Published: Sep 26, 2011 7:10 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal authorities say they are returning $55 million to people ripped off by an Internet-based Ponzi sheme.
    
The Justice Department and Secret Service announced Monday that they are returning the funds to 8,400 victims who invested on sites run by AdSurf Daily Inc.
    
The company's founder, Thomas "Andy" Bowdoin Jr., of Quincy, Fla., has been indicted in connection with the investigation but has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial. He is accused of drawing in investors by promising returns of 125-150 percent on their money if they would view Web sites for a couple of minutes each day.
    
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington obtained money to repay victims through forfeiture of numerous bank accounts, real estate, luxury vehicles and watercraft. Information for victims is available by calling 1-800-644-1535.

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