Florida Man Who Hosts Zeek Calls Featuring Robert Craddock Was Winner In Botfly LLC Ponzi Scheme

ponzinews1UPDATED 3:57 P.M. ET (U.S.A.) Gregory Baker, a Florida man who hosts calls featuring Robert Craddock in the aftermath of the SEC’s Ponzi-scheme case against Zeek Rewards, is listed as a winner in the Botfly LLC Ponzi scheme case, one of the Sunshine State’s ugliest fraud schemes.

Prosecutors said that David Lewalski, Botfly’s now-imprisoned operator, tried to dupe investors into not cooperating with investigators and to coach investors on their testimony. The SEC last week accused Craddock of encouraging Zeek affiliates “not to cooperate” with Kenneth D. Bell, the court appointed receiver.

No charges have been brought against Craddock.

Court records show that Baker, who has used an address in the Tampa suburb of Valrico, was sued for his Botfly winnings by Michael E. Moecker, the court-appointed receiver in the Botfly case. Other records show that Baker presided over a now-defunct Florida entity known as Integrity Currency Traders LLC.

Integrity was formed on March 15, 2010. Less than three weeks later — on April 1, 2010 — then-Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum alleged that Botfly was a massive Ponzi scheme that affected at least 550 investors, gathered tens of millions of dollars and got its name from “an insect whose larvae burrow under the skin of mammals and eat their flesh until they mature into an adult fly.”

Bell asserted last week that he had “obtained information indicating that large sums of [Zeek] Receivership Assets may have been transferred by net winners to other entities in order to hide or shelter those assets.” The receiver did not identify winners who may be hiding assets.

Moecker sued Baker in December 2011, alleging that Baker had received $8,580 in ill-gotten gains from Botfly, a purported Forex company prosecutors said promised a return on “promissory notes” of 10 percent a month. Under the terms of a settlement with the receiver, Baker agreed on Jan. 31, 2012 — only weeks after being sued — to pay the Botfly receivership estate $7,722, according to court filings. The sum represented a discount of $858 from Baker’s alleged winnings.

Zeek planted the seed that it provided a return of 1.5 percent a day.

Whether Baker was a member of Zeek when he paid back his Botfly winnings is unclear. In August 2012, the SEC described Zeek as a $600 million Ponzi- and pyramid scheme that potentially had defrauded more than 1 million people. Baker now is listed on a website styled gofunplaces.info as a member of the “Top Team” and a leader of Go Fun Places, a nascent MLM program.

Lewalski operated Botfly in part from the Florida home of his 82-year-old mother, according to prosecutors.

After McCollum sued Lewalski/Botfly, Lewalski chartered a private Gulfstream IV jet at a cost of $172,744 to fly from the United States to Belgium, prosecutors said. He eventually became the target of a federal criminal probe and, in November 2011, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. Moecker, the receiver, sued Baker a month later.

Lewalski became infamous for wretched conduct before, during and after the Botfly probe. He directed conspiracy theories at investigators, complaining about “recent ‘Orwellian’ totalitarian tactics” allegedly employed by U.S. investigators in Ponzi scheme cases. He described a female attorney working for the receiver as a “c[$%!]” and a “Nazi,” and further described a female investigator for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) as “nuts” and a “bitch” — all while seeking to obstruct the Botfly probe, according to prosecutors.

After the SEC brought the Zeek Ponzi prosecution, Craddock dropped the name of McCollum in a conference call, describing the former Attorney General now in private practice at the SNR Denton law firm as a good friend. Craddock’s efforts to secure counsel through SNR Denton for a purportedly “protected” group of Zeek affiliates upset by the actions of the SEC and the appointment of a receiver in the Zeek case ultimately failed.

On the line with Craddock in one of his Zeek-related conference calls was Todd Disner, a Zeek pitchman and a figure in the AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme story. McCollum sued ASD in 2008. His office later provided the names of ASD victims to the Feds as part of remissions program by which ASD members received compensation as crime victims from proceeds seized by the U.S. Secret Service in 2008. In November 2011, Disner sued Rust Consulting Inc., the remissions administrator. A federal judge eventually tossed Disner’s claim against Rust. That claim was brought in the same case in which Disner sued the United States, alleging that ASD was a legitimate enterprise and that the government had violated his Constitutional rights by seizing ASD’s database and business records.

A judge tossed Disner’s claims against the government, too. He is now appealing. Disner’s co-plaintiff in the case was fellow ASD and Zeek pitchman Dwight Owen Schweitzer, a former attorney whose license was suspended in Connecticut.

On the line with Craddock in another Zeek conference call was T. LeMont Silver. Like ASD’s Andy Bowdoin, Silver was a pitchman for a scheme known as OneX. In April, about four months before the SEC’s Zeek action, federal prosecutors described OneX as a “fraudulent scheme” and pyramid that was recycling money in ASD-like fashion. ASD was a Ponzi scheme that gathered at least $119 million, according to prosecutors.

