The AdGateWorld (AGW) autosurf has gone offline and has issued a statement that blames members for having unrealistic expectations.
“The original developers of the AdGate network never created false expectations or gave rebates that were not completely justified by revenues,” AGW said.Â ”This honest and legitimate approach using the advertising rebate model apparently did not meet the expectations of the herd mentality.”
AGW did not explain why it felt the need to defend the purported previous ownership group, while blaming participants for the surf’s fate.
AGW announced weeks ago that it was selling itself to an unnamed ownership group in the Middle East, although there was no way to confirm a sale had taken place. The announcement of AGW’s demise was equally vague, claiming that the surf had changed hands about 60 days ago, but not identifying either the new owners or the old ones.
Jack Schrold, a Florida attorney and member of AdSurfDaily, was instrumental in the launch of AGW. Schrold once was suspended from the Florida bar for misconduct, has been prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission for the actions of his credit-repair firm, and was convicted separately of knowledge of the commission of conspiracy and wire-fraud.
The adgateworld domain name was registered Aug. 18, 2008, less than two weeks after the formal seizure of ASD’s assets. The adgateworld site at one time included ASD’s name in its Terms of Service. Schrold pitched ASD to members of the military.
“Our ownership group purchased the AdGateWorld properties approximately 60 days ago,” AGW said in its shutdown announcement. “At that time we knew we were getting involved with a fluid situation and a very unique business model.Â Unfortunately, we did not realize that other â€˜similarâ€™ sites continued to operate fly by night operations and dangle unreasonable bonuses and returns.”
AGW appeared to make a veiled reference toÂ AdVentures4U (ADV4U) or perhaps MegaLido — another failed autosurf –Â in itsÂ shutdown announcement.
“No one cared because some other site was giving a ridiculous 14% a week until they collapsed after their supposedly record weeks!” AGW said.
AGW did not explain how its model, which featured advertised payouts roughly in line with the 1 percent daily advertised by ASD, whose assets were seized last year by the U.S. government in a wire-fraud, money-laundering and Ponzi scheme probe, was any more legal. Nor did AGW explain how a relatively “low” payout percentage in comparison with other surfs was any more legal than a higher payout rate when the issues are the sale of unregistered securities in a Ponzi scheme environment, with wire fraud and money-laundering also potentially in play.
Federal prosecutors view the lower payout percentage of some surfs as a bid to sustain the deception for a longer period of time so the “low” percentage surfs can rake in more money and fleece more people.
AGW also did not explain how its purported offshore location made the surf any more legal when selling “advertisements” to U.S.-based customers when the government plainly views the product as securities sold as investment contracts.
Two of the three so-called ASD “clones” — AGW and AdViewGlobal, which had close ties to ASD — now have failed.
A third so-called clone, BizAdSplash, operated by ASD/Golden Panda Ad Builder figure Clarence Busby, has encountered severe difficulties and is conducting a relaunch, according to videos featuring Busby.
Busby is a minister. One court document refers to him as “Rev.” at least 120 times.
“Today may be the end of one dream but all of us will succeed in the exciting projects that will be introduced shortly,” AGW said in its shutdown announcement.