RECEIVER: Payza And Payment World ‘Facilitated’ Zeek Ponzi Scheme; Whereabouts Of $13.1 Million An ‘Open Question’

Zeek was a purported penny auction.

Zeek was a purported penny auction.

Zeek Rewards’ receiver Kenneth D. Bell has gone to federal court in the Western District of North Carolina, alleging that the Payza and Payment World payment processors “facilitated” the epic cross-border Zeek Ponzi- and pyramid scheme.

More than $13.1 million in funds from North Carolina-based Zeek that could be used to compensate victims ended up in VictoriaBank in Moldova, owing to a processing relationship among Payza, Payment World and the bank, Bell alleged.

Now, Bell contends, “based on recent developments in the Receiver’s investigation, there is an open question as to whether the Receivership Assets held on Reserve at VictoriaBank remain or were transferred from the account.”

The disturbing allegations are part of a motion in which Bell seeks to hold Payza, Payment World and VictoriaBank in contempt. They come as federal prosecutors in the District of Colombia and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are conducting a criminal investigation involving Payza and OboPay, another payment processor.

Prosecutors haven’t revealed the target of the criminal probe. It is unclear whether there is any nexus with the Zeek case, alleged overall to involve $897 million. Zeek, a Ponzi forum “program,” allegedly created tens and tens of thousands of victims worldwide.

Payza is a Ponzi-forum darling. Its predecessor, AlertPay, is referenced in court filings in the 2008 AdSurfDaily Ponzi case. Scores of Ponzi-board “programs” claim to accept Payza, including an emerging scheme known as Traffic Monsoon.

Bell accused Payza, Payment World and VictoriaBank of violating an asset-freeze order issued in 2012 by Senior U.S. District Judge Graham C. Mullen.

In a novel legal maneuver, Bell has persuaded Mullen to freeze a correspondent account VictoriaBank holds on U.S. soil at Bank of New York Mellon. Mullen authorized the freezing of more than $13.1 million in the account.

If the account proves not to hold that sum, VictoriaBank must deposit with the receivership the difference between the frozen sum and the $13.1 million Bell claims as receivership assets, according to the order.

Bell signaled on Feb. 1 that the receivership would pursue Payza, Payment World and VictoriaBank.

Moldova is situated in Eastern Europe. It shares a border with Ukraine, a world hot spot.

NOTE: Thanks to the ASD Updates Blog.

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4 Responses to “RECEIVER: Payza And Payment World ‘Facilitated’ Zeek Ponzi Scheme; Whereabouts Of $13.1 Million An ‘Open Question’”

  1. Great job Mr. Bell. Your diligent pursuit of these outlaws is most appreciated by the people who were “had” by Paul Burks and his renegades.

  2. Patrick, I spoke to someone yesterday who actually worked for Zeek rewards. They told me that the main culprit was Dawn Olivares who deliberately planned to steal the funds. This might come as a shock, since she was the darling of Zeek who everyone trusted. Paul Burks, I was told, was less culpable and even had a degree of innocence in his business dealings, leaving many of the operations to her. We do know Dawn is going to prison, but I do wonder if she has some of that money money stashed away in Eastern Europe.

  3. NOTE: Receiver has updated his website with news of the freeze:



    On February 11, the Receiver filed a Motion seeking to recover $13,174,015.48 in outstanding Receivership Assets from Payza, Payment World, VictoriaBank (a Moldovan financial institution), and their affiliates or, alternatively, to hold these entities in contempt for violating the Court’s August 17, 2012 Agreed Order Appointing Temporary Receiver and Freezing Assets of Defendant Rex Venture Group, LLC, as amended on August 30, 2012 (“Freeze Order”). On February 12, the Court ordered an immediate interim freeze of $13,174,015.48 at a United States correspondent bank account for VictoriaBank pending resolution of the Receiver’s Motion on the merits.

    These funds are outstanding Receivership Assets from the payment processing relationship between Rex Ventures Group LLC, Payza, and PaymentWorld, for which a percentage of the processed funds were held on reserve at VictoriaBank in Moldova. For the past 3.5 years, the Receiver Team has worked diligently and devoted significant time and resources in its investigation, analysis, and various other efforts to reconcile and recover these outstanding funds, including negotiations with Payza, PaymentWorld, and VictoriaBank (collectively, “Respondents”) and coordination with United States and Moldovan government authorities. In direct violation of the Court’s Freeze Order, and despite the Receiver’s repeated requests, the Respondents refused to pay the Receivership Estate the outstanding assets. Each of the Respondents has had some role in failing to freeze and or return the outstanding Receivership Assets from this payment processing relationship.

    With the Respondents’ failure to comply with the Court’s Freeze Order and increased risk of dissipation of funds, the Receiver, after exhausting a myriad of other options, filed the above-referenced Motion. Pending resolution of the Motion on the merits, the Court issued an immediate interim freeze of the full $13,174,015.48 at VictoriaBank’s correspondent bank account at a United States bank. The Receiver anticipates the Court will set a briefing schedule and hearing date to facilitate the resolution of this Motion on the merits. The Receiver will work diligently in pursuing a successful resolution of the Motion in hopes of securing the recovery of these funds for the benefit of ZeekRewards’ victims.

    The Receiver’s legal filings and the Court’s order freezing the funds pending resolution of the Receiver’s motion are available at the links below:

    The Receiver’s Motion for an Order Directing Payza, Payment World, and VictoriaBank to Turn Over Receivership Assets and/or Find Them in Contempt of the Court’s Order Freezing and Preserving Receivership Assets

    Memorandum in Support of the Receiver’s Motion for an Order Directing Payza, Payment World, and VictoriaBank to Turn Over Receivership Assets and/or Find Them in Contempt of the Court’s Order Freezing and Preserving Receivership Assets

    Order Freezing Funds Pending Resolution of Receiver’s Motion




  4. There are some facts that prove that in 2012 Roman Balanko and Andrey Efremov (ex-owner of Tusarbank and now living in USA, New York) have stolen $15.500.000,00 from PaymentWorld Limited (HongKong) accounts.
    So it seems that this story has began in 2012…