USA ZeekRewards Affiliates Going After Paul Burks

ZeekRewards Class Action Lawsuit


Nearly 100 Zeek affiliates have filed a class-action lawsuit against Rex Venture Group, Zeek Rewards and chief executive officer Paul Burks, claiming damages from the company’s “fraudulent, unfair, deceptive and illegal acts.” The state court action, filed in Davidson County Superior Court about 4 Wednesday afternoon, seeks damages for all affiliates and demands a jury trial.

The lawsuit is being brought by about 82 named affiliates. Numerous other unnamed individuals could be inserted into the lawsuit at a later date, the filing said. Most of the affiliates included in the lawsuit are from North Carolina, including numerous individuals from Davidson County. Affiliates claim to have lost amounts ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

The lawsuit targets Rex Venture Group and Zeek Rewards, which was shut down by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week after an investigation that alleges the company was operating a $600 million Ponzi scheme. It also targets Burks, the company’s top executive who allegedly personally took and siphoned off millions of investor funds.

The lawsuit is also aimed at upper-level affiliates who, over time, solicited others to join the program, knowing it was a Ponzi scheme all along, according to the filing. Those upper-level affiliates, who were not named in the lawsuit, allegedly received significant sums of cash from Zeek Rewards in the weeks and months leading up to the SEC action.

The SEC put a halt to Zeek’s assets Friday, in fear that the company would soon collapse.

Zeek Rewards, which began in January 2011 as an exclusive advertising hub, was one of the first penny auction-based programs to present profit-sharing opportunities to its customers. In the program, affiliates bought in by purchasing large quantities of bids and doing advertising for the penny auction site, which is also maintained by Rex Venture Group. For buying bids and placing ads, affiliates received a daily payout from the company’s “daily net profits” from what was reported to be the penny auction site.

In reality, though, about 98 percent of Zeek Rewards’ “daily net profits,” and subsequent daily payouts, were derived from funds from new affiliates, according to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Charlotte. The SEC called it “classic Ponzi scheme fashion.”

During the company’s run, some affiliates claim to have pulled out up to $40,000 to $60,000 per month. Yet, because the program advised its users to withdraw money slowly, most affiliates didn’t receive any money at all, let alone enough to cover their initial investment.

The affiliates who filed suit Wednesday are mostly from North Carolina, and in particular the Triad region. All are seeking various sums of money. Two plaintiffs, Jose and Sara Chavez of Davidson County, invested $7,000 in Zeek Rewards, claiming they need their savings to provide medical care for their daughter who has leukemia, according to the lawsuit.

Another plaintiff, Davidson County resident Preston Everhart, invested $3,000 in Zeek Rewards and is deployed in Kuwait with the Army National Guard.

Lexington Attorney J. Calvin Cunningham, who represents the plaintiffs, was unavailable for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Several affiliates listed in the lawsuit were also unavailable for comment.

The court-appointed receiver, Charlotte attorney Kenneth Bell, began his investigation into Zeek Rewards on Monday. Bell, who will collect and marshal remaining investor funds, has also set up a website,, and email, [email protected], for affiliates.

Plaintiffs, not mentioned above, include:

Michael Madaris, of Stanly County, $10,000 invested; Caron L. Myers, of Davidson County, $2,500 invested; William J. Morrow, of Guilford County, $500 invested; Tonja H. Robbins, of Davidson County, $1,000 invested; Dale Kevin Robbins, of Davidson County, $10,000 invested; Rachel F. Robbins, of Davidson County, $500 invested; George and Sharon Grubb-Benson, of Davidson County, $5,000 invested; Penny Gordon Benson, of Davidson County, $5,000 invested; Deby Duff, of Davidson County, $1,000 invested; Janis Gibson Kaufman, of Guilford County, $4,000 invested; Nicole F. Stevenson, of Guilford County, $1,000 invested; Tony and Brenda Sedberry, of Montgomery County, $10,000 invested; Dianne Robinson, of Montgomery County, $10,000 invested; Larry Blackburn, of Montgomery County, $10,000 invested.

