Claimants are able to check the status of their claim by accessing the following Status Check Link https://cert.gardencitygroup.com/zrwdet/fs/home. The Status Check Link allows you to log in to a webpage using the Registration ID and Password you selected when you registered on the Claims Portal.


Today, a federal grand jury returned a criminal indictment against Paul Burks. The indictment alleges four felony counts, including conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit tax fraud.

The press release is available here.

The bill of indictment is available here.


ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE RECEIVER – October 22, 2014

I want to address the question many of you are asking about why a percentage was withheld from some distribution checks.

On September 30, 2014 we mailed more than 90,000 checks to claimants as part of the first partial interim distribution. These payments were calculated to equal 40% of an accepted claim using the rising tide method of distribution previously ordered by the Court. For those claimants to whom checks were mailed that did not provide an IRS Form W-9 (for US residents) as requested on the claims portal we withheld a certain percentage for tax purposes. For non-US claimants a percentage was withheld whether or not an IRS Form W-8 was provided. I have heard from many of you that this withholding should not have been made because these distributions are not taxable. The tax laws on this issue are not entirely clear. We have attempted to get a definitive opinion from the IRS but have not yet been able to do so. Given this uncertainty we acted on the side of caution and made the withholding.

If and when we receive assurance that withholding from distributions to Affiliates is not necessary we will send additional checks to those claimants from whom a withholding was made in the first interim partial distribution in the amounts that were withheld. For US residents, online completion of an IRS Form W-9 will allow us to send an additional check in the amount that was initially withheld. Click here to provide tax form.

While I am gratified that we were able to send 90,000 Affiliates a distribution, there were approximately 48,000 claimants to whom I wanted to send a check but was not permitted to pursuant to the Court’s orders. If you have received a letter of determination, in order to be sent your first partial interim distribution, you must accept the determination (or have had an objection resolved) and complete the release and OFAC certification provided on the claims portal. At the end of January 2015 we will make a first partial interim distribution to those claimants with allowed claims who were not mailed a distribution check on September 30, if these steps are taken by December 31, 2014.

Approximately 12,000 Affiliates with approved claims were not mailed a check because the amount would have been less than $100. It was not cost efficient for the receivership to mail these checks at this time. At the end of the receivership Affiliates holding approved claims due a payment of less than $100 will be mailed a distribution check.

If you have questions regarding whether your claim determination has been issued, the general status of your claim or to provide the required release and OFAC certification, please log into the following website: https://cert.gardencitygroup.com/zrwdet/fs/home.

I want to re-emphasize that these distributions are the first, and partial, distributions I believe you will receive. We continue to pursue and recover additional funds that will be distributed on later dates.

Kenneth D. Bell
Receiver


ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE RECEIVER – September 30, 2014

I am pleased to announce that today, September 30, 2014 approximately 90,297 checks are being issued and mailed to Affiliates that hold Allowed Claims as their first interim, partial distribution. These first interim, partial distributions total approximately $134.2 million (with approximately $23 million of the $134.2 million required by law to be withheld for tax purposes) of the assets collected by the Receivership Team.

This first interim, partial distribution represents, with certain limited exceptions, an amount equal to 40% of the Allowed Claims of all Affiliates holding Allowed Claims as of August 15, 2014, using the "rising tide" method of calculation previously approved by the Court.

Affiliates that are being mailed checks on account of the first interim, partial distribution have each filed a claim, had such claim determined by the Receivership Team, accepted that claim determination, and provided the required release and OFAC Certification to the Receivership team. These items are all required by the Court in order to have an Allowed Claim. If you met these criteria as of August 15, 2014, and your first interim, partial distribution is in excess of $100, you will receive a distribution check via mail.

If, as of August 15, 2014, you had not received a claim determination, had not accepted a claim determination, or had not provided the required release and OFAC Certification to the Receivership team, you did not hold an Allowed Claim on August 15, 2014, and were not eligible to receive a first interim, partial distribution. Additionally, if you held an Allowed Claim, but you would have received a distribution of less than $100, no first interim, partial distribution will be paid to you. You will be paid on account of your Allowed Claim in the future.

Additionally, approximately 70,000 Affiliates hold claims that will be allowed against the Receivership Estate if and when any of those Affiliates provide the required release and OFAC Certification to the Receivership team. All of these 70,000 Affiliates (or any additional Affiliates that receive and accept their claim determination prior to December 31, 2014) will be issued their first interim, partial distribution on January 30, 2015 if that Affiliate provides the required release and OFAC Certification to the Receivership Team by December 31, 2014. Affiliates whose claims become Allowed Claims after December 31, 2014 will receive their first interim, partial distribution on a subsequent distribution date.

