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
UPDATE FROM THE RECEIVER – May 1, 2014
It has been several weeks since I have given you an update because I wanted to be able to give you accurate numbers and dates you can rely on. I can now do that.
As you know, we have been reviewing approximately 175,000 timely filed claims. By Friday May 9 we will have issued about 160,000 letters of determination regarding those claims. Another 10,000 or so letters of determination will be sent before the end of May. There are a few thousand claims that will require additional time to review, because of conflicting information regarding the amounts claimed. We will send letters to this last group of claimants as quickly as we are able. Bottom line, we will have letters out to more than 95% of the claimants in the next few weeks.
If you have not yet received your letter of determination, please be patient; it is coming. If you have already received a letter, or when you do, I encourage you to respond as soon as you are able.
You also are anxious to know when we will begin making distributions on claims. This month we will file a motion with the Court asking permission to make an interim, partial distribution on claims. Our goal is to distribute now an amount equal to 40% of each reconciled claim using the "rising tide" method of calculation already approved by the Court. My best guess is that we will begin making distributions in mid-summer.
I will also be reserving cash to distribute to holders of claims that have not yet been determined and allowed. When your claim is allowed, you will receive distributions in the same total amount you would have received if your claim was allowed in the first batch of claim determinations.
This first distribution will not be of all the funds I'm confident we will ultimately be able to return to claimant victims. We continue to collect receivership assets from financial institutions and those who took more money out of Zeek Rewards than they put in. We have sued more than 9,000 of these "net winners" in the United States. We will soon sue net winners who live outside the United States. I remain hopeful that we will add tens of millions of dollars to the pool from which we will make final distributions to claimant victims. Unfortunately, these efforts will take quite a long time, maybe years. I will not be permitted to make final payments until all recoverable assets have been collected, but there will be an additional, final distribution at some point.
Also, next week we will send out thousands of amended IRS Forms 1099 for 2011 and 2012. We have determined that Rex Venture Group often miscalculated the amount of money that should have been on the 2011 forms. There also were some errors for 2012 because of inadequate and erroneous records of the company. Thousands of affiliates may have paid taxes for 2011 and/or 2012 that they did not owe because of incorrect 1099s. If you receive an amended 1099 I encourage you to consult with a tax professional.
I know this process has taken longer than you, or I, would have liked. I can only assure you that the receivership team has worked diligently to return as much money as possible, as quickly as possible, to victim claimants. Our efforts on your behalf continue. Thank you for your continued support and patience.
Kenneth D. Bell
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.
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 email@example.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.
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
UPDATE FROM RECEIVER – December 31, 2013
To Affiliates and Other Claimants of Rex Venture Group, LLC
On December 27, 2013 we began sending out more than 80,000 emails notifying claimants that their Letter of Determination is available for review. The Letter of Determination tells claimants the amount(s) of their claim(s) recognized by the Receiver. While I tried to make this process as understandable as possible, judging by the number of emails and phone calls, there is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about how this process works. I write this message to answer the most frequently asked questions.
While we have sent more than 80,000 Letters of Determination, we have received more than 170,000 claims, so roughly 90,000 claimants have not yet been sent a Letter of Determination. Every affiliate claimant will receive a Letter of Determination as soon as we are able to review and evaluate the claim. We are working hard to get this done as quickly as possible for every affiliate claimant. If you have not yet received a letter of determination, you will. Please be patient, and do not send emails or leave voicemails asking when you will get your Letter.
Many claimants who have not yet received a Letter of Determination are trying to login using a link forwarded to them by a claimant who has received a Letter of Determination. This will not work. The link will only allow a claimant who received an email notifying them that their Letter of Determination is available for review to login to the system.
Many claimants who received a Letter of Determination report that they cannot login because their Claim ID and/or password are not being recognized. This is because the claimant has forgotten one or both, or created more than one User ID or password, and is trying to login with the wrong one. If a claimant is having trouble logging in, please use the User Name Recovery tool that is linked to the login page on the portal.
Many who have received a Letter of Determination are confused about the amounts recognized. For every claim we "recognize" two amounts: the amount of money the claimant paid to Rex Venture Group/ZeekRewards (referred to as "Receivership Defendant") before August 17, 2012, and the amount of money Rex Venture Group/ZeekRewards (again referred to as "Receivership Defendant") paid to the claimant before August 17, 2012. Both numbers are important in determining how much money will be paid to each claimant once the Court approves a Distribution Plan. Some claimants look at the line showing "Payments from Receivership Defendant" and mistakenly think this is the amount of their claim recognized by the Receiver. "Payments from the Receivership Defendant" is simply the amount (if any) paid to the claimant by Rex Venture Group/ZeekRewards before August 17, 2012, that is, before the Court appointed the Receiver. It is NOT the amount of the recognized claim. Claimants can Accept both of the amounts ("paid to" and "received from"), or object to one or both of the amounts.