Zeek appears not to have been Silver’s first encounter with an alleged Ponzi scheme. During the call with Craddock, Silver identified himself as a victim of a separate Ponzi scheme he did not name. He complained bitterly during the call about the purported lack of action by an unnamed receiver in the second scheme.

Craddock has been leading a chorus of boos against the SEC and the receiver in the Zeek case, planting seeds of doubt that Zeek was a Ponzi scheme. Court filings suggest that Zeek winners potentially have tens of millions of dollars in clawback exposure in the Zeek case.

When Baker was sued by the receiver in the Botfly case, the lawsuit effectively was filed on the same theory the Zeek receiver is using: that proceeds from a Ponzi scheme are ill-gotten gains. Whether Baker has exposure as a Zeek winner is unclear.

What is clear is that Craddock says reporters are spreading misinformation about Zeek. In a call last week, Craddock said he intended to file a police report against Blogger Troy Dooly after hearing from Zeek members who complained about how Dooly is covering the Zeek fallout on his MLMHelpDesk Blog.

Dooly once was a fan of Zeek and has acknowledged he was reimbursed for certain expenses by Zeek while covering Zeek. His reports on the scheme apparently have become too negative for Craddock, who once spoke positively of Dooly.

“I am always looking for a new Epic Adventure, so this should be fun to experience,” Dooly said on his Blog on Friday, in response to Craddock’s claims that he’ll use police contacts against Dooly.

As was the case when he dropped McCollum’s name while collecting funds to challenge the actions of the SEC and the receiver in the Zeek case, Craddock last week dropped the name of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in his remarks about the police action he has planned against Dooly.

Dooly, Craddock ventured, needed to be charged with cyber harassment and gotten “rid of” by law enforcement.

Whether FDLE would take kindly to Craddock’s dropping of its name was not immediately clear.

In the 2010 Botfly case, McCollum’s office said this (italics added):

The order to freeze assets and the injunction were obtained yesterday after an investigation by a dedicated team in the Attorney General’s Office that works under the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act, a new law championed last year by the Attorney General and bill sponsors Representative Tom Grady and Senator Garrett Richter. The law provides the Attorney General’s Office with greater authority to pursue investment and securities fraud.

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7 Responses to “Florida Man Who Hosts Zeek Calls Featuring Robert Craddock Was Winner In Botfly LLC Ponzi Scheme”

  1. I think that if Craddock actually does contact the FDLE, it will turn out much the same as when Andy Bowdoin went to the Florida AG and complained about what people were saying about him. Craddock may well end up in that same boat, opening an investigation into himself.

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  2. I see that Zeek Rewards had a “Diamond Affiliate Greg Baker” operating through https://www.zeekrewards.com/getpaid_matrix.asp?username=Yahoo and presumably the person whose affiliate site was http://yahoo.zeekler.com.

    How deep into the scam did one need to be to be a “diamond” member, hmm?

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  3. ProfHenryHiggins: How deep into the scam did one need to be to be a “diamond” member, hmm?

    Just money. $99 per month.
    http://www.npros.com/dir/zeek_rewards/

    ZeekRewards offers four different enrollment options, each offering a different bonus pool and bonus points. There is Free Affiliate, Silver Affiliate ( $10.00 per month ), Gold Affiliate ( $50.00 per month ), and Diamond Affiliate ($99 per month ).

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  4. Something needs to be done. The mathematics need to be adjusted to reflect the reality.

    Greg Baker is a hell of a nice guy, listen to Craddock’s calls and Greg is a likeable person. Every email we’ve exchanged reinforces that impression and he’s a fine Christian man to boot, all of his mass emails end with a Bible verse. Yet “Go Fun Places” will be no less than the third ponzi scheme Greg has promoted (that we know of).

    Either we need a “three strikes” rule to invoke criminal penalties against serial fraud promoters or we need increased civil (monetary) penalties. Something like the RICO act with a treble damages provision. I’m sick of one in a hundred internet ponzi scheme actually seeing a court of law and even and only then do the promoters face disgorgement of profits (but not their investment).

    Screw that.

    It’s far more profitable to steal money online through any of the many online fraud du jours than it is to rob a person face to face and robbing people “virtually” carries far fewer criminal sanctions. Only idiots use guns these days, Greg, Todd, Robert and an army of others rob people with their keyboards and we my friends stand there like a small army of Dutch boys with out proverbial figures in the dyke but the ocean is swelling and the old walls wont hold. The economics of crime have moved forward and it’s time for the laws to catch up.

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  5. GlimDropper:
    Something needs to be done. The mathematics need to be adjusted to reflect the reality.

    SNIPPED

    I second that.

