Ponzi scheme that could collapse at any second and lay waste to thousands of investors, according to court records and an affidavit originally filed under seal by the U.S. Secret Service.

Much of the information from the affidavit, which was filed in February 2009,  is being published today for the first time. Companion court documents in ASD-related litigation show that part of a third civil-forfeiture case brought in December 2010 against assets alleged to be owned by ASD and Bowdoin has been put on hold while Bowdoin is battling criminal allegations — and that some individual ASD members whose assets were targeted for forfeiture in the same case have not filed claims for money seized from their bank accounts. Although the forfeiture action against Bowdoin has been suspended, the cases against the assets of the individual ASD members remain active.

Just two months prior to his June 2008 Washington jaunt — in April 2008 — Bowdoin had flown at the prompting of a “North Carolina lawyer” to Panama and Costa Rica with his wife and the lawyer. The purpose of the trip, according to the affidavit, was to incorporate ASD Cash Generator and an entity known known as La Sorta Trading outside of U.S. jurisdiction to create wiggle room if U.S. regulators came knocking.

ASD Cash Generator was the replacement name for the original ASD autosurf business, which was known simply as AdSurfDaily. The first scheme collapsed in 2007, leaving Bowdoin’s first set of investors holding the bag, according to the affidavit. Bowdoin’s later investors were not told about the firm’s dubious history.

La Sorta Trading, whose purpose was not immediately clear, never before has been referenced in the ASD case. La Sorta is the name of a city in Honduras, another country in Central America. It is not known if the firm was named after the city.

Bowdoin also was exploring the possibility that he and his wife would move from the small town of Quincy, Fla., to Costa Rica, the Secret Service advised U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer.

“Bowdoin’s wife did not like Costa Rica, however, and his plans to move ASD’s operations off shore were shelved,” according to the affidavit.

The February 2009 affidavit paints Bowdoin, now 76, as a man experiencing pressure from multiple points of contact — and as a man who made one disastrous decision after another. One of the things allegedly pressuring Bowdoin was fear that the Ponzi could come tumbling down before enough new members were recruited to keep cash churning and the facade of a successful and lawful business in place. Yet-another was fear that insiders, ordinary members and even employees could turn on him. Still-another was fear that a government intervention could occur at any time, according to the affidavit.

Of the millions of dollars that had flowed into ASD, “less tha[n] $25,000 was derived from independent revenue,” according to the affidavit. The rest had come from members and was being recycled in classic Ponzi scheme fashion, with Bowdoin initially empowering himself and a “silent partner” to rake 10 percent of ASD’s “gross sales” and split it evenly: 5 percent each.

But even as he was in Washington in June 2008 to receive an award he positioned as a Presidential acknowledgment of his business acumen, Bowdoin knew that his silent partner posed a risk to him, according to the affidavit.

That silent partner, according to the affidavit, was Bowdoin’s “sponsor” in 12DailyPro, an autosurf the SEC accused of running a massive Ponzi scheme more than two years earlier.

Through his sponsor, Bowdoin had invested $100 in 12DailyPro. The money was lost quickly because the SEC shut down 12DailyPro soon after Bowdoin joined. But Neither Bowdoin nor his silent partner took the clue from the SEC’s action, according to the affidavit. Instead, they worked on ways to channel 12DailyPro-like revenue to themselves and disguise what they were doing.

“Based on his experience with 12daily Pro, and his review of the SEC’s filings against it, Bowdoin knew that a paid auto-surf program that promised returns of that magnitude and recycled member funds was a business model that was both unsustainable and illegal. He also knew that selling an unregistered investment opportunity to thousands of investors was illegal. Nevertheless, after the collapse of 12daily Pro, Bowdoin agreed with his 12daily Pro sponsor to start a similar autosurf program. Both individuals were aware that, before its collapse, 12daily Pro had taken in millions of dollars from its members.”

Under Bowdoin’s agreement with his silent partner, Bowdoin was responsible for managing ASD’s operations. The partner, meanwhile, was responsible for marketing ASD.

In December 2006, about a year and a half prior to Bowdoin’s June 2008 trip to Washington amid claims he was receiving a Presidential award for business smarts, Bowdoin arbitrarily slashed the silent partner’s cut of the upstart ASD business from 5 percent of the gross to 1 percent, according to the affidavit.

Despite the fact Bowdoin had been a 12DailyPro member recruited into that SEC-smashed Ponzi scheme by the same person who’d later emerge as his silent partner in ASD, Bowdoin explained to the silent partner that he — meaning Bowdoin — “was performing most of the work, and bearing most of the risk in operating ASD,” according to the affidavit.

With those words, Bowdoin imposed a pay cut on the silent partner, who later asserted Bowdoin had ripped him off, according to the affidavit.

In August 2008, during a search of Bowdoin’s home in Quincy less than two months after the Washington jaunt and the Presidential claims, the Secret Service found Bowdoin’s handwritten notes from December 2006 that “show his and his silent partner’s awareness of the risks of the auto-surf program they were conducting,” the Secret Service said in the affidavit.

“Bowdoin’s notes indicate that he told his silent partner that the partner should have made him better aware of those risks ‘knowing regulators were on the prowl for surfing sites,'” the Secret Service alleged.

It is known from other documents that the Secret Service opened the ASD probe after becoming aware of the company on July 3, 2008, about 17 days after Bowdoin had ventured  to Washington amid claims he’d be be receiving a Presidential award and dining with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

One of the documents is a 57-page evidence exhibit that includes surveillance photos taken in Quincy prior to the seizure of tens of millions of dollars from Bowdoin’s 10 personal bank accounts, one of which allegedly contained more than $31.6 million. The Secret Service was alarmed as it began the process of peeling back layers of the onion, according to court records

Before July had come to a close, the agency — confronted with a murky fact set and trying to figure out how a man who claimed to have had a remarkable business career that had captured the attention of the President of the United States — had assigned multiple undercover agents to the ASD case.

One of the earliest puzzles to solve, according to court documents, was that Bowdoin had left behind a string of dissolved companies in Florida and professed to be wealthy — but  had “earned no significant income from legal employment in the twenty years prior to his commencement of ASD’s operation.”

As the investigation progressed, according to court documents and the February 2009 affidavit, agents discovered that ASD had “special” members who provided Bowdoin start-up capital to varying degrees. These “special” members were grouped as members of  ASD’s “President’s Circle,” “President’s Advisory Board” and “President’s Advisory Counsel,” and also knew about the 12Daily Pro Ponzi.

At least “some” of them, according to the affidavit, counseled Bowdoin not to use the name he initially contemplated in 2006 for the upstart enterprise: DailyProSurf.

Some of the special members, who were entitled to higher compensation than ordinary members, “complained” that DailyProSurf sounded too much like 12DailyPro. In response to the concerns,  the enterprise abandoned the DailyProSurf name and used the name AdSurfDaily as a means of avoiding “law enforcement scrutiny,” according to the February 2009 affidavit.

The document did not name the “special” members. It was filed under seal on Feb. 26, 2009, during a period in which an autosurf known as AdViewGlobal (AVG) was launching.  AVG may represent the fourth iteration of ASD, one launched months after the seizure of Bowdoin’s bank accounts by the Secret Service in August 2008.

AVG’s name is not referenced in the February 2009 affidavit. In June 2009, however, AVG’s name surfaced in a racketeering lawsuit brought against Bowdoin and North Carolina attorney Robert Garner. In September 2009, the government made a veiled reference to AVG in court filings.

Lawyers Referenced In Secret Service Affidavit As Bowdoin’s Partners In LaFuenteDinero, The ‘Spanish’ ASD

NOTE: The PP Blog became aware in 2010 that the government had subpoenaed at least three North Carolina attorneys, including Robert Garner, in the ASD case. The other two attorneys were husband and wife. The husband, who was sentenced to a year in federal prison in 2006 for lying to the FBI in a real-estate case, was disbarred in 2009. Bowdoin challenged the subpoenas, arguing that his communications with the lawyers were privileged. A federal judge ruled that the attorneys had to testify.

The Blog, which previously has published stories that reference Garner, is doing so again today. Garner is listed in Nevada records as a “director” of AdSurfDaily Inc., with Bowdoin as the president, secretary and treasurer. However, the Blog is choosing today not to publish the names of the husband-and-wife attorneys, but reserves its right to do so in the future.

Moving on . . .

One of the most stunning allegations in the February 2009 Secret Service affidavit, which became a public record when the seal was lifted in May 2009 and which the PP Blog is reporting on for the first time today, was that two of the North Carolina lawyers were proposed as Bowdoin’s business partners in LaFuenteDinero (LFD). LFD was ASD’s so-called Spanish autosurf. The proposal was made by one of the lawyers, who described the other lawyer as his “law partner.”

The section below is verbatim from the February 2009 Secret Service affidavit:

“In approximately September or October 2007, ASD’s North Carolina lawyer suggested to Bowdoin that they should start a new site that was in Spanish. In addition, the North Carolina lawyer suggested that the company associated with this site should be set up off shore because when these type of companies raise too much money the government comes in and shuts them down. The North Carolina lawyer recommended that he, his ‘law partner’ and Bowdoin would each share ownership of the Spanish site (as 1/3 share partners). In return for the others’ ownership interests, the North Carolina lawyer and his associate would handle the incorporation work and all of the work needed to move operations offshore.”

By early 2008, with nearly a year and a half of troubled operation under its belt and a Ponzi collapse that had caused ASD to cease operations for weeks in 2007 as it tooled up for a second try under the ASD Cash Generator brand, Bowdoin was growing “suspicious” of at least one of the North Carolina lawyers, according to the affidavit.

