In Extraordinary Development, Federal Judge Approves Temporary Restraining Order ‘Without Notice’ That Directs Zeek Vendor ‘To Immediately Deposit With The Receivership’ Nearly $5 Million

Paul Burks.

Paul Burks.

DEVELOPING STORY: (Updated 10:02 p.m. EDT U.S.A.) In an extraordinary development on this Halloween Friday, the federal judge presiding over the SEC’s Ponzi- and pyramid-scheme case against Zeek Rewards has issued a Temporary Restraining Order and directed a Zeek vendor to immediately turn over to the receivership more than $4.85 million.

The order was entered “without notice,” owing to concerns the money could go missing. It applies to Zeek financial vendor Preferred Merchants Solutions LLC and Jaymes Meyer, Preferred’s California-based sole member and manager.

Events that led to the order involve a bizarre circumstance that allegedly occurred in June 2012, when tens of millions of dollars in undeposited checks — enough to fill six to eight mail bins — had backed up at Zeek, starving the Rex Venture Group LLC enterprise for cash during a period in which Zeek was having banking problems in North Carolina and its alleged Ponzi was crumbling.

Zeek operator Paul Burks allegedly hired Preferred to solve the problem and also to provide trust services. According to a document filed by Preferred in August 2014, the first time the company visited Zeek headquarters, “ex- or off-duty police officers [were] providing security.”

Preferred contends it solved Zeek’s problem with the backed-up checks and legitimately is owed the $4.85 million at issue.

But receiver Kenneth D. Bell, who is seeking a contempt sanction against Preferred and alleges that Preferred effectively transferred Zeek Ponzi cash to itself after it learned from the SEC on Aug. 16, 2012, that an order freezing Zeek assets was imminent, asked Mullen for the TRO on Oct. 28.

Bell alleges that “the evidence establishes that Preferred Merchants and Meyer directed the $4.8 million transfer from the RVG trust account to Preferred Merchants’ account just 19 minutes after the SEC told them about the asset freeze and imminent shutdown of RVG” on Aug. 16, 2012.

He further alleges that “[n]ot only did Meyer fail to tell the SEC about his custody and control over RVG assets, Meyer also failed to disclose that he anticipated making any transfers, or, after the transfers were executed, that he had done so.”

From the order entered at 11 a.m. today by Senior U.S. District Judge Graham C. Mullen of the Western District of North Carolina (italics added):

The Receiver has satisfied the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b) and established that an order is appropriate in this case to avoid irreparable injury, loss, or damage to the Receivership Estate of Rex Venture Group, LLC, including the further waste and dissipation of Receivership Property. Notably, the Court finds that the large amount of money at stake, the liquidity of the funds which could be transferred overseas or hidden, and Preferred Merchants’ and Meyer’s apparent pattern of misconduct present a likelihood of irreparable harm and necessitate this order being entered without notice. Accordingly, and for the reasons stated in the motion and memorandum, the Court will GRANT the motion.

1. This Order is entered at 11 a.m. on October 31, 2014.
2. The Receiver’s Motion for Temporary Restraining Order is GRANTED;
3. Preferred Merchants Solutions, LLC (“Preferred Merchants”) and Jaymes Meyer (“Meyer”) are directed to immediately deposit with the Receivership $4,854,010.40, which is the amount they transferred from RVG’s trust account after the SEC notified them of the asset freeze and requested that they freeze all RVG accounts and assets;
4. The Receiver is directed to deposit and maintain these funds in a segregated account;
5. This injunction shall expire no later than fourteen (14) days from the entry of this Order or sooner upon further order of the Court.
6. The Court will conduct a hearing on this matter on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 3 at the Charles R. Jonas Federal Building, 401 W. Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202. The Receiver is directed to use all reasonable efforts to notify Meyer and Preferred Merchants of the date, time, and location of the hearing.

Burks, 67, of Lexington, N.C., was indicted a week ago today on criminal charges, including mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. A separate lawsuit filed by Bell last month against alleged Zeek winners in Canada contends that Zeek “insiders often worried about being caught.”

Mountains of undeposited checks also were an issue in the AdSurfDaily Ponzi-scheme case in 2008. ASD purported to pay a dividend of 1 percent a day. Zeek’s average daily payout was about 1.5 percent, according to the SEC.

ASD and Zeek had members in common.

NOTE: Our thanks to the ASD Updates Blog.

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2 Responses to “In Extraordinary Development, Federal Judge Approves Temporary Restraining Order ‘Without Notice’ That Directs Zeek Vendor ‘To Immediately Deposit With The Receivership’ Nearly $5 Million”

  1. Sometimes what I read online makes me sad. Sometimes what I read makes me sick of watching the little (wo)man get screwed. Then I get to read a post like this and the one about Burks getting indicted and then I think that maybe it’s all going to be all right after all.

    Thanks for fighting the good fight and writing about it.

  2. Judge orders a stay of the TRO: