EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the story of Shannon Allison, an Idaho widow with five children. It is in her own words. Only light editing has been performed.
My name is Shannon Allison and I’m a widow with 5 children. My husband, 5 kids, and I were involved in a horrific car accident in July of 2003. A driver fell asleep at the wheel on the highway and hit our camper trailer, which resulted in our SUV rolling 8 times into the median. My husband was killed and me and my children suffered numerous injuries.
In a matter of seconds, my entire life had become a nightmare and it took many years to physically and emotionally recover from the accident. At times, I wanted to die myself until finally, one day I realized that my children and I survived for a reason and I needed to learn to live life again. We were given a second chance at life and I knew my husband would want us to be happy!
After all was said and done, I received a lump sum of money from insurance and settlement funds. I tried to make sound financial decisions and invest my money wisely. I even hired a financial planner and invested in various developments and projects. I bought some real estate and looked for ways to start my own business at home so I could spend more time with my kids.
I was a registered nurse but needed a change in my life. I started marketing a product I really believed in and set up my own website through the product I sold. I was introduced to the product by a good friend’s brother-in-law who was an oral surgeon in California. During that time he also introduced me to ASD.
No Early Reason To Doubt
He, my friend’s brother-in-law, had wonderful things to say about ASD! He himself had earned thousands over his original investment and really believed the rebates were legal and everything was on the up and up, so to speak. He loved the fact he could advertise his business through ASD and make money! In fact, he was so excited about it that he shared the site information with all his family and friends.
He had originally been introduced to the site by his Aunt, I believe, who didn’t invest a lot of money in the beginning but was making substantial returns. He said at first he was skeptical but once he got into ASD, he started making money right away.
A 20K Leap: Sent Check To One Of The ‘Top Guys’
I was always looking for ways to advertise my new product. This seemed like an easy way plus make money at the same time! He showed me his own site and his returns. He got me so excited about the site that I decided to take the risk and put 20k into it. In fact, I was given a name and address to one of the top guys in the company to send my certified check to overnight and I would start making money right away since he could set up my account personally. Basically, there would be no delays since sometimes it could take up to a month to get going or so I was told. I was nervous but the pressure to get going took precedent.
Back Office Showed 7K Profit In Weeks
Everything was set up right away as promised and I started building money right away, according to my ASD account. In the beginning, which was in June of 2008, I surfed my required pages and reinvested my rebate returns daily. By the beginning of July, my ad packs were worth 27k and I decided to start pulling out some money.
My gut told me to start taking out enough money every week until my original principal was returned. You could only get your rebates back on certain days. During this time, the site started having trouble. It would be unaccessible or it would freeze up often. It was nearly impossible to even get to your ASD account. Sometimes, it would take days before it was up and working again!
There would be a message on the site stating the site was down because of the increase in traffic and new software to handle the traffic was being installed. By the time I got back into my account and requested a check, the seizure of ASD assets by the govt. had begun. The first and only check for $1,800 sent to me by ASD bounced and that was it.
Finding Out Info From ASD ‘Nearly Impossible’
At that time, ASD members were promised daily that all would be cleared up and we would be back online in no time at all. Weeks turned into months and months into a year and a half! Finding out info. was nearly impossible and I had come to realize that I was a victim of a Ponzi Scheme.
I told you this story because I wanted you to know that many of us truly just got into ASD because it was a way to advertise and make money at the same time. We would spread the word because we were getting rebate returns and thought we were part of something legal. Yes, I should of known that some things are just too good to be true but I guess I thought if it was illegal, why did it continue on for so long before they were caught?
I trusted the system and had no idea it was a Ponzi. Apparently, I’m not the only one as many members lined up at numerous rallies in different states to give ASD money. I thought for sure if this was illegal there would be no way he would hold public rallies to increase revenue. Wouldn’t you think the govt. would of been suspicious after the first rally?
I have learned a lot since this whole ordeal started. I research and research before ever investing any money or what money I do have which isn’t much anymore. Unfortunately, I am so distrustful now that often I pass on good investments. It’s so frustrating. I feel there are more corrupt people out there than just plain good, honest folks.
What ever happen to having a conscience? How do these people live with themselves like Madoff and Bowdoin after they destroy good people and their families?Â We need to educate ourselves and make informed decisions, not ones based on impulsivity and making a quick buck! I feel if you don’t have the time to do the research, you don’t have the money to invest! Hopefully, things will change and these criminals will finally be punished for their illegal acts!