We have 7,000 more claims to review. If you have not received your claim determination, please be patient; it is coming shortly. If you have already received a claim determination, or when you do, I encourage you to respond as soon as you are able and provide all the required information so that we can mail you your first interim, partial distribution on the next distribution date on which you are eligible.

If you have questions regarding whether your claim determination has been issued, the general status of your claim or to provide the required release and OFAC certification, please log into the following website: https://cert.gardencitygroup.com/zrwdet/fs/home.

Our efforts on your behalf continue. Thank you for your continued support and patience.

Kenneth D. Bell
Receiver


ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE RECEIVER – August 1, 2014

On May 28, 2014, we filed a motion seeking to make an interim, partial distribution in amounts equal to 40% of each Affiliate’s allowed claim using the "rising tide" method of calculation previously approved by the Court. Yesterday the Court approved this motion. You can read the Order here. In this distribution, Affiliates with allowed claims will receive an interim distribution of 40% of the amount of their cash investment in ZeekRewards, less any money received from ZeekRewards prior to my appointment as receiver. If an Affiliate holds an allowed claim, but received more than 40% of their cash investment in ZeekRewards from ZeekRewards prior to my appointment as receiver, that Affiliate will not receive an interim distribution.

We will make the first interim, partial distributions on allowed claims on September 30, 2014. The Court's order provides that August 15, 2014 is the date for determining whether a claim is allowed and payable on September 30, 2014. This means that if you are an Affiliate that holds an allowed claim on August 15, 2014, you received less than 40% of your cash investment in ZeekRewards prior to my appointment as receiver, and would be entitled to a payment of in excess of $100.00 , the first interim, partial distribution will be mailed to you on September 30, 2014.

In order for your claim to be allowed and eligible to receive a distribution, you must have received your claim determination, agreed to that claim determination (or resolved any objection you made to such claim determination and agreed to a claim determination), and provided the required release and OFAC certification requested on the claim portal. If you have received your claim determination, but have not agreed to the determination or have not provided the required release and OFAC certification, your claim is not yet allowed. Please submit this information as soon as possible. Without it, we are not permitted by the Court’s orders to include you in the September 30, 2014 interim, partial distribution.

If you have not provided the tax information requested on the Claims Portal, I will be forced by applicable law to withhold taxes from your distribution. Please submit your tax information so that I can distribute the maximum amount possible to you. Submitting your tax information does not necessarily mean you will owe taxes on your distribution. Please consult your professional tax advisor about your obligations, if any.

If your claim is not allowed or has not been determined before August 15, 2014, you will be eligible to receive your first interim, partial distribution on a later distribution date after your claim has been allowed. These later distribution dates will occur quarterly. You will receive distributions in the same total amount you would have received if your claim was allowed on August 15, 2014.

As of yesterday we have sent out approximately 160,000 letters of determination, leaving us with about 15,000 more claims to review. If you have not received your claim determination, please be patient; it is coming. If you have already received a claim determination, or when you do, I encourage you to respond as soon as you are able so that we can provide you with your first interim, partial distribution.

Let me emphasize that this is only a first distribution. I am entirely confident that we will make additional distributions. As you know, we have sued more than 9,000 individuals in the United States who took more money out of ZeekRewards than they put in. This money rightfully belongs to affiliates with allowed claims. We will also sue foreign net winners in the near future. Also, I believe we will recover several millions of dollars more from financial institutions still holding receivership assets. We also continue to eliminate overstated claims of Affiliates that allow us to release reserves. These reserve releases will fund additional distributions to Affiliates with allowed claims.

Our efforts on your behalf continue. Thank you for your continued support and patience.

Kenneth D. Bell
Receiver



ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE RECEIVER - July 30, 2014

On March 3, 2014, I announced the filing of a lawsuit to obtain the return of the money paid out to net winners in the ZeekRewards scheme in excess of the amount they paid into RVG. In that lawsuit, Kenneth D. Bell v. Todd Disner, et al., Civil Action No. 3:14-cv-91, I made claims against more than 10 of ZeekRewards' largest "net winners" in the United States asking that the Court order them to repay the net winnings they received from the scheme. I also made class action claims against approximately 9,400 ZeekRewards net winners in the United States who each won more than $1,000.

Today, I have filed with the Court a motion asking the Court to certify this Net Winner Class and asked that the Court appoint one or more of the largest net winners sued by name as class representatives because they will, by virtue of their own defense to the same claims, be adequate and appropriate representatives for the rest of the Net Winner Class. Proposed Net Winner Class members are not required to file any response to the motion, but may, of course, discuss this matter with legal counsel if they choose to do so. The deadline for the named defendants to respond to the motion has been set for August 18, 2014.

