ZEEK: Now, A Problem With ‘Mislabeled’ Purchases, MLM ‘Opportunity’ Married To Penny-Auction Site Says

After wrapping itself in the American flag on Memorial Day and authoring a vague announcement that it “will be closing our old accounts” at two named U.S. banks and transitioning to an unnamed bank “that can handle our growing needs,” the Zeek Rewards MLM “program” now says it experienced a problem with “mislabeled” credit-card purchases.

Zeek blamed a vendor for the problem, which resulted in Zeek purchases being mislabeled as purchases from a company named “Zonalibre1,” Zeek said.

“We have just been informed that our credit card processing mis labeled [sic] zeek purchases with the company name Zonalibre1 for the past 15 hours,” Zeek said on its news Blog last night. “This is currently being corrected on all billing statements. If you have purchased anything from zeek in the past 15 to 20 hours and have a ‘Zonalibre1’ charge for the same dollar amount as your zeek purchase, please do not dispute the charge.”

“Zona Libre” is a Spanish phrase that means “free zone.” Zeek did not say who informed it about the problem. Nor did it identify the vendor or say whether it was using a U.S. domestic or offshore processor to handle credit card transactions.

Zeek announced Monday that it was dumping two U.S. banks, adding a layer of mystery by saying it “is currently in the process of moving to a bank” — but not saying whether its new bank was U.S. domestic or offshore.

A Zeek-related business known as Zeekler is a penny-auction site. Among other things, Zeekler puts up for bid sums of U.S. currency, saying successful bidders can receive their winnings via the payment processors AlertPay (now Payza) and SolidTrustPay. Both firms are offshore from a U.S. perspective and have gained reputations as enablers of fraud schemes.

Among the many other Ponzi-forum promoted “programs” that use AlertPay and SolidTrustPay is JSS Tripler/JustBeenPaid, which purportedly is operated by Frederick Mann and may have ties to the so-called “sovereign citizens” movement. JSS/JBP purports to pay 2 percent a day. “Sovereign citizens” have an irrational belief that laws do not apply to them.

Promos in 2008 identified Mann as a pitchman for AdSurfDaily, which the U.S. Secret Service described as a “criminal enterprise” and Ponzi scheme that had gathered at least $110 million online. ASD is known to have had “sovereign citizens” in its ranks. ASD President Andy Bowdoin pleaded guilty to wire fraud last month, acknowledging that ASD was a Ponzi scheme that had defrauded participants from Day One of its operation, beginning in late 2006.

Some former ASD affiliates also are known to be promoting Zeek. Included among them are Todd Disner and Dwight Owen Schweitzer, who sued the United States last year for alleged misdeeds in bringing the ASD Ponzi case. One text ad for Zeek that includes a photo of Schweitzer includes this phrase (italics added):

“I earn 1%+ a day compounded & you can too!”

Schweitzer is a former attorney whose license was suspended in Connecticut. Disner is a co-founder of the Quiznos sandwich franchise.

Both Zeek Rewards and Zeekler say they are part of an entity known as Rex Venture Group. Rex operates in North Carolina, the same state in which the banks it announced it was dumping operate. On Monday, Zeek instructed customers to “Please be sure to deposit or cash any commission checks immediately so they clear before June 1st, 2012 or they will be returned to you with ‘account closed’ and will need to be reissued.”

Two days later — on Wednesday, during evening hours in the United States — Zeek issued a strange announcement that used the term “claw-back.” “Clawback” is a word often associated with Ponzi schemes. For instance, if investors in Ponzi schemes emerge as winners among a pool of losers, the government or court-appointed receivers may file clawback lawsuits that demand the return of funds from winners as a means of ensuring that all victims of a fraud scheme are treated equally.

Here, in one instance, is how Zeek used the term (italics added):

“As you know, we are currently in the process of transferring accounts to our new banks. While we will be able to resume check runs when the transfers are finalized, we do not want to cause any additional delay to our affiliates who are waiting for their May 21st or 28th commission checks. Therefore we are going to be issuing a claw-back of all requested checks into a special Zeek portal where any affiliate who is awaiting a physical check can instead choose their preferred eWallet for their commission payment. All three fully integrated eWallets (below) will be made available for this and future paydays.

  • SolidTrust Pay
  • AlertPay

Although Zeek initially said on Wednesday it had three eWallet providers, it now appears to be referencing only two — apparently editing its original news-Blog post. (In the original announcement Wednesday, Zeek also listed NXPay.)

Adding another layer of mystery to Wednesday’s announcement was Zeek’s use of the plural “banks” in the context of its transition to new service-providers. On Monday, Zeek used the singular “bank,” implying that it was selecting a single new bank to handle its needs.

Zeek affiliates have a presence on well-known Ponzi scheme forums such as TalkGold and MoneyMakerGroup, forums whose members promote “programs” that purportedly offer returns that are both unusually consistent and outsize — typically at preposterous ROIs that exceed 1 percent a day.

Affiliates of Zeek say the Zeek “program” pays out between 1 percent and 2 percent a day, although Zeek claims it is not an investment program and has preemptively denied it is a pyramid scheme.

Among Zeek’s claimed consultants are the MLM law firm of Gerald Nehra, and purported MLM expert Keith Laggos. Both Nehra and Laggos ventured opinions that ASD was not a Ponzi scheme. Disner and Schweitzer pointed to those opinions when suing the United States in November 2011.

The government has moved for dismissal of the lawsuit, pointing to Bowdoin’s guilty plea and acknowledgement that ASD was a Ponzi scheme. Among other things, Disner and Schweitzer argued that undercover agents who joined ASD prior to the seizure of $65.8 million in the personal bank accounts of Bowdoin violated ASDs Terms of Service and had a duty to report their alleged violations to ASD.

