BizAdSplash Tanks, Takes Participants’ Money With It, Members Say; Surf Invokes God, Says ‘Party Is Over’ In Sign-Off Note
Members reported receiving a platitude-filled email from Clarence Busby announcing the surf’s closure. The email, which included a pep talk and invoked God, did not say if, when or how members would be compensated.
“Now what about the future?” the email said. “No matter what, there is a future. There are many things on the internet that will help you in this future, so donâ€™t give up. Make the effort and success is just right around the corner. May your life be full of faith, hope and love. This is where you will find your best rewards. May God bless you all!”
Busby’s name appeared at the bottom of the email, which carried a business address of Acworth, Ga. The surf, which purported upon its 2009 launch to be headquartered offshore, came to life in the wake of the seizure of tens of millions of dollars from AdSurfDaily Inc. and Golden Panda Ad Builder. Busby is the former president of Golden Panda, which ceded more than $14 million to the government in the ASD/Golden Panda case.
Known for syrupy communications, Busby described the BAS staff as “sad,” according to the email.
“Our staff has been sad, not just because of losing a job, but because they have developed friendships with many of you and are very sad to ‘break up the party,’” the email said. “With anything that has had life, it is very sad to have that life taken away.”
Busby was identified in the email as the owner of BAS. In earlier communications, he was identified as “chief consultant.” It was not immediately clear how he purportedly had ascended from consulting work to ownership.
“As owner of this company, I have had many, many hours that I sincerely enjoyed working with you, and of course, a few ‘witching’ hours that were just plain scary,” the email said. “After many sleepless nights over the past few weeks, trying to come to the correct conclusion, I have made a decision to ‘pull the cord and turn out the lights.’ The party is over.
“No decision like this comes easy, at least not for me,” the email continued. “I know many people have had tremendous success, while others have just learned another of lifeâ€™s lessons in their loss. With a heart that is very heavy and sad, I have come to realize that not every plan brings success. But I do know that every failed plan does bring you a tremendous amount of knowledge in lessons learned, that will bring you closer to the success you are reaching to achieve.”
One BAS member who contacted the PP Blog said her family was out tens of thousands of dollars with the closure — and also out the value of advertising they purchased.
“I am retired and I did not get involved in this company just to give money away for we need the money to retire,” the member said. “Mr. Clarence Busby is nothing but a dishonest crook.”
Busby, who used the title “Rev.” at least 120 times in a court filing involving Golden Panda last year, was implicated by the SEC in three prime-bank schemes in the 1990s, according to records. He agreed not to break securities laws in a settlement with the SEC.
Despite the failure of BAS and the problems Golden Panda had that resulted in the seizure of more than $14 million in five Busby/Golden Panda bank accounts, Busby had he was better for having operated BAS.
“Please accept my humble appreciation to all of you who have encouraged, supported and worked so diligently with all of us this past year. Also, for those who prayed for me when I was in the hospital, I will never forget your calls, your letters and your friendships. It really did help move me to get well.”
BAS paid out more than $2 million during its operations, according to the email. The email did not say how much the surf had taken in.
“Biz Ad Splash has been online as an internet advertising business for one year this very week,” the email said. “During that time, BAS has paid out over $2,000,000 in commissions and has almost 9000 members.
“This year has brought many new friends who have believed in BAS and whose efforts gave BAS a chance for success,” the email continued. “Your encouragement and commitment was well received, and with sincere appreciation for the opportunity we had working with each of you, we honorably salute you.
“You are the reason that we have delayed this closing, hoping that there would be enough that believed in the program to see it through,” the email said. “The past 120 days BASâ€™ balance sheet as continually gone in the red, and at this time, we do not have the funds to continue with our program. The past few weeks our sales have not been strong enough to pay out reasonable commissions with our RRSP program, or enough funds to handle overhead and continue operations.”