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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Update - Feds to release millions of dollars seized from owner of internet company, 'Ad Surf Daily'



Federal prosecutors say they are now prepared to begin disbursement of more than $14M (fourteen million dollars) they have seized from an internet marketing company owned by Quincy, Florida businessman Andy Bowdoin.



The company, Golden Panda, offers members a way to make money by advertising online and pays them each time they click on another advertiser's website. The US Attorney General's office calls the business model a 'ponzi scheme' and that is why it has also seized $53M (fifty three million dollars) of assets from 'Ad Surf Daily' (ASD), another similar internet company also owned by Bowdoin. ASD is estimated to have approximately 125,000 members nationwide who have invested money in the company.

US Department of Justice Senior Trial Attorney William R. Cowden says the government will begin disbursement of the funds as soon as members are able to prove how much they actually lost. He states, "the government recently became owner of the Golden Panda funds, and it can now pursue cost effective mechanisms to remit funds to Golden Panda victims."

Cowden says he is also confident the Department of Justice will win its pending legal case against Bowdoin and ASD. When that happens he says the government will distribute those assets to ASD members accordingly.

Despite what the government has announced, there are hundreds of ASD members who still support the company. Iowa resident Julie Van Zee doesn't understand why the government seized ASD's assets in the first place, "I was just trying to make an honest living and they stole from many hard working people."
Van Zee heard about ASD from a friend who is also a member. Van Zee supports ASD and its CEO stating, "Andy Bowdoin and his wife are very honest people who may have made a few honest mistakes...and only wanted to help others grow their businesses."

Cowden doesn't see it that way. He wants to clear up any confusion about what is happening to the money seized from Bowdoin and ASD. Cowden says, "I see from one of the comments on your blog a recurring complaint that the government has been holding a person’s money for over a year now and should just give it back to the person. Unfortunately, this person’s money became Andy Bowdoin’s money when he or she voluntarily gave it to Bowdoin/ASD. The government is using the civil forfeiture cases to strip ownership away from Bowdoin and move it to the government. You might explain that the government can’t give money it doesn’t own back to anyone. Perfecting ownership is the point of pursuing court orders forfeiting ASD/Bowdoin & Golden Panda/Busby property to the government as the law permits."

Below is the July 27th press release describing the current legal status of Golden Panda and ASD. I will be posting new updates as they come in.

Channing D. Phillips
Acting United States Attorney
District of Columbia
Judiciary Center
555 Fourth St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
July 27, 2009 Update
Golden Panda Ad Builder

In two related civil forfeiture cases now pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the Department of Justice (through the United States Attorney's Office) has alleged that funds and assets either seized from several Internet-based businesses (“Ad Surf Daily,” “La Fuente Dinero” and “Golden Panda Ad Builder”) or traceable to those operations, constituted proceeds of one or more federal criminal offenses. Specifically, the government alleged that each of these three so-called auto-surf businesses, which had promised income opportunities to their paying members, were actually “Ponzi” schemes that used new members’ money to pay income to earlier members in violation of the federal wire fraud and securities fraud statutes. Under federal law, proceeds of wire and securities fraud offenses are forfeitable to the Unite States. On July 24, 2009, the United States District Court issued an order forfeiting $14,048,598.07 to the government. This amounted to most of the funds that the government seized from bank accounts maintained by operators of the Golden Panda Ad Builder operation. Thus, the government now has perfected its title to these former Golden Panda funds, and it is now able to begin the process of remitting forfeited property to victims of the Golden Panda fraud scheme. Individuals who sent money to Golden Panda Ad Builder, and who suffered a pecuniary loss, will need to file petitions for remission or mitigation of the forfeiture with the Department of Justice. Under Section 9.8(a)(1) and (2) of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations, in a petition for remission or mitigation of forfeiture a non-owner victim must demonstrate that it suffered a pecuniary loss of a specific amount directly caused by the criminal offense(s) underlying the forfeiture, or a related offense, and that the loss is the direct result of the criminal acts. In the near future, the Department of Justice will endeavor to contact former Golden Panda members with information about how they may properly file petitions for remission or mitigation with the Department (in writing and under oath). The Department will publish information on this website and also will provide information by email to potential petitioners identified to it. At this time, the United States does not have access to funds or property seized from or related to the Ad Surf Daily and La Fuente Dinero operations. The government’s effort to perfect those forfeitures remains under challenge.

Here is a link to the Attorney General's civil complaint filed against ASD in August, 2008
http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/KGRG-7H9MY7/$file/ASDComplaint.pdf

11 comments:

  1. Mike, you are getting warmer. Good job!

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  2. Why didn't the government just tell us the facts in the first place. Why did it take a year for them to say, "They don't have ownership of the funds" We, ASD victims, have a right to know what is going on with the funds!! We all have tried to receive updates from the govt. and it's sad that we have to go through so much to get any facts or information! Thanks for the updates, Mike! I'm glad I found this info. on your blog! At least we have someone on our side!

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  3. Well, I wonder what it is going to take to prove to the Govern. how much we had in our cash accts at the time of the raid, or is it only going to be what we spent on advertising. Seems to me that they already have the records which would show how much each member had spent and accumulated. How else could the secret service have known about the large accts they froze.
    Anybody care to comment on this???