Disner and Schweitzer also sued Rust Consulting Inc., the government-approved claims administrator in the ASD case. A federal judge dismissed Rust as a defendant weeks ago.

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5 Responses to “ZEEK: Now, A Problem With ‘Mislabeled’ Purchases, MLM ‘Opportunity’ Married To Penny-Auction Site Says”

  1. Zona Libre 1 is one of the Panamanian “free trade zones”, FWIW.

    If we accept the Panamanian link (we need to see the actual merchant and transaction ID to trace it) this points to HSBC bank, when combined with the previous “approval by hong Kong” reference made in May through ZR’s news blog as well.

    HSBC, founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai (H and S!) has a global presence, including Colon Panama (where the Zona Libre is), and North Carolina, USA (where ZeekRewards is located).

    However, it is interesting to note that HSBC does NOT offer their own credit card processing, having sold that to Global Payments in 2009.

    But Global Payment was hacked, and discovered in March 2012 (and may have happened for several YEARS).

    And one of the alleged reasons for ZR to ban 6 countries was due to credit card fraud (though Zeek head Paul Burks tried to blame it on OFACS, later debunked). Indeed, an alleged insider (anonymous of course) told Behindmlm that it was Global Payments hack that caused ZR to stop taking credit card in the first place.

    The link is very tenuous, and there are probably innocent explanations, but ZR’s penchant for secrecy and bogosity is now working against them.

    Until the ZonaLibre1 reference was cleared, and the bank name released, the institutional risk of ZeekRewards is just too great to be contemplated.

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  2. I have never performed a credit card processing as a merchant but I would have to assume that the merchant’s name as well as their ID number would have to be entered in some way? I find it hard to believe a processor could screw up ‘both’ parts of the transaction if this is the way it works.

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  3. I haven’t checked what drivel Ken Russo has be spouting for a while, I found this in my mailbox. Looks like some “zeekers” may have some other problems.

    May 29, 2012

    Greetings Everyone,

    I am receiving lots of messages from folks who are very concerned
    about their STP account due to the state licensing mandate. I have
    been told that account holders in Virginia and South Dakota now have
    their accounts locked. This means that they are not able to deposit funds
    into, withdraw funds out of, or transfer to another member or merchant
    directly. In essence, their account is worthless!

    “Stella” (from I assume STP) also says:

    Oh, I’m sure it will be pretty much mass pandemonium

    Our plan is to create a forum just for affected STPay users and not
    clutter up our present blog. We will be posting a release tomorrow
    (today was spent with various MSB lawyers and FinCEN regulators, etc).

    Basically, it has to be done and unfortunately, there is no way to do it
    gracefully. As soon as you apply for a license, you cannot do any
    transactions with anyone from the state you have applied to. So far,
    that means North Dakota, Virginia and Arkansas. You would think that
    a common sense way, especially for a non US company, would be some
    kind of ‘you can do this while waiting’ but nope…it is an all or
    nothing event here.

    Hopefully other states will catch on.

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  4. Thanks, Tony. Veteran huckster “Ken Russo” — as “DRdave” — also has an I Got Paid post for Zeek ($2167.06) dated May 28 at the TalkGold Ponzi forum.

    “Thanks again ZR!!” he roars.

    May 28 — Memorial Day — was the date upon which Zeek announced it had dumped two North Carolina banks and was transitioning to a bank it did not name.

    In “Ken Russo’s” May 28 “I got paid post,” he noted that his payment had come electronically from Rex Venture Group LLC, which was using a gmail address.

    On May 6 — also at the TalkGold Ponzi forum — “Ken Russo” had this to say about Zeek Rewards:

    ___________________________________________________________________

    ” . . . Here’s a list of recent payments I have received
    from this “scam”…..

    Click for Details $2,322.32 5/21/2012 AlertPay
    Click for Details $2,164.80 5/7/2012 AlertPay
    Click for Details $2,300.52 4/30/2012 AlertPay
    Click for Details $1,731.61 4/23/2012 AlertPay
    Click for Details $1,326.90 4/23/2012 2162900
    Click for Details $1,565.40 4/16/2012 AlertPay
    Click for Details $1,517.65 4/2/2012 AlertPay
    Click for Details $1,387.00 3/26/2012 SolidTrustPay
    Click for Details $1,495.45 3/19/2012 2112079
    Click for Details $1,571.60 3/12/2012 2101693
    Click for Details $2,571.25 2/27/2012 2081434
    Click for Details $1,867.05 1/30/2012 SolidTrustPay
    Click for Details $1,800.76 1/23/2012 SolidTrustPay
    Click for Details $1,200.00 1/16/2012 SolidTrustPay
    Click for Details $1,917.32 1/9/2012 SolidTrustPay
    Click for Details $2,702.88 1/2/2012 SolidTrustPay
    Click for Details $1,000.00 11/28/2011 AlertPay
    Click for Details $1,600.00 11/21/2011 SolidTrustPay
    Click for Details $2,700.00 11/14/2011 SolidTrustPay

    ___________________________________________________________________

    “Ken Russo” was pimping Wealth4AllTeam below his “I Got Paid” posts for Zeek. Wealth4All is the outfit that’s trying to plant the seed it just might sue RealScam.com. I wrote about it here:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2012/05/13/a-ponzi-world-first-jss-tripler-2-collapses-and-obvious-ponzi-program-blames-ponzi-pushers-forum-for-demise/

    RealScam.com link:

    http://www.realscam.com/f8/ken-russo-drdaves-latest-barf-worthy-scam-1214/

    Patrick

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  5. Hmmm… Wealth4All was just featured on Behindmlm and one guy using first name that matches owner of the scheme posted a comment that says essentially why-are-you-so-mean-to-me you-should-have-called-me-direct and gave a phone number (redacted).

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