BULLETIN: Wright-Olivares, Olivares Plead Guilty For Roles In Zeek Rewards’ Ponzi Scheme

Dawn Wright-Olivares

Dawn Wright-Olivares

BULLETIN: (3rd Update 1:46 p.m. ET U.S.A.) Dawn Wright-Olivares and Daniel Olivares pleaded guilty this morning for their roles in the $850 million Zeek Rewards Ponzi- and pyramid scheme, the office of U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins of the Western District of North Carolina said.

Wright-Olivares, 45, was Zeek’s former COO. Her stepson, Olivares, 31, was a Zeek programmer.

The Zeek pair appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer.

“Defendants accepted their pleas and were released on bond pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled yet,” Tompkins’ office said minutes ago.

In December, prosecutors said, Wright-Olivares agreed to plead guilty to investment-fraud conspiracy and to tax-fraud conspiracy. Daniel Olivares agreed to plead guilty to investment-fraud conspiracy.

Their criminal prosecutions were the first in the Zeek Ponzi case.

See Dec. 20, 2013, PP Blog story.

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5 Responses to “BULLETIN: Wright-Olivares, Olivares Plead Guilty For Roles In Zeek Rewards’ Ponzi Scheme”

  1. Dawn Wright-Olivares was placed under oath at this morning’s plea hearings. Judge Cayer asked her several questions, including these ones:

    “Has anyone threatened, intimidated, or forced you to enter your guilty plea today?”

    She answered no.

    “Other than the terms of your Plea Agreement, has anyone made you
    promises of leniency or a light sentence to induce you to plead guilty?”

    She answered no.

    “Are you satisfied with the services of your attorney in this case?”

    She answered yes.

    “Are you, in fact, guilty of the counts in the Bill of Indictment (or Bill of Information) to which you have come to court today to plead guilty?”

    She answered yes.

    “Have you heard and understood all parts of this proceeding, and do you still wish to plead guilty?”

    She answered yes.

    This may seem unimportant, but it is not. Longtime readers will recall that the conspiracy theories started flying after the SEC action in August 2012 and that the Zeek wing of the HYIP sphere immediately began the evilGUBment chants.

    There were outrageous claims that Paul Burks’ attorney was an amateur hack, for example.

    Like Wright-Olivares, AdSurfDaily Ponzi schemer Andy Bowdoin admitted in open court that he was pleading guilty because he, in fact, was guilty, and was not coerced into entering his plea.

    But the ASD conspiracy theory wing nevertheless came up with a narrative that Bowdoin was an old man who’d been railroaded by the evilGUBment.

    Some of those ASD conspiracy theorists later emerged as Zeek conspiracy theorists.

    Our thanks to the ASD Updates Blog for providing some documents on today’s plea hearings.

    http://asdupdates.com/wordpress/

    Patrick

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  2. Dawn is making the best deal possible here. Thinking of it from a purely legal standpoint, their are bigger fish to fry, so to speak, and Dawn’s plea deal will give her the lightest possible penalty given the crimes in exchange for testimony to take down others. There is, obviously, Paul Burks, but many others. Remember Darryl Douglas who actually had even more customer-facing time to spread lies than Dawn. DD was running the twice weekly “opportunity calls” as well as other “sales leader training.” DD slipped into the night when the iceberg was clearly in sight.

    Dawn’s testimony could also be the pivot to indicting Zeek leaders. While past ponzi cases have generally left field leaders free from criminal prosecution (just clawback legislation), with some recent exceptions, the Zeek case may make new ground in holding leaders accountable criminally if they knew it was a ponzi all along. Dawn’s cooperation will be key in making the case.

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  3. From a few days ago:
    http://charlotte.cbslocal.com/2014/02/01/850m-ponzi-scheme-player-had-long-ties-to-owner/

    But documents, interviews and online materials reviewed by The Associated Press show that Olivares had known Burks for years. They met while they worked at a multilevel marketing company in the late 1990s. And when Burks asked her to join Zeekler.com and ZeekRewards in March 2010, she jumped at the chance.

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  4. The fact that Dawn had known Paul Burks over a number of years is quite well known. She used to regularly mention this in her presentations.

    She worked with him in Freestoreclub over a number of years not long before zeek.And she now calls herself ‘Boss Hog’ at the Healthy Hog cafe in Arkansas.

    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Dawn/Olivares

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  5. Lock them up and throw away the key….))

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