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  4. From the above posts I can well understand the problem that members of ASD are having in understanding what is taking place. Most if not a large majority of the ASD Members for the past year have been getting their information from those people who originally got them to join ASD and that information for the most part has been wrong. Of the 125,000 members less than 10,000 have filled out the form for getting thier money back should the Government decide to. And most of thses same people have not even read any of the court documents. Had they they would know that the money was not in an ASD Business account and that it was in 10 personal accounts of Andy. Should the Government give back the money it wioll be out of the goodness of their hearts and not because they have to.

    Also, in December Saint Andy gave up all rights to the money and he also gave up all rights and claims to the property as well. According to Andy in court documents he even admitted that ASD was illegal and a Ponzi.

    I have sent to Mike Mason copies of all the court documents and I hope that he will make them available to those who ask for them. In the past these same documents that many of us had to pay for were made available to all ASD members who requested them at no cost.

    If they ASD members want to blame some one then they nedd to put them blame where it really belongs and that is on those people who have more to lose and have been supplying them with false information.

    The formula for the return of any funds will be

    1. If you put money into ASD and did not get any money out then you will receive a refund.

    2. If you put money in and you got back more than you put in then you are going to have to give back what you received if its more than what you put in.

    3. If you took out what you put in then you get nothing back.

    Do not think that you will get back any of the money that was showing in your account more than you put in as that was not your money and was not earned honestly..it belonged to those who came in after you.

    Just remember that the money was Andy's and not yours since he failed to have the money in any type of business account. Quit listening to those people who made money off of your money and have more to lose since some of those people with large downlines will be probably spending a lot of their time playing cards with Andy in a Federal Pen.

    There are many sites that are still activly relaying information on ASD.

    1. ASD-Biz.ning.com
    2. PatrickPretty.com
    3. thejoyluckclub.com

    If anyone would like me to send them any and all of the court documents or make them available for download then you can contact me at:

    jackarons@bigbendcrimes.com

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  5. Darrin Allen:

    The Government and many more people continued to tell you and others what was going to happen..the problem is that no body listened to what was being said and yet every time Andy opened his mouth you believed all that was being said. Andy Bowdoin could care less about you and the others who lost money as all he cares about is keeping himself and his family from spending a lot of time in jail. As I type this Andy Bowdoin for the past several weeks has been spilling his guts about all who have helped him run this elaborate scam and those who have made a lot of money off of people like you. Do you think that Andy cared that two people blew their brains out after losing their entire life savings....No! Do you think he cares that you might lose your home....No! All he cares about is how long he will have to spend behind bars.

    I really do not know what it is going to take for many of you to open up your eyes to the truth and that is that you got taken by a crook.

    Tomorrow Andy Bowdoin and his Attorney are going to sign away all rights to the money and all the property in exchange for him to serve 5 years and after wards should the people he turned in to save his own skin do not get to him then both him and his family are going to go into the Witness Protection Program and live off of the almost 75 million dollars that is unaccounted for. (thats if the Russians do not find it first).

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  6. 'the' or Jack Arons or whoever you are,
    Why should we believe you over anyone else?
    Where are you getting all this knowledge and information you are spouting?
    How come you know so much more than anyone else?

    Are you trying to tell Mike Mason that he doesn't have to do any investigating, he could just ask you because you already know everything?
    How is that possible?
    Maybe you are the one he should be 'investigating'?

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  7. DUH! ASD is NOT Golden Panda. Great investigative reporting, Mike Mason.

    Try starting your investigation again. This time, go for the 'factual' approach.

    But if you re-hash what is already proliferated through-out the web, then this is useless. The best thing an investigator can do is to find an insider source.

    Members are not 'insiders'.

    Many members are totally teed off about their loss of finances. Others profited and could care less and have moved on. The common element is "We want our money back". So where is the news in that?

    Also remember that forums are like water coolers. opinions are the order of the day. How do you determine what is of value and what isn't?

    Stay away from those venues ... both pro and con ...

    Just an observer with no vested interested.

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  8. I expect to get plenty of opposition from both sides but my job is to print both sides of the story and attribute my information to credible sources. I cannot predict how the story will turn out but I will get answers. In fact, Bowdoin's attorney has promised to call me by Monday to give us an update and I spoke with the US Attorney General's office today.
    Will post details soon,

    Mike Mason

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  9. Cowden says, "this person’s money became Andy Bowdoin’s money when he or she voluntarily gave it to Bowdoin/ASD."

    This is not true. No one merely gave $ to ASD. All had expectations of rebates. Cowden and his accomplices stole that prospect away from ASD's unanimously happy members!!

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  10. Hey "the"

    Does the government care about those 2 poor souls that took their own lives? You make no sense, and mangle the facts to suit your purposes. If the Gov. cares so much why are we not simply given a place to sign up to get our money back? WHY do we have to say that ASD was a scam to sign up for our money back? WHY?

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  11. can anyone tell me how to try to get some of my stolen money back

    ReplyDelete