Daylife/Reuters Pictures

Victims of an Internet-based Ponzi scheme have filed a lawsuit against Bank of America and the organizers of the scheme in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Using elaborate misrepresentations, including numerous video postings on YouTube, organizers induced victims from around the country to purchase so-called “ad packages” from the following entities: AdSurfDaily, AdSurfDaily Cash Generator, Golden Panda Ad Builder, and La Fuente Dinero. The scheme promised that participants could earn large rebates for viewing web advertisements and commissions for referring additional participants.

Hundreds of millions of dollars were collected from approximately 140,000 victims across the country, in amounts ranging from $500 to $250,000 at large rallies and through online deposits…

At least one other financial institution closed the accounts of the organizers for suspicious activity, according to a sworn government complaint. VISA also considered the enterprise suspicious and would not process charges directed to the scheme by would be victims. And the very popular PayPal payment system rejected efforts by participants to purchase “ad packages” using their system.

Beginning in November of 2006, Bank of America allegedly allowed the scheme’s main perpetrator carte blanche at the bank. The complaint claims the scammers opened and maintained at least 10 separate accounts for running an unlawful Ponzi scheme. These accounts were opened at a tiny Bank of America branch in Quincy, Florida under various “doing business as” designations.

The suit claims Bank of America looked the other way when these accounts amassed deposits in the tens of millions of dollars from thousands of individual transactions.

There is an established range of regulations requiring oversight from bankers over activities like these. Most require reporting suspicious activity to the Feds. Surely looks like someone in the food chain at BofA was looking the other way.

  1. Angel H. Wong says:

    Even if they win (and that’s a big if) they’ll only get a T-shirt and the lawyers the cash/assets.

  2. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    Viewing web advertisements and referring additional participants for the program does not constitute gainful employment. If these “victims” were duped in any way, it was for trying to get paid for doing nothing of any real value. Cry me a river.

    Some banks apparently refused to process these transactions so the customers would have money available to participate in the banks’ own scams, of which there seems to be no shortage.

  3. lakelady says:

    and once again we can thank Florida

  4. Breetai says:

    I doubt they were looking the other way for nefarious reasons. Unless of course you consider cutting corners nefarious. Talking to the feds is extra paperwork, my bet is it’s purely a lack of due diligence.

    Crap like this is the only really dangerous part of the internet.

  5. amodedoma says:

    No problem, they got that 20 billion bailout a couple of weeks ago, that also includes insurance for 100 billion to cover their bad investments. They got plenty of cash, taxpayer cash. Looks like business as usual in the BofA.

  6. soundwash says:

    i’m sure will see alot more ponziesque articles and lawsuits in the coming months.

    just browse the press releases
    by state. you’ll find hundreds of fraud cases
    similar to these, as well as enough mortgage fraud cases to keep the headlines packed w/em for years.

    end long-term result will be jail sentences for anyone who defaults on a loan. -while SEC regulators as well as those in government and the banking sector who have devised and allowed all this to go on continue to get a walk..

    C. Ponzi must be laughing insanely hard in his grave.


  7. deowll says:

    Looks like somebody from my bank is going to learn how to make car tags.

  8. Mr. Fusion says:

    If the bank is complicit in the scheme then they should take a hit.

    #2, Gary, I don’t buy the argument that “it is easy work so they can’t call it gainfully employed”. They were offered a scheme and lost money. If I offered you a raise and less work, wouldn’t you take it?

  9. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    Mr. Fusion wrote, “If I offered you a raise and less work, wouldn’t you take it?”

    Mr. Fusion, I’d probably take your offer in a skinny second if there were some reason for your sudden generosity, without which I’d be highly suspicious. On some basic level, people caught up in this scam had to realize that merely watching internet ads, with no writing of reviews or critiques, and recruiting more participants to do the same thing cannot be considered the sort of work that earns a legitimate wage or fee. At the very least, they must have believed that they were somehow gaming the system in time-honored “too good to be true” fashion.

    I didn’t mean to suggest that this in any way excuses the fraud perpetrated by the company behind it, nor even B-of-A’s failure to determine the legitimacy of an enterprise that was generating so much money. It does, however, excuse my complete lack of sympathy for the “victims” of this seemingly transparent scheme.

    Sorry, it’s possible I have a limited supply of sympathy, and I already wasted too much in my deep concern for the pathetic victims of the Nigerian scams. Those are tears that I’ll never get back.

  10. bobbo says:

    I don’t care enough to look it up, but I believe that “every” participant in a ponzi scheme is criminally liable for violation of the law===with ignorance as no defense.

    Interesting issue: how ignorant of something transparently obvious can you be and not be held responsible along with others as stupid as yourself?–a crime made up of NO VICTIMS and only criminals?

    Heh, heh.

  11. Mr. Fusion says:

    #9, Gary,

    Mr. Fusion, I’d probably take your offer in a skinny second

    Well, as soon as I finish helping Mrs Lumpfalo gets her late husbands millions out of Rhuanda I’ll send you an offer.



Bad Behavior has blocked 5610 access attempts in the last 7 days.