Zeek Promoters Send Email To AdSurfDaily Members, Asking Them To Wire Money To Confessed Ponzi Schemer Andy Bowdoin’s Jailhouse Account In The District Of Columbia; Zeekers ‘Owe This Man A Great Deal Of Gratitude And More’ For Opening ‘Path To Success,’ Email Claims
UPDATED 8:42 A.M. EDT (JULY 14, U.S.A.) It’s beginning to look as though the Zeek Rewards’ MLM “program” has within it a large downline consisting of members of the AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme. And in what may go down as one of the most spectacular PR blunders in the history of multilevel marketing, some former ASD promoters who now are Zeek promoters are encouraging their email contacts and downline members to wire money to jailed ASD President and recidivist securities huckster Andy Bowdoin — while using Zeek’s name in the appeal and describing Bowdoin as a pioneer who inspired “programs” such as Zeek to model themselves after ASD.
“You are also all aware that I believe those of us in Zeek and other programs that modeled themselves after the business model that Andy pioneered owe this man a great deal of gratitude and more,” the email read in part. “Please get in touch with your down lines as well.” (The email is reproduced below.)
For good measure, the email described Bowdoin as the man who’d provided MLMers the “path to success.” It also included a link to join the Zeek “program” under a headline of “Tired of Recruiting and Selling?” and this text teaser: “Get Rewarded DAILY for Placing Ads just like this one! Get Paid Every 24 Hours.”
A second ad in the email encouraged readers to “Get your FREE Gold Savings Account here and qualify to receive Free Gold.”
The PP Blog received news of the email early last evening, as it was preparing a post that reported an alleged HYIP purveyor in Ohio had been named in a 49-count federal indictment charging him with wire fraud and money-laundering. Terrance Osberger, 48, of Genoa, Ohio, was accused of pushing HYIP Ponzi schemes through an enterprise known as Eagle Trades LTD.
The returns Osberger allegedly offered were on par with the returns suggested by both ASD and Zeek: in the hundreds of percent per year. And like ASD and Zeek, Osberger allegedly used SolidTrustPay, an offshore payment processor, and issued a preemptive denial that a fraud scheme was under way. The alleged Eagle Trades HYIP fraud appears to have gathered at least $1.8 million, a relatively modest sum compared to HYIP frauds such as ASD ($110 million), Legisi ($72 million), Pathway To Prosperity ($70 million) and Genius Funds (an estimated $400 million).
In February 2012 — while announcing the guilty plea of Gregory McKnight in the Legisi HYIP Ponzi scheme — a special agent of the U.S. Secret Service noted that such schemes engage in form-shifting.
“Fraudulent schemes such as this have evolved significantly over the last several years,” said Jeffrey Frost, special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service Detroit Field Office.
AdSurfDaily was an online Ponzi scheme that said it set aside 50 percent of its daily revenue to share with affiliates. Those affiliates received an unusually consistent return of 1 percent a day. ASD described itself as a revenue-sharing program and encouraged members not to describe the “opportunity” as an investment.
Zeek also says it is a revenue-sharing program. Like ASD, Zeek claims it sets aside 50 percent of its daily revenue to share with affiliates. Affiliates have said they are earning between 1 percent and 2 percent a day, a percentage that corresponds to an annualized return of between 365 percent and 730 percent.
And like ASD, Zeek tells affiliates not to describe the “opportunity” as an investment program. Some Zeek affiliates are said to earning $1 million a month. Similar to ASD, which preemptively denied it was a Ponzi scheme, Zeek has preemptively denied it is a “pyramid scheme” — all while planting the seed that the U.S. government is running a pyramid scheme through its Social Security program.
In May, ASD’s Bowdoin pleaded guilty to wire fraud in the ASD Ponzi case. The ASD patriarch admitted his “program” was a Ponzi scheme, saying in a statement of offense the company never operated lawfully from its 2006 inception. As part of a plea bargain, Bowdoin has been banned from multilevel marketing, Internet programs and mass-marketing.
The email circulating yesterday disclosed none of these things, instead painting Bowdoin as an MLM pioneer and inspirational figure.
Nor did the email disclose Bowdoin’s felonious history as a securities huckster in Alabama a decade before he rolled out ASD in 2006. And it did not disclose that one of his business partners in ASD was implicated by the SEC in the 1990s in three prime-bank swindles, including one that suggested prospects could earn a return of 10,000 percent. In court documents originally filed under seal in February 2009 — as an upstart autosurf known as AdViewGlobal was launching — the U.S. Secret Service alleged that Bowdoin also had a “silent partner” in ASD.
That silent partner, according to the Secret Service, was Bowdoin’s sponsor in the 12DailyPro Ponzi scheme that sucked in tens of millions of dollars before the SEC destroyed it just months before ASD launched in the late summer and fall of 2006. Bowdoin and his silent partner simply tweaked the 12DailyPro business model, reducing the daily payout rate to about 1 percent and using linguistic sleight of hand in a failed bid to keep ASD under the radar, according to court filings.
