Source: Florida Attorney General 8/13/2008

AdSurfDaily Sued for Pyramid Scheme

Attorney General Bill McCollum filed a lawsuit recently against Quincy company AdSurfDaily, accusing the company and its owners of operating a pyramid scheme. Thelawsuit is seeking civil damages for the victims and an injunction against the company, its president, Andy Bowdoin Jr., and its employees to prohibit them from engaging in future deceptive marketing. The lawsuit comes on the heels of a raid conducted by the U.S. Secret Service on the company's headquarters.

The federal authorities also froze $53 million in bank accounts held by the company.

The lawsuit filed by the AG alleges that AdSurfDaily - also known as ASD - operated a pyramid scheme, a multilevel marketing operation which depends on new investments to keep the scheme running. The lawsuit claims there were insufficient funds from any legitimate enterprise to support the profits ASD promised to pay. Instead, ASD depended upon new victims to turn over cash in order to make promised payments to those who had earlier given money. The AG believes many of the victims of ASD were Floridians who were scammed into handing over thousands of dollars to Bowdoin with promises of big profits that were rarely, if ever, provided.

Over the last several months, ASD hosted large conventions in Miami and Tampa where attendees were encouraged to pay thousands of dollars for internet advertising that would allegedly bring them huge paybacks.

Consumers were allegedly promised that they would make as much as 150 percent on their investments. According to the AG's investigators, the company made approximately $100 million from the Miami and Tampa conventions. The AG's Economic Crimes Division has been actively investigating this company since late July.

According to the lawsuit, the pyramid scheme promoted by ASD is a violation of Section 849.091, Florida Statutes, and a per se violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act found in Part II of Chapter 501, Florida Statutes. The AG seeks actual damages for consumers as well as civil penalties. The lawsuit is not connected with the criminal investigation being conducted by federal authorities.

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