Man in Quincy Pleads Guilty to Online Ponzi Scheme

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QUINCY, FL -- May 21, 2012 10:46 p.m.

"It was like somebody had ripped your heart out basically that's how it felt.," said Ponzi scheme victim Gene Sutton.

Sutton is among thousands of investors that thought they were turning a profit from the Internet company Ad Surf Daily. The operation was run by Thomas 'Andy' Bowdoin, 77.

Bowdoin plead guilty Friday in district court to running a Ponzi scheme right here in Quincy that was busted by federal agents in 2008. Sutton, who invested into the four-figure range says he knew Bowdoin before taking on the financial risk.

"At first you're in denial because you knew him as a friend but at the same time hurt."

Bowdoin was able to fool thousands of investors and he used their money to buy luxury cars, a boat and even a lake house.

About six months ago Sutton says he was able to get all the money he invested back but thousands of others won't be so lucky. They'll never see a dime.

"If you're making money too fast too soon, if it's too good to be true, do not get involved at all."

WASHINGTON (AP) -- May 19, 2012

A Florida man faces more than six years in prison after pleading guilty to running an Internet-based Ponzi scheme that prosecutors say ripped off thousands of investors.

Thomas A. Bowdoin Jr., of Quincy, pleaded guilty to wire fraud Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Prosecutors say the 77-year-old Bowdoin operated an online advertising company and marketed himself as a "money magnet." He promised huge returns to thousands of investors. But authorities say the vast majority of investors never saw big returns, and Bowdoin used some of the funds to buy himself a boat, luxury vehicles and a lake house.

He faces a maximum sentence of 61/2 years. No sentencing date was set.

A lawyer for Bowdoin did not immediately return a call or email seeking comment.

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