SPECIAL REPORT: U.S. Counter-Terrorism Unit Intercepted Communication From Person With AdSurfDaily Ties In 2009; Intended Recipient Was Imprisoned Felon Associated With Scheme In Which Prospects Were Told They Could Rip Off Government’s Medicaid Program
EDITOR’S NOTE: Lower in this story, the names of AdSurfDaily President Andy Bowdoin and other individuals appear. They are NOT the individuals referenced in the government communiqué described below.
UPDATED 12:50 P.M. ET (U.S.A.) The name of a person known to have used at least two names and to have AdSurfDaily ties appears in a law-enforcement communiqué issued in 2009 by the counter-terrorism arm of a U.S. government agency that employs a method of monitoring both domestic extremists and individuals with known links to international terror groups, the PP Blog has learned.
At least one communication from the person was intercepted by the government and used as part of a raw intelligence report that includes summaries on the actions of dozens of individuals with alleged ties to al-Qaida, Hezbollah or homegrown extremist groups in the United States. The communication does not reference ASD, but includes a reference to a second person known to have an ASD tie.
The sender of the communication was described as a provider of fraudulent documents typically associated with tax schemes operated by antigovernment extremists. Meanwhile, the intended recipient was an individual known to have promoted various forms of financial fraud, including a scheme in which prospects were told they could qualify for Medicaid by hiding assets and making themselves artificially poor.
Medicaid is a federal health-services program for low-income Americans. It is administered by the states.
The PP Blog established the identities of both individuals with ASD ties by examining a variety of public records and other documents.
Neither person is in state or federal custody, but it is clear that both the federal and state governments are aware of their activities and have worked to disrupt them. The intended recipient of the communication is in federal custody for a crime unrelated to ASD.
Both individuals with ASD ties have a tie to a third person with ASD links, according to the Blog’s analysis of records.
Owing to the sensitive nature of the communiqué, the Blog is declining to identify the individuals with ASD links and the agency. It also is declining to publish specific details such as quoted material, dates, times, telephone numbers and addresses. The communiqué demonstrates that the United States has identified particular areas in which it believes terrorism could fester and is monitoring oral, electronic and printed communications in a specific context.
The communiqué devotes more than a full page to the topic of the communication intercepted from the individual with ASD ties.
Based on its research, the Blog is reporting today that the person with ASD ties whose communication was intercepted is an American believed to have ties to a network of domestic extremists immersed in a sea of organized corruption. The person has an arrest record for a nonviolent crime, but also has been associated with bids to intimidate people and cause them financial harm. Records show that the person has used at least two names.
News of the disturbing developments comes even as some ASD members are blindly asserting that ASD was a wholesome enterprise and making broad claims that any ties to terrorism have been ruled out. ASD has been implicated in an alleged international Ponzi scheme that gathered at least $110 million.
Despite an alleged concession by ASD President Andy Bowdoin that the company was operating illegally and a new assertion by the government that Bowdoin and unnamed “others” ventured to Costa Rica in the spring to 2008 to get the lay of the land for an upstart “autosurf” enterprise, some members are soliciting funds to challenge a U.S. Secret Service affidavit that led to the seizure of tens of millions of dollars from Bowdoin’s personal bank accounts in August 2008.
Bowdoin’s own bid to challenge the affidavit failed in November 2008, more than two years ago.
In December 2010, federal prosecutors asserted that ASD had the ability to accept money from e-Bullion, a shuttered California payment processor whose operator — James Fayed — has been charged with arranging the contract murder of his wife.
Pamela Fayed, who was stabbed to death in a parking garage, was a potential witness against her husband. James Fayed is believed to have used e-Bullion to facilitate multiple Ponzi schemes, including a scheme hatched by a New York man — Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari — who later pleaded guilty to financing terrorism.
Like ASD’s Bowdoin, Ali Alishtari claimed to have received an important award for his business acumen. And Ali Alishtari’s scheme, known as FEDI, was pushed by an individual convicted in a separate Ponzi scheme and sentenced to federal prison. Payments from the scheme were called “rebates,” the same terminology adopted by ASD to describe payments to members.
“In enriching himself, Alishtari displayed a deliberate disregard for the financial and personal security of others,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York said in September 2009.
e-Bullion’s name also is referenced in court filings in the Gold Quest International (GQI) Ponzi scheme, which gathered up to $29 million, according to U.S. and Canadian regulators. GQI, which operated from Las Vegas, falsely claimed to be immune to U.S. law and to enjoy purported “sovereignty” extended by a North Dakota “Indian” tribe.
One of the unusual elements of the GQI case was a claim that the purported sovereignty was portable, shielding the purveyors from prosecution anywhere.
A New Plan To Do Battle With The Government
ASD member Todd Disner, one of dozens of unsuccessful pro se litigants in the civil portion of the ASD case in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, now wants ASD members to come up with money to fund a lawsuit in Florida that would challenge the U.S. Secret Service affidavit in the District of Columbia that led to the seizure of $80 million in the ASD case, according to a recording of a Feb. 22 conference call.
“We were dragged down the river by our government agents, and the rest is history,” Disner told listeners.
“There might be an opportunity for us to throw a few punches of our own,” Disner said. “We’ve been on the ropes for three years now, and we’d like to start swinging back if we could.”
The opportunity to battle back after a fatiguing and demoralizing three years on the ropes would cost ASD members a combined total of about $10,000, according to people who listened to the call.
After the call, some ASD members received an email that purported that an ASD “terrorism connection has been ruled out.” The email, sent by an ASD member who did not use a full name, did not describe who within the government had ruled out a terrorism link.
Disner, who claimed he was “excited” about the prospect of suing the government to overturn the ASD forfeiture, also claimed he’d been advised on the complex legal issues by Dwight Schwetizer, whom he described as a fellow ASD member, friend and “very accomplished attorney” who is “not practicing law now.”
“They’re just going to try and try to keep that money,” Disner asserted. “They seized the money improperly, and if they release it then everybody’s included.”
The government, however, already has put in place a restitution program that would compensate crime victims from seized funds. An apparent linchpin of the new strategy outlined by Disner is a theory that the government restitution program somehow opens the door for ASD members not only to reverse the judicially declared forfeiture, but also to receive damages for an unwarranted government intrusion. Schweitzer also provided commentary on the call.
For its part, the government says ASD was engaging in felonious wire fraud and securities fraud by disguising itself as an “advertising” business while operating a $110 million Ponzi scheme from Florida that had affected tens of thousands of people globally. Just last week prosecutors advised a federal judge that Bowdoin, who was arrested in December, had ventured to Costa Rica in the spring of 2008 to look for a way to start an offshore Ponzi scheme.
Disner’s conference call was held just a few days after the latest damaging claims against ASD became public. The government filed the new claims against ASD on Feb. 18, the same day it announced a major prosecution against an alleged Costa Rican money-laundering operation that was accused of engaging in international securities fraud and siphoning millions of dollars in penny-stock schemes.
The U.S. government, using its individual agencies and the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force created by President Obama in 2009, has been targeting various forms of fraud, including HYIPs, penny-stock capers, Forex schemes, tax schemes and domestic and offshore crime targeted at U.S. citizens.
In some cases, victims have been counted by the tens of thousands — enough to fill the nation’s largest sports stadiums. ASD was purported to have 120,000 members.
Some ASD members have called for a “militia” to storm Washington, D.C. Others have called for a federal prosecutor to be placed in a medieval torture rack. Still others have called for prosecutors and investigators to be charged criminally and sued civilly for their efforts to disrupt what the government has described as a classic Ponzi scheme operated by Bowdoin, a recidivist felon.