REPORTS: Paul Burks, Alleged Operator Of $850 Million Zeek Rewards Ponzi, Pleads Not Guilty And Is Released On $25,000 Unsecured Bond

Paul R. Burks

Paul R. Burks

Paul Burks pleaded not guilty this morning and has been released on $25,000 unsecured bond, The Dispatch newspaper of Lexington, N.C., is reporting.

Burks, 67, was the alleged operator of Zeek Rewards, which federal authorities have described as an $850 million Ponzi- and pyramid scheme.

He was indicted last month on charges of wire and mail fraud, wire- and mail-fraud conspiracy and tax-fraud conspiracy. In the civil portion of the case, Burks has consented to a civil judgment of $600 million, according to court filings.

The low bond amount may suggest Burks effectively has been wiped out by his “program,” which prosecutors said created hundreds of thousands of victims and hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. It is believed Burks has cooperated with civil authorities investigating Zeek. Whether he is cooperating with criminal investigators is unclear.

The office of U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins of the Western District of North Carolina did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the PP Blog this morning.

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