Jose L. Cadena, of Clintondale, N.Y., $5,500 invested, Angela Callicutt, of Montgomery County, $179 invested; Javier of Edinburg, Texas, $2,100 invested; Derek Page, of Guilford County, $8,000 invested; Maegen Ruth Williams, of Moore County, $2,500 invested; Jason Matthew Hensley, of Montgomery County, $1,000 invested; Lynda W. Breeden, of Forsyth County, $500 invested; Jonathan Sedberry, of Montgomery County, $10,000 invested; Piper Caviness, of Forsyth County, $2,129 invested; Marilyn Anderson, of Forsyth County, $2,190 invested; Tina Barry, of Davidson County, $1,000 invested; Delores Oglesby, of Guilford County, $628.95 invested; Maxine Owen, of Guilford County, $2,000 invested; Wesley Andrew Lohr, of Mecklenburg County, $2,000 invested; Patricia H. Lohr, of Davidson County, $1,000 invested; Sharon Lohr Long, of Davidson County, $1,000 invested; Jason Matthew Hensley, of Montgomery County, $1,000 invested.

Lloyd D. Lohr, of Davidson County, $10,000 invested; Arnold Timothy Madaris, of Pageland, S.C., $1,000 invested; Jodi Small Curtis, of Davie County, $10,000 invested; Almetia Mack, of Guilford County; $1,128 invested; Gary A. McNeill, of Guilford County, $3,000 invested; Andrea Scheir-Crowder, of Guilford County, $1,000 invested; Jeanne Suggs, of Guilford County, $1,128 invested; Chase Leonard, of Guilford County, $3,200 invested; Carol Sullivan, of Forsyth County, $10,000 invested; Amy Christensen, of Davidson County, $6,500 invested; Brittany Baker, of Rockingham County, $1,200 invested; Robert W. Uber, of Guilford County, $5,000 invested; Andrew Chandler, of Randolph County, $1,000 invested; William Walker, of Randolph County, $1,000 invested; Corby Kennedy, of Randolph County, $500 invested; Maelee Arnold, of Randolph County, $250 invested.

Vicki F. Axsom, of Guilford County, $5,000 invested; Mary Quay, of Randolph County, $1,700 invested; Brittney Conner, of South Boston, Va., $250 invested; Bernard F. Walraven, of Guilford County, $2,000 invested; Maria Christina Quintanilla, of McAllen, Texas, $1,000 invested; Pedro Mungula, of Hidalgo, Texas, $1,000 invested; Paula R. Farmer, of Davidson County, $1,225 invested; Betty S. McNair, of Montgomery County, $2,500 invested; Amy L. Slingerland, of Rowan County, $1,000 invested; Lee Ann M. Kimble, of Montgomery County, $1,000 invested; Patrick F. McNair, of Montgomery County, $500 invested; Brian W. Peele, of Guilford County, $3,000 invested; Courtney Leonard, of Davidson County, $2,000 invested; John M. Riley, of Forsyth County, $10,000 invested; Mike Bush, of Davidson County, $5,000 invested.

Clint Vaughn, of Davidson County, $10,000 invested; Kimberly Blanchette, of Davidson County, $2,000 invested; Darlene Jackson, of Guilford County, $1,000 invested; James Edward Merritt Jr., of Forsyth County, $10,000 invested; Verna Margo Merritt, of Fort Pierce, Fla., $10,000 invested; John N. Riley, of Wake County, $5,000 invested; Christel Oliphant, of Guilford County, $3,000 invested; Robert Eads, of Yadkin County, $1,500 invested; Chad Jason Adams, of Yadkin County, $4,000 invested; Mickey Seth Mantel, of Davidson County, $2,500 invested; Rene Trevizo, of McAllen, Texas, $1,000 invested; Dianna S. Alger, of Stanley, Va., $10,000 invested; Jean Ellen Warner, of Davidson County, $100 invested; Eunice Graham, of Piney Flats, Tenn., $5,000 invested; Dennis Earl Thompson, of Davidson County, $10,000 invested; Monica Jollie, of Davidson County, $3,000 invested; Jean Busse, of Davidson County, $1,000 invested; Jay Wilson, of Durham County, $4,000 invested; Chad Kirkendall, of Davidson County, $10,000 invested.

Source: The TimesNews

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Comments (19)

    1. To begin with it was never a investment and any amount received over what was put in should be returned to those who were harmed!
      Be prepared to write a check to make others whole if you received more out than you put in.

  1. More Government oversight is needed to prevent MLM companies from getting to this stage. MLM is a great way to make some extra income for many people but companies such as this tarnish the industry when the get shut down by the authorities.

  2. Sec will eventually go after every on the list that made money. They will be freezing bank accounts and taking houses, cars, and can enter your house and remove anything over $2000! The right thing to do is pay people off. If you go after your up line and have them give a cashiers check to cover there loses, this will help everyone. Sec believes out of the $300 million plus paid out that they will get 100% of it back to help pay the victims. Small claims courts are currently getting filled quickly withy Hesse easy to when lawsuits. When the judge see the ruling it’s a automatic win. Also the person risk criminal charges automatically getting filed. IRS will be happy to know that the person will be claiming the $100k or more the ripped off fom there downline. I heard that someone sent the sec a check for everything he made over the initially investment. Small claims court is $10k per case diff you have a downline can help them file against the up line . Every Z guy was bragging or sending emails out fom his back office how much money he made. Evidence.

  3. I agree that the upline will be paying back everything to the people they took in ! Look at the numbers of total assets both frozen and paid out of 600 million. You have over 1 million people who paid in , this is an average of less than 600 dollars each. Not that much money in the scheme of things when there’s Billions of VIP points out there. Do the math we’ve been scammed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 98% of money taken in is from affiliates not products sold!!!!!!!!!!!
    Why would some of you people even think of trying to re-open this is beyond me!!!! Obviously your an up-line person who essentially has money taken from your down-line . I couldn’t sleep at night until I gave all that money back to every one!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Keep up the great work Ted,
    Like others above, I hope those who boasted about their Zeek incomes to boost recruiting didn’t spend it all, those that got suckered want their money back and guess who they will be looking at.

  5. Greetings Former Zeeksters,

    Please step back and look at the “Big Picture”. By most comments I see that many are brainwashed and believe what the government wants you to think. Zeeks was a Rock Solid company! It just was not along the lines of the government’s way of only limiting high profits and success to a very small percentage. Remember this as you keep reading… The government wants struggling robot workers, not successful leaders!

    Zeeks was one of the most amazing business model ever introduced. If you look at the growth, profits, cash on hand, and financial responsibilities it all makes absolute sense. The company was profiting 2 million a month, all going back in, and we were only just getting started! What? That doesn’t happen in the corporate world. Greed doesn’t allow it, Corporate Greed doesn’t allow such Fast and Widespread growth. Zeeks was going to be the most successful company in the world within a few years, and millions of people were going to be part of it!!! Millions and millions of people would have been successful, debt free and self sufficient. Well sadly that is not how it works in this world my friends.

    Let me break down the BIG PICTURE for everyone… ‘They, the government’ was in fear of this business model because ‘They’ were losing control. Zeeks had grown at an unprecedented rate and already had over One million affiliates in less than two years. Then on top of that we were doubling every two months with a real potential of approximately 15 million within the next year. The government felt pressure because too many people were going to be successful too fast. Overall there would be less interest in government controlled financial institutions. There would have been less interest in the Stock Market/Banking/Etc. With the potential of Zeek’s growth even more people would have been transferring their money out of profit limiting government controlled situations into a successful business model! Zeeksters would have also been starting up even more other small businesses and that is not what ‘They’ want.
    Think about this, If you and I, the little fish (the masses), are successful in something like Zeeks, we would not risk our money in an unpredictable stock market or banking investments. We would also be debt free, having the ability to pay cash for almost everything and not need to depend on ‘Credit’ so much either. We would also be able to shop locally more, and at more expensive smaller establishments because we would all have more money to spend.
    Now this is tolerable on a small scale but when it goes viral (multi-millions) and the 3%’ers (Big Business/Corporate Giants/Media Advertising/Etc) start losing control they will put a stop to it anyway they can.
    The main fact is that ‘They’, the CIA, Secret Service… Ultimately, The New World Order wants us all to struggle, be in debt and DEPEND on them!
    Now in these times, because of new technology and brilliant minds who think outside the box the little guy has a chance to compete with those 3%’ers and THEY ARE SCARED!!! And when they get scared of losing power they use that power to shut it down and hold us back.

    Also let me ask you all these questions, if Zeeks was such a scam and Paul Burke was such a crook don’t you think he would have taken more than a 2% profit from a so called $600 million Ponzi Scheme? Don’t you think he would have “siphoned” more than just one million dollars to his family members? Don’t you think the top people in the company would have off shore accounts setup with enough money for the rest of they’re lives, ready to run and hide because they can’t show their faces to anyone? What about Dawn Wright Olivares, yes she was making the most of any affiliate but do you think she made enough money for the rest of her life? Do you really think this woman can even go out in public? Do you really think any of the Zeeks management have lives anymore? They have been made to look like criminals by our corrupt controlling “New World Order” via the CIA via the Secret Service via the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) via the Attorney General (AG)!
    Then there is You and I, we are all made to look like fools to prove a point. To knock down our big dreams, to cage us like animals and to scare the general public out of thinking we can all be financially secure, living better lives and even make it big someday!

    Listen here is the bottom line, anything can be made to look like a Pyramid or Ponzi Scheme and that is what ‘T’hey did. When will everyone realize that the whole world is a pyramid… no matter what, it all trickles UP! Whoever starts or runs something will earn more and be a little more successful then those at the bottom, that is common sense. Mr Burke has been made to look like a scammer because he was thinking outside the greedy corporate American box. He was changing too many lives for the better with his ingenious business ideas. So what it came down to was that Mr Burke was given an ultimatum to give up any chance of a fight and walk away with hefty fines or be labeled and ‘made to look like’, Bernie Madoff and other real crooks when in fact Mr Burke did nothing wrong. And at 65 yrs old what would you do? I don’t care how solid the company was and how many top attorneys you hire, when it comes to battling the government, they will twist things around to look like however they want, to win the power struggle and sustain control over the general public. They will forever continue to “Save Us from Ourselves”.

    Overall, this stinks to high heaven with government conspiracy to keep us all in the palm of their hand begging for a crumb! On top of it all, at the end of the day, THEY do win because now the majority are SCARED (of MLM and Self Employment) and will continue to struggle and slave away at their corporate government controlled JOB!

    To my fellow Entrepreneurs… Do Not let this hold you back.
    Say it with me…
    God Bless 🙂

  6. I evaluated Zeek for 6 months and before I did I called a client of mine and owner of a MLM company of 6 years and asked him about Paul Burkes and because he knows him said of what he knows that he is a man of integrity. His biggest concern was that the SEC would look at this as an investment in violation of the Securties Act of 1933 and I agreed with him because his background was the same as mine Insurance and Financial Products which has been my primary business for 35 years. Years ago I had a private contract between me and another entity (A person) and put $35,000 in and earned 120% for the year however only took out $9,000 the second year and the SEC shut it down after years with no one losing money and after 5 years got back $1,100 and the SEC never called it a Ponzi or a Pyramid but said it was a investment not registered with the SEC. The truth will come out I hope and this I know it takes a long time whenever the government is involved.

  7. Susan I do not think you understand the business model this was not an investment, Please don not think that we are victims of Zeek Rewards what we are is victims of SEC that close our business and stoped peolple from reaching the American Dream, You do not know how many families where afected by this. Please if you do not know how the business works do not make negative comments but a the same time thank you for your concern of the people taht lost.

    1. Thats correct => now I need to start working to meijer to support our children education. ZEEK give finacial freedome speciallt to my kids…!….. NO ZEEK LOSE HOPE!….. BUT I BELIEVE IN GOD!

  8. Francisco, Susan is right. It is clear Zeek closed its offices before SEC got to them and Zeek was a ponzi scheme period. Its sad when people for such ponzis, the penny stocks was a mere cover up, very little money was coming from there and company made its money from new affiliates. Be warned folks!11!1

  9. most of those clowns probably dint have a clue abnoiut the business model of could actually build a business with zeek without a single cent
    eek would give you bonus point after 60 days of posting ads
    .what the sec and other netwiork marketing execs has done is horrible

  10. You know every thing you can said about zeek would not make me be so happy of what zeek have done in my life.
    Every day when I look to some article about zeek here only make me smiling because I all ready know your intention.
    Any more go ahead.
    Thanks so muck Paul B. for all

  11. Dear Ted Nuyten in your publication on August 25, 2012, there is a phrase: – “The SEC put a halt to Zeek’s assets Friday, in fear that the company would soon collapse.” I would like to hear, on what basis these fears? If the assumptions, one can imagine all that ugodno.Vopros second, for what purpose was appointed interim manager? What is driving, if everything is frozen?

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