URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: AdSurfDaily Ponzi Schemer Andy Bowdoin Sentenced To 78 Months In Federal Prison — Maximum Under Plea Agreement
URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: (UPDATED 5:20 P.M ON SEPT 4.) AdSurfDaily President Andy Bowdoin has been sentenced to the maximum term in federal prison under his plea agreement: 78 months.
The sentence was handed down minutes ago by U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer of the District of Columbia. ASD was a $119 million Ponzi scheme operating over the Internet between 2006 and 2008 and creating thousands of victims.
Separately, Collyer issued an order that authorized the U.S. Department of Justice to reopen remissions, meaning that ASD victims who missed the January 2011 filing deadline will have an opportunity to gain a pro rata share of the remainder of ASD proceeds seized by the U.S. Secret Service in 2008.
“Thomas Bowdoin was a master of fraud and deception, cheating victims out of their hard-earned money and savings with his get-rich scheme,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. of the District of Columbia. “His actions cost his victims millions of dollars and now they will cost him his freedom. This sentence will protect the public from Mr. Bowdoin’s scams and hold him accountable for his crimes.”
A top U.S. Secret Service official said the agency is using a variety of tools to bring scammers to justice.
“Capitalizing on the strength of our financial task force partnerships, we aggressively pursue criminals using computer experts, forensic specialists, investigative experts and intelligence analysts,” said Dennis Ramos Martinez, special agent in charge of the Orlando Secret Service office.
Machen’s office declined to comment today on whether the ASD probe was ongoing.
Bowdoin is 77.
In November 2011, ASD figure Kenneth Wayne Leaming was arrested by the FBI on charges of filing false liens against at least five public officials involved in the ASD case. Two of the officials were federal prosecutors. One was the lead Secret Service investigator.
Machen’s office — without referencing the FBI allegations against Leaming — today praised the work of former Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Cowden and Vasu B. Muthyala. And Machen’s office also praised U.S. Secret Service agent Roy Dotson. All three men allegedly were targeted with false liens from Leaming, a purported “sovereign citizen.”
Leaming, 56, is jailed near Seattle.
Bowdoin’s sentencing today occurred against the backdrop of the collapse of Zeek Rewards, which was accused by the SEC Aug. 17 of operating a $600 million Ponzi- and pyramid scheme that potentially affects more than 1 million people. Zeek’s business model was similar to ASD’s business model. The U.S. Secret Service also is investigating Zeek.
Here’s what prosecutors in the District of Columbia said today about ASD’s business model (italics added):
ASD’s business model promised members the opportunity to earn 125 percent (initially 150 percent) on each dollar paid into ASD, as long as the members viewed other members’ websites for a few minutes each day on ASD’s Internet page, commonly referred to as the ASD “rotator.” Bowdoin also promised members commissions for recruiting other members into the program.
While a small percentage of ASD members who invested early in the program could earn the extraordinary rates of return, the promised opportunity was illusory for the vast majority of ASD members. Indeed, due to the fact that ASD’s pyramid-style business model relied entirely on an ever increasing influx of new money to fund the debt owed to earlier members, the vast majority of members could never earn the promised rates of return, making the promised opportunity fraudulent.