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Zeek Rewards was a multilevel marketing (MLM) scheme that ran from 2010 to 2012. Investors who posted online ads could get a big return on their money. Between those years, the program ran. Once it was clear that the program was a Ponzi scheme, however, the people in charge of it were charged with fraud. In 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) put an end to the scheme and started a receivership with the goal of recovering the scheme’s assets and giving them back to the investors who had put money into it. The Zeek Rewards receivership is finally over, ending almost a decade of lawsuits and putting an end to a time when fraud and dishonesty were common.
Investors could make money with the Zeek Rewards program by buying bids that could be used to show ads on a website that hosted penny auctions. The business’s pitch said that this was a way for investors to make money. Investors were told they would get a share of the daily profits the penny auction website made, as well as bonuses for bringing in more investors.
The program in question
The campaign was successful in getting hundreds of thousands of investors to give more than $600 million to the Ponzi scheme. Still, it was eventually found out that the program in question was a Ponzi scheme and that its managers were using the money from new participants to pay returns to investors who had put money into the program earlier.
The SEC brought fraud charges
In August 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought fraud charges against the people who ran the scheme, including Paul Burks, who came up with the idea. The SEC also set up a receivership with the goal of getting the scammers’ money back and giving it to the investors.
One of the biggest and most complicated receiverships in history was the one for Zeek Rewards. It involved getting assets back from different places around the world and giving those assets to tens of hundreds of thousands of investors.
The End of the Receivership of Zeek Rewards
After almost a decade of legal battles and attempts to get back assets, the Zeek Rewards receivership was finally brought to a successful end. The receiver said that by the end of December 2021, all of the scheme’s assets had been found and all of the final payments to investors had been made.
The plan brought in a total of $377 million
The final report made by the receiver said that the plan brought in a total of $377 million. This includes getting back assets from many different countries, like the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
The investors got their share of the money in installments over several years, with the last payment coming in November 2021. More than 95% of the claims that were eligible to be paid were settled in the end, and the average amount investors got back was about 50% of what they had put in at the beginning.
The Ponzi scheme that Zeek Rewards ran can teach us a lot
The Zeek Rewards Ponzi scheme is a cautionary tale that shows how risky it is to invest in multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes and how important it is to do a lot of research before putting money into anything.
Careful about programs that promise big returns
Investors should be careful about programs that promise big returns in a short amount of time, especially if they need new investors to keep going. Most of the time, these kinds of programs are Ponzi schemes, and investors could lose a lot of money if they invest in them.
Looking at the track record of the program
Investors should also be careful to do their homework before investing. This means looking at the track record of the program and the background of the people who run it. Investors should talk to a financial expert before putting their money into an investment. They should also be wary of investment opportunities that seem too good to be true. When thinking about investments, investors should also be careful.
Another important thing that regulatory agencies do is protect investors from fraudulent investment schemes. The SEC had to do what they did to stop the Zeek Rewards scheme and set up a receivership to get the scheme’s assets back to the investors. By doing these things, the scheme did less damage than it could have.
Zeek Rewards has been a story of fraud and deceit for the past ten years. Now that the receivership is over, the story is over. When the scam fell apart, investors lost hundreds of millions of dollars. This led to the managers of the scheme being charged with fraud.
The Zeek Rewards Ponzi scheme shows how dangerous it can be to invest in multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes and how important it is to do enough research before investing any money.
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