Bowdoin’s nearly four-year-long legal saga began in July 2008, with the U.S. Secret Service starting an undercover probe. That probe has led to the filing of at least three civil forfeiture complaints, the seizure of tens of millions of dollars, court actions and seizures of bank accounts against certain individual ASD members, special statements by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Secret Service and the ultimate filing of criminal charges against Bowdoin.
In 2009, Bowdoin and former ASD attorney Robert Garner were accused of racketeering in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by three former ASD members. That lawsuit was placed on hold because of all the other litigation piling up against Bowdoin and ASD-related assets.
All of it appears to be meaningless to certain ASD members now promoting Zeek.
Also apparently meaningless is Bowdoin’s record of criminality in Alabama in the 1990s in at least three counties
In June 2012, Bowdoin’s bond was revoked after federal prosecutors proffered evidence that he continued to promote scams after the seizure of more than $80 million in the ASD case by the U.S. Secret Service in August 2008 and after Bowdoin was arrested on the ASD-related Ponzi charges in December 2010. One of the alleged “programs” linked to Bowdoin by investigators was AdViewGlobal, an ASD-like autosurf that collapsed during the summer of 2009.
Bowdoin also was linked to a “program” known as “OneX,” which prosecutors described as a “fraudulent scheme” and “pyramid” that was recycling money in ASD-like fashion. Some Zeek promoters also are known to have been OneX promoters. It also is known that some Zeek promoters also are pushing JSS Tripler/JustBeenPaid, a “program” that purports to pay 2 percent a day (730 percent a year) and may have ties to the “sovereign citizens” movement.
In recent days, JSS/JBP published a claim that it had hired a criminal defense lawyer in Salt Lake City. Like ASD, Zeek, OneX and Eagle Trades, JSS/JBP has a business relationship with SolidTrustPay. (NOTE: OneX now claims it no longer uses SolidTrustPay and is trying to get a new processor after a deal it thought it had with another processor fell through. In a conference call earlier this week, OneX blamed its members for the developments and claimed it had been targeted by fraudsters. Now under indictment in Ohio, Eagle Trades’ Osberger told investors in Massachusetts that his “program” also had been targeted by fraudsters, according to records.)
The email some ASD members received last night that references Zeek appears to have forwarded by former ASD pitchman Todd Disner, who became a Zeek promoter. Former ASD member Barb Alford — also a Zeek promoter — appears to have been the author. The email’s “To” line also references Jerry Napier, another former ASD promoter who became a Zeek promoter.
Napier once was featured in a promo on Zeek’s Blog. Records suggest he signed a petition in 2008 — after two forfeiture complaints were filed against ASD-related assets — that asked the U.S. Senate to investigate the ASD prosecution team and the U.S. Secret Service agent who developed the ASD Ponzi case with the assistance of a Florida-based Task Force consisting of investigators from the IRS, the Secret Service and other agencies.
Alford is a former moderator of the pro-ASD Surf’s Up forum, which disappeared mysteriously in 2010. Teralynn Hoy, another former Surf’s Up moderator, hosted a conference call for Zeek last year. Zeek once listed Hoy as an “employee.”
In 2011, Disner joined with former ASD member Dwight Owen Schweitzer — who also became a Zeek promoter — in a lawsuit against the United States for alleged misdeeds in bringing the ASD Ponzi case. Disner and Schweitzer, who have raised the prospect in court filings that they could face prosecution for tax evasion in the aftermath of the the ASD investigation, continue to press the lawsuit — despite Bowdoin’s guilty plea to wire fraud in the ASD Ponzi case and acknowledgement he was operating a Ponzi scheme.
Here is the email circulating last night (italics/bolding added):
As you all are aware, Andy, is now sitting in a DC jail ward. He is in need of funds in his account so that he can purchase shoes, tooth brushes, tooth paste etc. the prison system charges ridiculous prices for this stuff. A pair of shoes alone in there costs 65.00.
You are also all aware that I believe those of us in Zeek and other programs that modeled themselves after the business model that Andy pioneered owe this man a great deal of gratitude and more. Please get in touch with your down lines as well.
I have received info where funds can be wired into his account to help him with his daily needs.
We can do this one of two ways. Anyone wishing to assist in the effort can send the money to me and I will wire all at once or we can do it individually. I have enclosed the wiring information below.
Let’s not drop the ball on this one. Anyone willing to do the right thing, one more time, please contact me.
I would appreciate any help you can give. It is not right that this man sits alone in jail hundreds of miles from home with no end in sight when it was he who gave us the path to success.
[Phone number deleted by PP Blog]
It has to go through Western Union to be placed on his account.
City Code: [Deleted by PP Blog]
Senders Acct # [Deleted by PP Blog]
Sender: Thomas Bowdoin
Here is his address if you want to write him
Correction Treatment Facility
1901 East St. SE
Med-96 Inmate 335084
Washington DC 20003
George said he gets his mail on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Anyway, GF, I know you said a few people might want to donate to help him. I know he would love to get a letter from YOU. I am sending one tomorrow so he can get it on Saturday, I hope.