For starters, Zeek affiliates being approached by upline sponsors and email/website appeals to send in money “to defend Zeek Rewards and all of our independent businesses as per our legal rights of due process” might want to read this July 25 PP Blog post.
It’s about how wordplay was used to sanitize HYIP scams.
For additional background, Zeek affiliates might want to read this July 28 PP Blog post.
It’s about how purported Zeek “consultant” Robert Craddock sought to disable the Hub of Zeek critic “K. Chang.” Craddock now is part of the effort to raise funds to “defend” Zeek affiliates.
Zeek and untold thousands of its minions are known to have a tin ear for PR. That tin ear is on full display again today, with a “warning” from the leaders of the effort to “defend” Zeek from the SEC’s Aug. 17 allegations that it was a $600 million Ponzi and pyramid scheme not to contact the SNR Denton law firm.
“We have asked the firm to provide us the names of the individuals that are calling; we will refund your donation and will remove you from the group to be represented if you call. The law firm is only going to discuss the case with the 12 leaders and we will put out the information to the entire group on this site.”
“This site,” as it were, is this site, which calls itself ZTeamBiz.
ZTeamBiz, which calls itself a “professional organization,” says its has hired SNR Denton. The precise reason why is unclear, although ZTeamBiz says the “SEC has tried to make us all believe that Zeek Rewards was an ‘investment’ and a Ponzi scheme. All the pages that were submitted by the SEC indictment has all been one sided and what we believe to be a misrepresentation of the truth and facts of what Zeek Rewards was as a viable and legal business.”
And ZTeamBiz also accused the SEC of misleading a federal judge.
One of the persons on the ZTeamBiz squad — although it’s unclear if his presence is formal or informal — is Todd Disner. Disner is a former pitchman for the AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme and, along with former attorney Dwight Owen Schweitzer, sued the government in November 2011. Disner and Schweitzer alleged that prosecutors and a U.S. Secret Service agent presented a “tissue of lies” to a federal judge when bringing the civil portion of the ASD Ponzi case in August 2008.
Disner and Schweitzer made that claim after ASD had lost the case in U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals. Among other things, Disner and Schweitzer claimed the government had gone shopping for a friendly judge when it brought the forfeiture proceedings.
That judge allegedly was targeted with a false lien by Kenneth Wayne Leaming, who also targeted three federal prosecutors and a Secret Service agent with false liens, according to the FBI. Leaming was arrested by an FBI Terrorism Task Force in November 2011. He is a purported “sovereign citizen.” All five of the federal officials targeted in the alleged lien campaign have ties to the ASD case.
ASD President Andy Bowdoin pleaded guilty seven months later to a Ponzi-related charge of wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.
Zeek is known to have members in common with ASD, which federal prosecutors have described as a $119 million Ponzi scheme that created at least 9,000 victims before its 2008 collapse amid allegations by the U.S. Secret Service of Ponzi fraud.
Like Zeek, ASD claimed it was not offering an investment program. And like Zeek, ASD planted the seed it offered a daily payout rate of 1 percent a day or more.
Like Zeek, ASD came under investigation by the U.S. Secret Service. The agency has referred to ASD as a “criminal enterprise,” with the U.S. Department of Justice calling ASD “insidious.”
Those descriptions apparently were not enough to dissuade investors from throwing money at Zeek, which has listed ASD members as “employees.”
On Aug, 4, Zeek itself blasted unspecified “North Carolina Credit Unions” for raising concerns about Zeek. Zeek warned members to toe the company line.
The SEC was in federal court 13 days later.
Zeek also is known to have members in common with JSS Tripler/JustBeenPaid, which appears now to have morphed into something called “ProfitClicking.” Both JSS/JBP and ProfitClicking may have ties to the sovereign-citizens movement.
A domain registered in the name of purported JSS/JBP operator Frederick Mann once linked to videos featuring Francis Schaeffer Cox, a purported sovereign citizen implicated in a murder plot against public officials in Alaska.
Because HYIP scams typically are promoted on Ponzi-scheme forums such as TalkGold and MoneyMakerGroup — and because Zeek, JSS/JBP, ProfitClicking and ASD all had a presence on those forums — questions have been raised about whether cash was circulating between and among various fraud schemes and placing U.S. banks in the position of possessing fraudulent proceeds.
A receiver has been appointed to marshal the assets of the alleged Zeek fraud.
Despite the appeal by ZTeamBiz for Zeek affiliates to send in money to “defend” themselves and the company, the interests of all Zeek affiliates almost certainly are not equivalent. Net “winners” almost certainly are at risk of clawback lawsuits from the receiver. Such court actions are used to enlarge the pool through which victims of a Ponzi fraud receive a disbursement designed to make them as whole as possible.
It’s often the case that victims never are made whole and receive disbursements of dimes or even pennies on the dollar. Such is the case to date for victims of the 2009 Trevor Cook Ponzi caper in Minnesota. That scheme was a form of affinity fraud targeted largely at people of faith, including senior citizens.
Post-Ponzi receiverships sometimes turn into an international paper chase because scammers hide money offshore. Reverse-engineering a Ponzi caper can take years. Even as Zeek receiver Kenneth D. Bell begins his duties, scammers on the Ponzi boards are planting the seed that the receivership cannot be trusted.
In the 2009 Mantria/Speed of Wealth Ponzi scheme case, which in part was pushed MLM-style, a federal judge issued a specific order not to interfere with the receiver.