Friday, March 13, 2009

Brain Dump: BizAdSplash Pyramid Scam

This is a general research brain-dump, and otherwise completely unrelated to my normal blogging topics.

This is regarding a company (currently) known as "". BAS is an 'auto surf' scam, and should be avoided by everyone. Same goes for any company who's 'business model' involves 'click for cash' schemes.

First, let's understand what we're talking about. A Ponzi scheme (or pyramid scheme) is defined thusly:

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors rather than from profit. The term "Ponzi scheme" is used primarily in the United States , while other English-speaking countries do not distinguish colloquially between this scheme and other pyramid schemes.[1]

The Ponzi scheme usually offers abnormally high short-term returns in order to entice new investors. The perpetuation of the high returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises and pays requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors in order to keep the scheme going.

The system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments. Usually, the scheme is interrupted by legal authorities before it collapses because a Ponzi scheme is suspected or because the promoter is selling unregistered securities. As more investors become involved, the likelihood of the scheme coming to the attention of authorities increases.

The US DOJ has already determined the following businesses were Ponzi schemes, and has successfully convicted at least one of the operators, Andy Bowdoin.

AdSurfDaily/ASDCashgenerator/Golden Panda

You can view the DOJ's website here. The DOJ is offering remuneration to victims of these companies.

The "business model" for these companies was essentially the same: promises of high payouts for buying into an advert system. As with most Ponzi's, the first people "in" were paid, spoke highly of the program to recruit others, then fell apart months later as the operation scaled beyond a crash point.

The connection to catch here is Golden Panda. From the Georgia Secretary of State, we find out Golden Panda was closed in September 08, and had been registered to a Mr. Clarence Busby.

Clarence Busby is believed to be the founder of Golden Panda and Biz Ad Splash. (Update: A BAS rep has indicated Busby is not a founder, but an "advisor.")

Biz Ad Splash has been in business for exactly two months (their system went live 12/25 according to several internet forums.) (Note: Yes, I recognize the difference between being incorporated (Sept 08?) and 'operational', which is what I mean in this case.)

The company is allegedly incorporated in PANAMA, but as I cannot locate a SINGLE email address, phone number, or article of incorporation, I cannot verify this.

This lawfirm is handling a class-action lawsuit against Mr. Busby, his associate Andy Bowdoin, and their (former) companies. (Specifically, attorney Lisa Fialco is handling the case.)

This group has been tracking the case(s) against Andy Bowdoin's companies. The history of these men is just unbelievable. (Patrick Pretty's work is pretty thorough, IMHO.)

It seems they target church groups with pretty startling regularity.

Bottom line: if anything even sounding remotely like this "business model" comes your way, do not get involved with it.


Anonymous said...

Couple thoughts about bizad splash and the like.

Fundamental to the business model:

A business is not sustainable long term if it is dependent on new sales reps to fund it’s activities. A business must be able to sell it’s goods or services outside of the organization or it is dependent on exponential growth which of course is impossible.

If a company is offering online advertising at a price that is 10 to 20 times more expensive than can be bought elsewhere, the only way anyone would ever pay the inflated price is on the basis of getting a “return” on their “investment”. Therefore the only people who buy the ads are not customers looking for a service, they are investors looking for a return. This is critical.

So the actual -thing- that is being sold is meaningless, the return on investment is the only thing that counts.

Every customer/investor REQUIRES more customers/investors in order to get their return. That’s the definition of PONZI scheme. Existing investors are paid from the money of new investors.

So ask yourself, why am I willing to overpay for this service? Answer; because I am being told I will earn 3-400% annually on whatever I invest(at 1-1.25% per day), or more! OK, that means they will need to find 3 to 4 new customers (or more) after me to invest the same amount, just to pay me, before the company makes any money. And they will each need 3-4 customers after them to pay their expected rates of return.

If this rate of growth happened monthly, within 16 months every adult on earth, and many of their children, would be a rep for this company. On the last day, the business model would collapse as their would be no new investors to pay the returns, everything anyone has in the pot is gone.

I am not claiming that one might not be able to get in and out quick, maybe one could. Some will make money no doubt.

Selling crack makes money too, but I would’nt be selling it to my grandma and best friends.

Anonymous said...

well you can all kiss your $ goodbye as busby and secretary Katrina Motes sail off in the sunset leaving spouses and family behind with your money safely tucked offshore. Sucker.