A copy of the Motion to Certify the Net Winner Class and the Memorandum of Law in Support of the Receiver's Motion to Certify the Class can be found here: Motion and Memorandum. Also, a list of those individuals whom the Receiver believes won more than $1,000 and therefore would be included in the Net Winner Class can be found here.



UPDATE FROM THE RECEIVER – July 2, 2014

The Department of Justice has begun posting information related to victims’ rights in the criminal matter of United States v. Dawn Wright Olivares and Dan Olivares - Case No: 3:13-cr-335. Click here for information on that case.


UPDATE FROM THE RECEIVER – May 29, 2014

On May 1, 2014 I told you that I would file a motion with the Court asking permission to make an interim, partial distribution on allowed claims. Yesterday, May 28, 2014, we filed a motion seeking to make distributions at an amount equal to 40% of each affiliate’s allowed claim using the "rising tide" method of calculation previously approved by the Court. If the Court approves this motion affiliates with allowed claims will initially receive 40% of their investment in Zeek Rewards, minus any money received from Zeek Rewards prior to my appointment as receiver. We anticipate that this motion will be addressed by the Court in June. You can read the motion here.

Let me emphasize that this is only a first distribution. I am entirely confident that we will make another distribution once we have recovered all assets possible. As you know, we have sued the former insiders (Paul Burks, Dawn Wright-Olivares and others) and more than 9,000 individuals in the United States who took more money out of Zeek Rewards than they put in. This money rightfully belongs to affiliates with allowed claims. We will also sue foreign net winners in the near future. Also, I believe we will recover several millions of dollars more from financial institutions still holding receivership assets.

Despite our best efforts to make a distribution in mid-summer, logistical issues regarding the payment to what may be more than 150,000 affiliates required us to ask permission of the Court to make the first interim, partial distributions on allowed claims on September 30, 2014. We also asked that August 15, 2014 be the date for determining whether a claim is allowed and payable on September 30, 2014. This means that if you have an allowed claim on August 15, 2014, and your distribution would be in excess of $100.00, the first interim, partial distribution will be mailed to you on September 30, 2014.

In order for your claim to be allowed, you must have received your claim determination, agreed to that claim determination (or resolved any objection you made to such claim determination and agreed to a claim determination), and provided the required release and OFAC certification requested on the claim portal. If you have received your claim determination, but have not agreed to the determination or have not provided the required release and OFAC certification, your claim is not yet allowed. Please submit this information as soon as possible. Without it, we are not permitted by the Court’s orders to include you in the September 30, 2014 interim, partial distribution.

If your claim is not allowed or has not been determined before August 15, 2014, you will be eligible to receive your first interim, partial distribution on a later distribution date after your claim has been allowed. These later distribution dates will occur quarterly. You will receive distributions in the same total amount you would have received if your claim was allowed on August 15, 2014.

If you have not received your claim determination, please be patient; it is coming. If you have already received a claim determination, or when you do, I encourage you to respond as soon as you are able so that we can provide you with your first interim, partial distribution.

Our efforts on your behalf continue. Thank you for your continued support and patience.

Kenneth D. Bell
Receiver


ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE RECEIVER - March 3, 2014

Since my appointment as Receiver, I have said that I intended to investigate and file legal actions against those who created and operated the ZeekRewards scheme and to pursue claims to recover the money paid to the scheme’s net winners. After careful analysis of Rex Venture Group’s (“RVG”) written and electronic records, the review of hundreds of thousands of documents and numerous interviews with relevant witnesses, on Friday, February 28th, I filed lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina to achieve both those goals. The Complaints are public records, and copies of both Complaints have been posted to the website.

Complaint against Insiders

Complaint against U.S. Net Winners

Both actions describe in detail the ZeekRewards Ponzi and pyramid scheme and how it was operated from January 2011 to August 2012. In the scheme, over 700,000 participants lost over $700 million dollars. The first action, Kenneth D. Bell v. Paul Burks, Dawn Wright-Olivares, Daniel Olivares, the estate of Roger Plyler, Alexandre de Brantes and Darryle Douglas, Civil Action No. 3:14-cv-89 asserts claims for breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, the return of fraudulent transfers and other claims against six of the scheme’s insiders. It asks the Court to order the defendants to repay the losses caused by their unlawful conduct and return the money RVG paid them.

