SEC Declines To Comment On New Claims Attributed To Zeek Figure Robert Craddock

ponziglareUPDATED 8:30 P.M. EDT U.S.A. The SEC this afternoon declined to comment on a confounding claim attributed to Zeek Rewards figure Robert Craddock that Zeek took in $1 billion in 12 months and that the U.S. government should have modeled a “stimulus program” after Zeek instead of shutting it down in 2012.

News that Craddock apparently had authored a book on Zeek and was making new claims first appeared on early today. In 2012, the SEC described Zeek as a massive Ponzi- and pyramid scheme and described Craddock as an obstructionist who was encouraging victims not to cooperate with Kenneth D. Bell, the court-appointed receiver in the agency’s civil case. Craddock has not been been charged with wrongdoing.

Titled “The Zeek Phenomenon: Zero to $1 Billion in 12 Months,” the book in which Craddock is listed as the author is advertised on as a paperback “Out of Print” and with “Limited Availability.” Sept. 29 of this year is the asserted publication date.

The office of U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins of the Western District of North Carolina did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the claims. Tompkins’ office brought successful criminal prosecutions against Zeek figures Dawn Wright-Olivares (investment-fraud conspiracy and tax-fraud conspiracy) and Daniel Olivares (investment-fraud conspiracy) in late 2013.

Wright-Olivares, 45, and Olivares, 31, her stepson,  pleaded guilty to the respective criminal charges against them in February 2014. Earlier, in December 2013, they settled SEC civil charges against them by agreeing to pay millions of dollars each, “the entirety of their ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest,” the SEC said at the time.

In July 2014, Bell said in court filings that Wright-Olivares, Olivares and alleged Zeek operator Paul Burks had agreed to a consent judgment of $600 million “to be satisfied with substantially all of their assets.”

Other court filings by Bell say a criminal investigation into Burks remains open. Bell also is special master in the criminal case.

The Confounding Claims

Craddock’s apparent claim that Zeek took in $1 billion in a year appears to be at odds with court filings by federal prosecutors in December 2013 that claim Zeek gathered a maximum sum of $897 million before collapsing in August 2012. If, as the claim suggests, Zeek took in $1 billion, there may exist a discrepancy of at least $103 million between the claim attributed to Craddock and the government’s account.

How Craddock apparently arrived at the $1 billion figure was not immediately clear. Such a discrepancy, though, potentially could cause both the SEC and federal prosecutors to revisit the Zeek numbers. The assertions attributed to Craddock suggest that Zeek’s haul could have been much larger and occurred in the narrower time frame of 12 months, not the nearly 20 months cited by the SEC.

In short, could an undisclosed, unrecovered pile of Zeek cash exist elsewhere?

According to marketing copy on for the book attributed to Craddock, the government messed up big time by taking down Zeek.

Here’s a snippet (italics added):

In 2012, if the present Administration wanted to build a successful stimulus program, it should have used Zeek Rewards as a guide. This pioneering venture went from zero to one billion dollars in just 12 months, paid over 400 million dollars to more than 20,000 people earning an average of $20,000, created 10 people who made over one million dollars, and caused several thousand people to earn incomes in excess of one hundred thousand dollars. This unparalleled example would have been a phenomenal feat for our US Government during a period when our very financial existence was threatened.

The words “Ponzi” and “pyramid” appear nowhere in the marketing copy on Whether Zeek “paid”  is immaterial in the context of Ponzi schemes. So is the issue of how much it paid. Bernard Madoff “paid.” All successful Ponzi schemes “pay.” Zeek launched after the collapse of Madoff’s epic fraud, leading to questions about whether Zeek, its insiders and key promoters simply divorced themselves from reality.

Moreover, Zeek launched after the collapse of AdSurfDaily, a Zeek-like scam that promoted a return of 1 percent a day. Zeek’s purported daily payout averaged 1.5 percent, a percentage grossly superior to Madoff and significantly better than ASD.

In 2012, less than a month prior to the SEC’s Zeek action, Craddock temporarily succeeded in taking down a HubPages site operated by Zeek critic “K. Chang” by accusing him of copyright and trademark infringement.

K. Chang ultimately prevailed, but the site experienced downtime.

As the PP Blog reported at the time, Zeek appeared not to own the trademarks Craddock complained about, purportedly with the authority of North Carolina-based Zeek operator Rex Venture Group. Rather, the trademarks were listed in the name of Ebon Research Systems LLC, a Florida business.

A business known as Ebon Research Systems Publishing LLC is listed as Craddock’s publisher for the new book on Zeek, according to the listing.

Florida records suggest that Ebon Research Systems Publishing is managed by Dr. Florence Alexander, the same person behind Ebon Research Systems LLC when the HubPages flap played out more than two years ago.

The PP Blog spoke with Alexander in 2012. She said she “certainly” knew of Zeek, but said she had “no knowledge” of any trademark or copyright complaint filed at HubPages against K. Chang.

Although Craddock claimed to be a Zeek “consultant” while filing the claim against K. Chang prior to the SEC action in 2012, Zeek itself did not list him as one after the action, according to court records maintained by the ASD Updates Blog. (See Zeek filing from September 2012 here.)


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3 Responses to “SEC Declines To Comment On New Claims Attributed To Zeek Figure Robert Craddock”

  1. seems he’s setting up his insanity defense.

  2. Well, if his numbers are correct, then he was more involved in Zeek than he led everyone to believe. Only insiders would have this knowledge, and he claimed he was just a consultant.

    Personally I think he is blowing smoke just like all his updates. But nothing like putting a bulls-eye on yourself for the SEC. Great job Robert!

  3. No I think he is a Legend In His Own Mind and He wants to make it reality! Very interesting how this will play out!