May 19, 2012- Thomas Bowdoin, of Quincy, Florida, was accused by federal prosecutors in Florida of duping investors and misleading them about his experience. Bowdoin pleaded guilty to operating a Ponzi scheme on the Internet that generated over $110 million. The defendant pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to wire fraud and could be sentenced to up to 6 ½ years.
Prosecutors said that Bowdoin operated an advertising company online named AdSurf Daily Inc. He called himself a money magnet. He held rallies that promoted his business model that promised produce huge returns for his investors.
However, authorities said the majority of investors never received big returns since all incoming money was used to pay earlier investors back and to cover a luxurious lifestyle that Bowdoin led. Bowdoin owned a lake front house, a boat and two expensive automobiles.
A June 12 hearing will be held to see if Bowdoin can remain free until his sentencing date, which also has not been set. Bowdoin failed to let investors know he was a three-time felon for securities related crimes. He instead said his only blemish was one speeding ticket he received in North Carolina. He also told one of his subordinates to tell investors that President Bush had give him a medal of distinction for his work in business.
The Department of Justice said over $110 million was received by Bowdoin’s company from over 96,000 investors. Of that, $45 million was paid to cover payments to investors and $8 million to promote and operate the business. About $55 million was recovered and disbursed to some of the investors.