The second action, Kenneth D. Bell v. Todd Disner, et al., Civil Action No. 3:14-cv-91, makes claims against more than 10 of ZeekRewards’ largest “net winners” in the United States asking that the Court order them to repay the net winnings they received from the scheme. Each of the named defendants won in excess of $900,000 (either individually or together with another family member or through their shell corporation). As described in detail in the lawsuit, because ZeekRewards’ net winners “won” (the victims’) money in an unlawful Ponzi and pyramid scheme, they are not permitted to keep their winnings and must return the fraudulently transferred winnings back to the Receiver for distribution to Zeek’s victims.

This second action also includes class action claims against approximately 9,000 ZeekRewards net winners in the United States who each won more than $1,000 in ZeekRewards (claims against net winners outside the U.S. will be pursued in future actions). The total amount won by these net winners exceeds $200 million. As explained in the Complaint, the law permits the Receiver to bring claims against a class of defendants where the underlying facts and legal issues are similar against the members of the class – like in this case where they all won money in ZeekRewards. The Receiver has asked that the Court appoint the largest net winners sued by name as class representatives because they will, by virtue of their own defense to the same claims, be adequate and appropriate representatives for the rest of the net winner class. A list of those individuals whom the Receiver believes won more than $1,000 and therefore would be included in the class can be found here. If you are on the list, you are not required to do anything at this time, although you may, of course, discuss this matter with legal counsel if you choose to do so. However, I do ask all those on the list to complete a short contact information form so that those persons can be promptly notified of important information as the case moves forward.

As discussed above, the goal of the lawsuit against net winners is simply to obtain the return of the money paid out to net winners in excess of the amount of money they paid to RVG. Previously, I have offered to discuss settlement of the Receiver’s claims against net winners in an effort to recover this money without the need for litigation. The Court has approved over 175 settlement agreements, with many allowing the repayment of the settlement amount over time on a negotiated payment schedule. Although litigation against net winners has now begun, and I intend to pursue it vigorously to obtain Judgments, including interest, against all defendants and class members, I remain willing to settle the Receiver’s claims with those willing to repay a significant portion of their net winnings. Net winners who want to discuss settlement should indicate their interest by email to zeeksettlement@mcguirewoods.com.

I am and have been grateful for the continuing support and patience of affiliate victims.


UPDATE FROM RECEIVER – January 18, 2014

We have recently added a link on Zeekrewardsreceivership.com that will allow you to check the status of any timely, fully submitted claim(s) that you filed through the Claims Portal (the “Status Check Link”). The Status Check Link can be accessed at the following address: https://cert.gardencitygroup.com/zrwdet/fs/home. The Status Check Link will allow you to log in to a webpage using the userid and password you selected when you registered on the Claim Portal. After logging into the Status Check Link, you will be brought to a webpage that will inform you whether your claim determination has been issued and will also permit you to confirm or update your contact information, as necessary. Please make sure that any contact information that you submitted is up to date so that when a claim determination for your claim is completed, you will receive notice that your claim determination has been completed. If your claim has been determined, upon logging in, you will be prompted to review your claim determination.

If, after logging in, the Status Check Link shows that your claim has not yet been determined, please be patient. We are working hard to determine all fully submitted claims of Affiliates as quickly as possible. Please do not call or email me to request the status of your claim as this will slow the claim determination process for all parties. Moreover, all entities making such requests will, to the extent they receive a response from the Receivership Team, be directed to the Status Check Link to obtain such status.

If you cannot log in after following the Status Check Link because you cannot remember your userid or password, you will be able to recover these items from the website.

If you receive the following message, it indicates we do not believe you finally submitted a timely claim:

We have located the account associated with the Registration ID and password which you have tried to use to log in to check the status of a claim. However, our records indicate that no claim was finally submitted for this Registration ID.

Before contacting the Receivership Team however, please confirm that you do not have a separate Registration ID under which you have filed a completed claim by clicking on the link below and selecting “Forgot Registration ID” and entering the email address that you have used to register. An email will be sent to the email address which you provide and that email will contain a list of Registration IDs associated with that email address.

Thank you.

If you believe this is an error, please contact us through the address listed in that message and we will evaluate your assertion.

If you filed a claim by an alternative method approved by me in writing, you will receive your claim determination through a paper submission.

Finally, we wanted to update you on the claims reconciliation process. We are nearing the completion of the determination of more than 40,000 additional Affiliate claims. These claim determinations will be finalized in the next few weeks and will be sent out in large groups. We will continue to send email notices of determination to all individuals holding such claims. Please check to see if your claim has been determined using the Status Check Link listed above.

Thank you again for your patience and support in this process.

Kenneth D. Bell
Receiver


Please click here to view prior updates from the Receiver


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