10 January, 2011

Massive Internet-Based Ponzi Scheme

Florida Man Indicted On Wire Fraud And Other Charges
In Massive Internet-Based Ponzi Scheme
Venture Raised over $110 Million From “Members”
Thomas A. Bowdoin Jr., also known as Andy Bowdoin, the founder and operator of a
business known as AdSurf Daily, Inc., (ASD) has been indicted by a federal grand jury on
charges stemming from an Internet-based fraud scheme that generated more than $110
million from thousands of people across the United States and other countries.
The indictment was unsealed on December 1, 2010 in U.S. District Court for the District of

Bowdoin, 76, of Quincy, FL, was arrested at a home he was renting in Englewood, FL. The
indictment accuses him of five counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, and one count
of unlawful sale of unregistered securities. If convicted, Bowdoin faces a maximum sentence of
125 years in prison and fines of up to $6,260,000.
FACTS: The indictment alleges that Bowdoin ran a Ponzi scheme disguised as an online
advertising company that drew in large numbers of investors by promising huge returns on their
monies. According to the indictment, Bowdoin operated ASD from on or around September of
2006 until August of 2008. ASD operated on the Internet at various websites, including
www.adsurfdaily.com, www.adcashgenerator.com, and www.lafuentedinero.com.
The indictment states that although Bowdoin presented ASD as an online advertising company,
Bowdoin in reality was running an investment Ponzi Scheme. Bowdoin heralded ASD as an
“income opportunity,” the indictment states. Bowdoin referred to himself as a “money magnet,”
encouraged prospective ASD members to refer to themselves that way as well, and
stated that it was his “goal ... to make 100,000 millionaires in 3 years.” To avoid regulatory
scrutiny, Bowdoin referred to ASD’s investors as “members,” referred to the investor’s money,
payment and investment principle as “ad packages,” and referred to the return on the member’s
investment that ASD promised and paid as “rebates.” Under the program, Bowdoin, through
ASD, agreed to pay a return of 125% (initially 150%) on each dollar each member provided to
ASD, as long as each member agreed to view a couple of websites themselves for a couple of
minutes each day. Bowdoin also promised to pay commissions to members who referred others
to join ASD.
According to the indictment, Bowdoin raised more than $110 million from thousands of
“members.” He used more than $31 million to make payments to early members, more than $8
million to operate ASD and promote ASD to subsequent members, and more than $1 million for
his own personal benefit or the benefit of his family. This money Bowdoin spent was not
coming from actual revenues. Of the $31 million that Bowdoin paid to these early members,
more than 98% came from monies paid to ASD by other members, the indictment states.
The indictment alleges that Bowdoin made material misrepresentations and caused others to
make material misrepresentations about his business, the source of the monies paid to the
members, and his background. He actively promoted the scheme with a series of rallies in Las
Vegas and other places, ran advertisements in in-flight airline magazines, and appeared in a
video that aired over the Internet for several months in 2008. The indictment also alleges that
Bowdoin failed to disclose that he made personal and household purchases from bank accounts
that held ASD member funds, including paying off the mortgage on a property of one of his
relatives, purchasing a new lake house for himself and his spouse, and purchasing furniture,
water crafts and luxury automobiles.
In late July 2008, a federal judge granted applications by the U.S. Attorney for the District of
Columbia for more than 15 warrants to seize the proceeds of Mr. Bowdoin’s fraudulent activity
and related schemes. Thereafter, the U.S. Attorney’s Office brought two separate cases in
federal court to forfeit assets that U.S. Secret Service agents had seized by these warrants. This
included about $80 million in funds seized from bank accounts, several cars, water-sport
equipment, and two plots of land with their buildings. A federal judge of the U.S. District Court
for the District of Columbia subsequently ordered the forfeiture of the money and property, and a
program has been established for victims to make claims.
The United States government has contracted with a claims administration firm to process claims
for funds that have been seized and forfeited in the AdSurf Daily case and related matters. The
U.S. Secret Service and the Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering
Section are overseeing this program, which is known as remission. Information about making
claims is available at http://www.adsurfdailyremission.com or by calling 1-888-398-8214 or
writing to Ad Surf Daily Remission dministrator, P.O. Box 2353, Faribault, MN 55021-9053.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal
laws and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless,
proven guilty.

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