RECEIVER: (1) Zeek Defendant Class Action May Conclude This Year; (2) Some Claimants Still Haven’t Signed Required Release; (3) $10 Million Settlement With NewBridge Bank

This promo for Zeek promised "passive" income. The SEC has warned about such schemes for years.

This promo for Zeek promised “passive” income. The SEC has warned about such schemes for years.

Three significant pieces of news from Kenneth D. Bell, the receiver in the Zeek Rewards’ Ponzi- and pyramid-scheme case:

In a March 28 announcement on the receivership website, Bell wrote that a defendant class-action lawsuit against more than 9,000 alleged Zeek winners in the United States may conclude this year.

“We hope to bring to a conclusion in 2016 our class action against more than 9,000 net winners, which will be a significant milestone,” Bell wrote.

Senior U.S. District Judge Graham C. Mullen of the Western District of North Carolina certified the defendant class of alleged U.S. winners last year. The class includes “all persons and entities who participated in ZeekRewards and received at least $1000 more in money from ZeekRewards than they put into the program.”

The winnings came from Ponzi proceeds and must be returned, Bell contended.

A successful conclusion to the class action could mean more money for Zeek victims, Bell has said.

TelexFree Bankruptcy Trustee Stephen B. Darr has filed similar litigation in that scheme. Darr’s action may affect nearly 100,000 alleged TelexFree winners.

Bell has raised concerns about some MLMers moving from fraud scheme to fraud scheme. The SEC has raised concerns about the “whack-a-mole” nature of some fraudulent schemes.

Meanwhile, Bell wrote yesterday that tens of thousands of people who are eligible for a distribution from the receivership estate have not received a check because they haven’t filled out the required forms. Such individuals should “log into the claims portal and electronically sign the Court required Release and OFAC Certification.”

“At some point, I will be required to distribute the funds that have been reserved for these claimants to other Affiliates who have completed the process and, therefore, hold Allowed Claims,” Bell wrote.  “I don’t want any claimant with a recognized claim to lose out on receiving a distribution simply because they did not complete all of the steps required by the Court’s Orders.”

Bell also highlighted a $10 million settlement with NewBridge Bank, a Zeek vendor. Zeek operated through Rex Venture Group.

“The settlement arose out of claims the receivership had against NewBridge Bank for its continuing to provide banking services to Rex Venture Group after mid-April 2012, by which time the receivership alleged that the bank and its executives knew or should have known that Paul Burks and RVG were using their accounts to conduct an illegal Ponzi and pyramid scheme,” Bell wrote.

Details of the receivership’s potential claims and the settlement with NewBridge are available through links in the receiver’s March 28 announcement.

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