    It really pisses me off to see people that KNOW how these scams work conning the innocent and ignorant with their lies and false promises. These serial promoters of scams need to be hit HARD where it will really hurt them, they need to lose MUCH more than they could possibly win from their despicable actions.

    Clawbacks, do not go anywhere near far enough. They make a deal, payback a reduced amount and end up with a profit. That is SO wrong.

    Thom

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  6. GlimDropper: and we my friends stand there like a small army of Dutch boys with out proverbial figures in the dyke but the ocean is swelling and the old walls wont hold.

    Man, Glim, I’d like to dispute this take, but it’s pretty much spot on. And let’s not forget that the most recent cultists’ playbook calls for fellow cultists to create an EXTREME reality-distortion field.

    This is basically how the Zeek narrative has evolved — from its days online through the SEC’s Aug. 17 action and beyond:

    _____________________________________________

    Zeek creates passive income for average people and the disaffected masses and is operated by Paul Burks, a genius and job-creator who has developed a business model that will lift all boats. Zeek is the answer to what ails the economy. >>

    Paul Burks is so smart that he hired the best lawyers on earth to scrub the program to ensure it is “compliant.” These lawyers never would risk their reputations by associating themselves with a scam. >>

    If anything untoward was occurring at Zeek, the SEC/FTC would have acted long ago. The fact that the SEC/FTC has not taken action is proof that no scam exists. >>

    [Major Intervening Event: The Aug. 17 Ponzi complaint by the SEC. The narrative shifts to accommodate an unpleasant fact set . . .]

    Paul Burks is an old man with an amateur defense attorney and a sick wife. The amateur attorney let the evil SEC railroad Paul Burks. >>

    The judge who permitted this to happen is a political hack. >>

    The receiver is a demon whose true aim is to appropriate the entire receivership estate for himself and his law firm. >>

    What we need is money to fight the evil SEC and the greedy receiver. >>

    Our attorneys tell us that we’re winning, that the SEC has acknowledged there are holes in its case, that there are no victims, that Zeek wasn’t offering securities. >>

    The secret to winning this case is to put a chill in Troy Dooly, for surely that will spread the chill across the media spectrum. The cops are on our side. We’ll rely on our police contacts to have Troy Dooly charged with cyber harassment. >>

    While we’re at it, we’ll make a felony assertion against the receiver. We’ll claim he’s guilty of “intimidation and harassment.” We’ll call it “simulated process.” >>

    _____________________________________________

    Now, Glim, back to your finer points . . .

    When we’re not standing there with our proverbial fingers in the dyke, we’re fielding the threatening communications and/or threats to sue from the Stepfordian MLM Cult, members of whom appear to believe that:

    * Trying to put a chill in people like Zeek critic K. Chang is an MLM “best practice.”

    * It’s an MLM “best practice” to demonize the SEC, FBI, Secret Service, etc. — and, of course, the receiver.

    * There is no such thing as a Ponzi scheme — or, in the alternative, if there is such a thing as a Ponzi scheme, what the world needs is more Ponzi schemes.

    In this bizarre underworld, it is possible — if you listen closely enough — to hear the faint echo of Archie Bunker advising his CBS audience that the answer to the skyjacking problem is to “arm all your passengers.”

    Cultural reference:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0509806/quotes

    It’s amazing: Old Archie uttered that line in 1972, and it still stands up today, 40 years later!

    Wayne LaPierre uttered a version of it just last week, in response to the mass murder of children and their teachers/role models in Connecticut.

    The PP Blog is going to turn much more political in the new year, Glim. The scams are getting bigger, not smaller. The MLM Cult Wing is institutionalizing crime and, often, wrapping itself in religion to do so.

    I think it was Joe Borg of the Alabama Securities Commission who said that he’d seen more money stolen in the name of God than by any other means. Alabama has the right idea: charge them criminally. Ask law enforcement in another state to hold them until you come to extradite them.

    Of course, the extreme narrative I summarized above already is getting more extreme. I see over at RealScam that BannersBroker “defender” waverider is planting the seed that RS is an organization of cyber terrorists.

    http://www.realscam.com/f8/banners-broker-hyip-ponzi-scam-897/index209.html

    BannersBroker, I’m sure, was happy to get as many Zeek refugees as it could — and some Zeekers were promoting BannersBroker even before the collapse of Zeek.

    The security situation these “programs” create for the United States is untenable. Period.

    Law enforcement needs media partners now more than ever to assist in the mission of educating the public about scams. But the extremists now want to take the media out of play via the rippling chill.

    The incongruity is both striking and disturbing — like Surf’s Up railing against Big Brother while at once serving as the Thought Police.

    The cocktail that is brewing is a dangerous one, Glim. Keep your finger in that dyke.

    Patrick

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  7. @ Thom:

    It is good to see you, Thom. Thanks for stopping by.

    Patrick

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