Zeekrewards Ponzi scheme: Zeekler.com and ZeekRewards Had 2 Million Investors
Aug 29, 2012 10:38 AM EDT
According to reports as many as two million people have been determined as investors in Zeekler.com and ZeekRewards, all victims of the $600 million Ponzi scheme.
Kenneth Bell, the court-appointed receiver, who is in charge of managing the company's frozen accounts, says that it will take a "long time" before all victims are allocated money for their losses and grievances.
Last week, 82 affiliates of the recently shut down Zeek Rewards filed a class action lawsuit against the company and its parent company Rex Venture Company both of which were shut down as a result of a $600 million Ponzi scheme at the Davidson County Superior Court in North Carolina.
Like Us on Facebook
The 82 affiliates are being represented by Lexington Attorney J. Calvin Cunningham.
Bell was appointed as the temporary receiver of Zeek's offices by U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen shortly after the company was shut down by the Securities and Exchange Commissions. Bell is the Partner of McGuire Woods at the Charlotte office. He has dealt with white-collar crimes as a part of responsibilities at McGuire Woods.
The SEC froze all assets of ZeekRewards and its parent company Rex Venture Group over a $600 million ponzy scheme, which Jordan Maglich of Forbes calls the "largest Ponzi scheme in history," mainly due the large number of victims rather than the investment loses. According to reports there are at least one million investors victimized in the scheme. "The sheer number of victims... will add a layer of complexity never seen before in trying to unravel the scheme and distribute funds to investors," Maglich adds.
The Attorney General has opened a telephone hotline for victims who invested between $1,000 to $10,000 - (919) 716-6046, others can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ZeekRewards founder, Paul Burk, has agreed to comply with authorities and also make a settlement of four million dollars, without admitting or denying guilt. According to SEC reports, the company has paid over $375 million to investors and still possesses nearly $275 million of investor funds. These funds, along with company assets, including those relinquished by Burks, have all been assigned under the leadership of Bells who will manage the account until investigation is completed.
It all started at the beginning of the month after Better Business Bureau started receiving an unprecedented number of inquiries and complaints regarding ZeekRewards. President of BBB David Dalrymple told Forbes that the agency had over 30,000 inquiries within a month, "in twelve years as the President here, I cannot compare that to any level of inquiry for any other business. Ever," as reported by Forbes.com. After an investigation, BBB found it necessary to notify authorities.
ZeekRewards operated as investment wing, the other wing of the company known as Zeekler functioned as an online "penny-auction" site, where biders could place a bid of one cent on an item and reap as much 50 percent in the daily profit shares. ZeekRewards, the investment wing, guaranteed 1.5 percent daily-returns to its customers. Customers usually reinvested these "profit points" rather than cashing out.
According to the SEC, "Burks has personally siphoned several million dollars of investors' funds while operating Rex Venture and ZeekRewards, and he distributed at least $1 million to family members," as reported by Fox Now.
SEC's Stephen Cohen told CNN Money, "The obligations to investors drastically exceed the company's cash on hand, which is why we need to step in quickly, salvage whatever funds remain and ensure an orderly and fair payout to investors," adding that ZeekRewards and Rex Venture engaged in "classic Ponzi scheme fashion."