URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: Zeek Rewards, the multilevel marketing program married to the penny-auction site Zeekler, is under investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Secret Service confirmed at 4:14 p.m. EDT today.
“There will be no further comment,” said Max Milien, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service in Washington.
The Secret Service leads a multiagency electronic crimes Task Force in Charlotte, N.C. The Charlotte Task Force is known by the acronym CMECTF.
Zeek, part of Rex Venture Group LLC, is based in Lexington, N.C. Paul R. Burks is Zeek’s chief executive officer.
The Zeek probe is not the first investigation of its sort in which the Secret Service and the SEC looked into the business practices of online schemes that suggest or promise outsize investment returns. A probe of the Legisi HYIP began in 2007 with an undercover investigation by the Secret Service and state securities regulators in Michigan.
That probe later led to civil charges brought by the SEC and criminal charges brought by the Secret Service.
Legisi operator Gregory McKnight pleaded guilty to wire fraud earlier this year. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month. Legisi gathered more than $72 million.
The Secret Service also led the AdSurfDaily Ponzi probe. ASD President Andy Bowdoin is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 29.
ASD was a 1-percent-a-day Ponzi scheme that gathered at least $110 million. Zeek Rewards has a similar business model.
See earlier story.