Zeek Rewards victim total - $550 million plus
More than 170,000 victims worldwide of the Zeek Rewards pyramid scheme have submitted claims for restitution totaling more than $550 million, though it’s not clear how much people will receive in payments or when the money will be paid.
The receiver overseeing the fallout from the massive pyramid scheme based in Lexington, which was dissolved 13 months ago by federal authorities, provided an update on the case Friday. The update was prompted by the conclusion, at midnight Thursday, of the period for victims to submit claims to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. The claims period opened in the middle of May.
Receiver Kenneth Bell, an attorney from Charlotte, reports that 173,782 individual claims were filed for more than $550 million. Bell previously has indicated that he has secured more than $300 million in assets from Zeek Rewards, which touted itself as an online multilevel marketing business and auction site. But when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seized the assets of Zeek Rewards and its parent company, Rex Venture Group, in mid-August 2012, it termed Zeek Rewards a $600 million Ponzi scheme on the verge of collapse.
In his update, Bell said the final tally of claims and money sought by victims could change as the claims are audited.
“We will provide updated data regarding the claims submitted and the claims process in the receiver’s status report for the third quarter of 2013. That status report is due on Oct. 30,” Bell reports.
Bell said that at this point he can’t provide an estimated time when victims will receive their first reimbursement.
“It is still my intention to make an interim distribution to claimants who hold allowed claims as soon as possible. The amount available for distribution, the timing of the distribution, the distribution reserves and the method of distribution all must be approved by the court,” according to Bell.
Bell emphasized that he continues to seek money from people who made money from Zeek Rewards, arguing that those gains should be paid to victims.
“I intend to pursue court action beginning this fall against those who profited from Zeek Rewards because those profits came at the expense of Zeek Reward’s victims,” Bell says. “Potential targets of such action include ‘net winners,’ former insiders, and anyone else who knew or should have known of the inappropriate nature of Zeek Rewards’ activities and yet facilitated those activities for their own gain.”
Bell has said that Zeek Rewards may turn out to be the largest pyramid scheme in U.S. history to go through the receivership in the court system.
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To see the full report from the receiver, check the website http://www.zeekrewardsreceivership.com/