Tomorrow is the deadline for prosecutors to advise U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer how they plan to proceed with the December 2008 forfeiture complaint filed against assets of AdSurfDaily Inc.
A month ago Judge Rosemary Collyer pointed out that no person or entity had filed claims to property seized in the complaint, the second tied to ASD-connected assets. The first complaint was filed in August 2008 and was nearly litigated to conclusion in January 2009, with ASD President Andy Bowdoin’s submission to the forfeiture of tens of millions of dollars “with prejudice.”
Bowdoin, 74, changed his mind about giving up the money in February, and reentered the August case as a pro se litigant after meeting with a mysterious “group” of ASD members.
Prosecutors now say Bowdoin is a “delusional” con man who “cannot manage to keep his stories straight,” arguing that he is telling Collyer one thing and members another. On Sept. 28, the U.S. Secret Service filed a transcript of a conference call Bowdoin held with members Sept. 21.
In the transcript, Bowdoin repeatedly told members the government had seized money from them. He specifically used the phrase “your money” four times in the short recording.
Prosecutors said Bowdoin’s words to members were at odds with his own court filings in which he claimed ownership of the seized assets — and also at odds with the filings of Charles A. Murray, one of Bowdoin’s attorneys.
Prosecutors quoted from a September filing by Murray, who has been arguing that Collyer should permit Bowdoin to change his mind after advising the court in January that he was giving up the money and did not intend to reassert his claims in the future.
“Mr. Bowdoinâ€™s release in the above-captioned case is illogical,” prosecutors quoted Murray as saying. “He received nothing of value for the release. Bowdoin has consistently demonstrated an intent to aggressively defend ownership of his property in the civil in rem forfeiture proceeding.â€
Prosecutors were quoting from Page 2 of this Sept. 14 filing on Bowdoin’s behalf by Murray.
One week later — on Sept. 21 — Bowdoin held the conference call, using the phrase “your money” four times to describe to members the assets he had told Collyer belonged to him,Â prosecutors said.
Bowdoin’s official court claims to the property date back to Aug. 15, 2008, less than two weeks after the seizure. No claims to any of the assets seized in the December forfeiture complaint that followed appear in the record of the case.
Potential December claimants included Bowdoin, his wife, Edna Faye Bowdoin, George Harris, Judy Harris and Hays Amos. Judy Harris is married to George Harris, the son of Edna Faye Bowdoin and Bowdoin’s stepson. Hays Amos is a former employee of ASD.
ASD money was used to buy a car registered to Amos, and also a car registered to George and Judy Harris, prosecutors said. It also was used to buy a car for Bowdoin/Harris Enterprises Inc., which prosecutors said was set up by George Harris and Edna Faye Bowdoin to help Andy Bowdoin and Edna Faye Bowdoin hide assets.
At the same time, prosecutors said, more than $157,000 in ASD money was used to retire the mortgage on the home Judy and George Harris shared in Tallahassee, and to purchase a Cabana boat, jet-skis, haul trailers and other marine equipment. Bowdoin also spent $800,000 cash to purchase a building in Quincy — initially to the delight of the Gadsden County Chamber of Commerce, but later to its embarrassment.
The Gadsden Chamber went on to contact the FBI about ASD, questioning whether the company was legitimate, prosecutors said.
George and Judy Harris emerged later as the purported owners of the AdViewGlobal (AVG) autosurf, which launched in the aftermath of two forfeiture complaints filed against ASD’s assets and a separate racketeering lawsuit filed against Bowdoin and ASD attorney Robert Garner.
Florida now has dissolved both ASD and Bowdoin/Harris Enterprises for failure to file required annual reports. The state gave the firms nearly a five-month window to file, but neither firm — both of which purport to be legitimate — followed through.
Within hours of the breaking news about Florida’s actions against the firms, a poster on the Pro-ASD Surf’s Up forum described it as a conspiracy between the federal government and state authorities in Florida.