BULLETIN: ZTeamBiz, Site Purportedly Raising Funds To Defend Zeek Affiliates, No Longer Has Access To PayPal; Site Weaves Conspiracy Theory That eBay Didn’t Want Zeek To Survive
BULLETIN: (UPDATED 3 P.M. EDT U.S.A.) This bizarre announcement appears today on ZTeamBiz, the site that was using PayPal purportedly to raise funds to “defend” affiliates of the collapsed Zeek Rewards’ MLM scheme:
The payment solution has been removed and will be replaced on September 8, 2012. PayPal a company owned by eBay.com had decided it is not in their best interest to assist us in bringing back a Penny Auction that is directly competing with eBay.com.
We apologize for this inconvenient [sic] and will have a new solution soon. Thank you for your understanding
ZTeamBiz, which targeted Zeek affiliates in its fundraising pitch, has a tie to Todd Disner, a figure in the AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme that advertised a Zeek-like payout of 1 percent a day. Affiliates who provided money to ZTeamBiz potentially put themselves at cross-purposes, given that a federal judge has appointed a receiver in the Zeek case and that the interests of all Zeek affiliates are not equivalent.
In 2011, ASD President Andy Bowdoin sought to use PayPal to raise funds to pay for his criminal defense. The site, known as Andy’s Fundraising Army, eventually was blocked by PayPal from using its services.
Robert Craddock is part of the purported braintrust behind the ZTeamBiz fundraising effort. Disner once was a guest on a Zeek-related conference call featuring Craddock. That call occurred after the SEC moved against Zeek last month.
In July, Craddock reportedly was behind an effort to silence the voice of Zeek critic “K. Chang” by bringing a purported copyright and trademark infringement complaint against K. Chang through HubPages, a site used by K. Chang to publish news and opinion about Zeek. The site was taken offline, but eventually returned.
In 2011, Disner sued the United States for alleged misdeeds in bringing the ASD Ponzi case, claiming ASD was a legitimate enterprise and that the U.S. government had presented a “tissue of lies” when bringing the case in August 2008. About seven months after Disner brought the action, Bowdoin pleaded guilty to wire fraud, admitting ASD was a Ponzi scheme.
A federal judge sentenced Bowdoin to 78 months in federal prison — and dismissed the lawsuit filed by Disner. Disner’s co-plaintiff in the case was Dwight Owen Schweitzer. At an unclear point in time after the August 2008 seizure of tens of millions of dollars in ASD-related bank accounts in the ASD Ponzi case by the U.S. Secret Service, both Disner and Schweitzer became Zeek promoters.
Zeek’s business model was similar to ASD’s. On Aug. 17, the SEC described Zeek as a $600 million Ponzi- and pyramid scheme that potentially affected more than 1 million people. The Secret Service also is investigating Zeek.
ASD’s Bowdoin was sentenced Aug. 29. Federal prosecutors described his “program” as a $119 million Ponzi scheme that had created at least 9,000 victims and had resulted in millions of dollars of losses.
ZTeamBiz did not explain on its website whether PayPal blocked the account through which it was soliciting funds from Zeek affiliates. Instead, it suggested that eBay, which owns PayPal, was an envious Zeek competitor.
See “Whose Lawyer Is This Anyway,” an Aug. 29 PP Blog guest column by Gregg Evans. See July 9, 2009, guest column by Evans that raised questions about how the SolidTrustPay payment processor was enabling fraud schemes.
See July 28 PP Blog column on the Craddock HubPages flap.