“In February 2008, Bowdoin, the North Carolina lawyer and an ‘Internet marketer’ discussed expanding ASD by beginning a new site in Chinese, which would be called Golden Panda Ad Builder,” according to the affidavit. “The North Carolina lawyer suggested a person that would be well suited to run the site offshore, but Bowdoin was beginning to get suspicious of the lawyer. Bowdoin decided, instead, to split the Chinese site with the Georgia minister. Bowdoin told the Georgia minister that ASD had no outside income sources and that ASD’s survival was depend[e]nt on an ever growing base of new contributors. The Georgia minister began working on developing the Chinese auto-surf site.”

‘Georgia Minister’ Allegedly Caught Stealing By ASD Employees; Bowdoin Allegedly Stays Silent About Theft

Bowdoin, according to the affidavit, confronted trouble from any number of fronts. One of his colleagues — the “silent partner” who had been Bowdoin’s 12DailyPro sponsor whose rake Bowdoin allegedly had slashed after they started ASD — told Bowdoin he believed he was owed $20,000 and  threatened to expose ASD’s new operation.

“Bowdoin agreed to compensate the sponsor” after initially balking, according to the affidavit.

And Bowdoin also was under pressure from the “North Carolina lawyer” to move the ASD operation offshore — counsel Bowdoin earlier had resisted but agreed to explore in April 2008, despite his suspicions about the lawyer, according to the affidavit.

During the first half of 2008, with Golden Panda still not off the ground during a period in which the “Georgia minister” had access to ASD’s computer system, ASD employees began to complain that the minister was “padding” his ASD account by “secretly using his access to the computer system to increase his/relatives’ number of ad packages,” according to the affidavit.

Bowdoin personally investigated the complaints, comparing the “Georgia minister’s” account with banking records.

Bowdoin “confirmed for himself that the Georgia minister was in fact stealing money from ASD by creating free ad packages,” according to the affidavit. “When confronted, the Georgia minister denied the allegations and asserted that he had proof that the ad packages he created flowed from legitimate deposits of funds into ASD’s bank accounts. The Georgia minister never showed Bowdoin this proof, however, and each time Bowdoin or someone else inquired about the evidence of deposits, the Georgia minister created an excuse to explain why he did not then have it.”

Instead of firing the Georgia minister and ending the relationship, “Bowdoin did not pursue the matter,” according to the affidavit.

Things took a dramatic turn “in about June 2008,” when ASD employees discovered that “the Georgia minister had been permanently enjoined by a court from committing violations of the federal securities laws.

“When ASD employees disclosed this information to Bowdoin, they told him that ASD needed to distance itself from the minister,” according to the affidavit. “Bowdoin agreed to severe his ties to the Golden Panda operation after several ASD employees indicated that they were unwilling to work with the Georgia minister.”

Walter Clarence Busby Jr. of Acworth, Georgia, has been identified by the government in other court filings as Bowdoin’s Golden Panda partner. Separate court documents describe Busby as a minister and real-estate professional, and the SEC described Busby in 1997 as a prime-bank swindler.

In court filings in the ASD case, Busby advised Collyer that he had prevailed upon another minister to assist him in arranging a relaxing day of fishing with Bowdoin in April 2008. During that same month, according to the February 2009 Secret Service affidavit, Bowdoin ventured to Central America with his wife and a “North Carolina lawyer.”

The fishing excursion took place in Brunswick, Georgia, on April 11, 2008, according to court filings by Busby. Five days later, according to the February 2009 Secret Service affidavit, Bowdoin was in Panama and Costa Rica, discussing ASD business and the formation of the La Sorta Trading firm.

Coming later: Government moves against money in ASD-related bank accounts in Iowa and other states.

June 12 Update: See Part Two here.

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5 Responses to “PROSECUTION BOMBSHELL(S): ASD Had ‘Special’ Class Of Members; Bowdoin’s ‘Silent Partner’ Was His 12DailyPro Sponsor; ‘North Carolina Lawyer’ (And Co-Owner) Of LaFuente Dinero Told Bowdoin U.S.-Based Attorneys Would Be His Business Partners In ‘Offshore’ Surf; Employees Caught ‘Minister’ Stealing From ASD Before He Launched Golden Panda Ad Builder”

  1. […] You can read the Patrick Pretty article at this link […]

  2. […] unsealed, and the US Secret Service affidavit has a lot of damning information in it. Here's the link The more I am around people, the more I like my dogs !! Reply With Quote + […]

  3. Hm, this looks bad for Saint Uncle Andy !!

  4. […] by the SEC in 2006 amid allegations it was operating a massive online Ponzi scheme. Prosecutors said later that Bowdoin had a “silent partner” in ASD — and that the silent partner had been […]

  5. […] Whether “Dave” assigned himself a Ponzi “rake” is unclear. In the AdSurfDaily online Ponzi case, federal prosecutors said ASD President Andy Bowdoin and a “silent partner” who was Bowdoin’s sponsor in the 12DailyPro online Ponzi scheme agreed to a rake of 10 percent of ASD’s “gross sales.” […]