Pyramid scheme's restitution clock ticking

Aug. 07, 2013 @ 06:59 PM

A relatively small percentage of victims of the Zeek Rewards pyramid scheme have submitted claims to a federal court as the deadline to file and recover money in the scam approaches in less than a month.
The receiver overseeing the investigation into the massive, global pyramid scheme, which was based from a small office in Lexington, provided a recent update and reminder about victims filing claims by the Sept. 5 deadline.
“To date, while more than 100,000 claims have been submitted or are in the process of being submitted through the claims process, hundreds of thousands of affiliates of Zeek Rewards and other entities that hold potential claims against Zeek Rewards have not filed claims,” reports receiver Kenneth Bell, an attorney out of Charlotte.
The claims process opened May 15 through the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. Zeek Rewards, which billed itself as an online multilevel marketing business, was shut down by the courts a year ago this month. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission termed Zeek Rewards and its parent company, Rex Venture Group, “a $600 million Ponzi scheme on the verge of collapse.”
The receiver set up the website www.zeekrewardsreceivership.com to provide information on the investigation into the pyramid scheme money recovery and set up an online portal where victims can file claims.
“I would encourage you to submit your claim prior to the close of the claims process if you believe Zeek Rewards owes you money for amounts that you invested in Zeek Rewards. I anticipate that a substantial percentage of valid claims will be refunded,” Bell reports.
Bell previously has indicated that he’s recovered approximately $300 million in assets, though he’s been candid in saying that he doesn’t believe Zeek Rewards victims will receive full restitution for what they lost.
In response to a question from The High Point Enterprise, Bell said he wasn’t implying in the letter that he’s surprised by how many claims have been filed so far.
“I just wanted to encourage all potential claimants to file claims,” he told the Enterprise.

pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528