Many claimants ask if they still have to complete the online forms even if they Accept the Determination. The answer is yes, and the reasons are explained in Claims FAQ 33. Some claimants report difficulty completing the forms online. We have thoroughly tested, and continually test, the ability to submit these forms to be sure the online process is working properly.
Many claimants ask if completing the W-9 or W-8 (and perhaps later receiving an IRS Form 1099) means they will have to pay tax on a future distribution from the Receivership. Receiving a Form 1099 does not necessarily mean that a claimant will owe taxes on the future distribution. Each claimant's tax situation is different, so I encourage each claimant to consult with his/her tax preparer or professional advisor. We are simply required, by applicable law, to report to the IRS if the Receivership distributes more than $600 to any claimant.
Because Forms W-9 and W-8 require a Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number, many claimants ask if that information will be safe and protected. Please be assured that it is and will be.
Do not send any documents directly to the Receiver. The only Court approved Claims Process required claim information to be provided through the Claim Portal. Documents sent to the Receiver will not be accepted or reviewed. Also, do not send emails to or leave voicemails for the Receiver directly. They are not read or listened to. All correspondence should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Every email sent to that address is reviewed and forwarded to the Receiver as appropriate. It is impossible to respond to every individual question, email or call. Common questions are answered by postings at Zeekrewardsreceivership.com. All available information and updates are posted there.
Thank you for your patience in this process.
Kenneth D. Bell
UPDATE FROM RECEIVER – December 27, 2013
I am pleased to report that more than 80,000 Notices of Claims Determination are being sent to Claimants in the ZeekRewards case between today, December 27, 2013, and December 31, 2013. These notices direct individuals who have had their Claim Determination issued to log in to the Claim Determination Portal to review their Claim Determination. Such notices are being sent from the email address ZRWDeterminations@tgcginc.com.
To those of you that have received a Claim Determination, please follow the instructions provided in your Claim Determination to either accept or object to the Claim Determination. Do not send emails to ZRWDeterminations@tgcginc.com regarding your Claim Determination. That email address will not be monitored. Any email sent to that email address will be deleted without being read.
If you have not received a Claim Determination, please do not contact the Receiver. Not receiving a Claim Determination notice at this time does not mean that your Claim is not valid. It only means that we have not completed our review of your Claim. Certain Claims will take additional time to evaluate and may require us to make further contact with you before we issue a Claim Determination. We are and will be working hard to reconcile all Claims and send all Claims Determination as soon as we are able to do so.
UPDATE FROM RECEIVER – December 20, 2013
On December 20, 2013, the United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina filed federal charges of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States against Dawn Wright Olivares and Daniel C. Olivares, along with the plea agreements that each defendant entered. The Government also filed a motion asking the Court to appoint Kenneth D. Bell as Special Master in this criminal proceeding to make proposed findings of fact and recommendations to the Court regarding the identity of victims and the proper amount of restitution owed to such victims, among other items. The Court granted this motion.
A copy of the Bill of Information, Plea Agreements, Motion to Appoint Special Master, Order Appointing Special Master, and the press release from the U.S. Department of Justice are available at the links below.
UPDATE FROM RECEIVER – December 20, 2013
On December 20, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint against Dawn Wright-Olivares and Daniel Olivares alleging the unregistered offer and sale of securities, fraud in the offer and sale of securities, and fraud in connection with the purchase and sale of securities. To settle the SEC's charges, both defendants consented to judgment. Wright-Olivares agreed to pay at least $8,184,064.94 and Olivares agreed to pay at least $3,272,934.58. A copy of the SEC's complaint, both consents, and the SEC press release are available at the links below.
UPDATE FROM RECEIVER – December 19, 2013
The Receiver held a press conference on Friday, December 13, 2013, in Lexington, North Carolina at the site of the Receivership auction. At this press conference, the Receiver discussed the status of the Receivership claims process, among other items. Click the link below for a video of the relevant portion of the press conference.
December 16, 2013
To Affiliates and Other Creditors of Rex Venture Group, LLC:
Many of you seem to be confused about an email notice that was sent to you late last week or over the weekend. We sent you notice that we filed with the Court a Motion For Order Approving Distribution Procedures and Certain Other Related Relief because we are required to do so. We want you to know what we are planning to do in this case. There is nothing you need to do regarding that motion unless you want to file an objection with the Court to our plan for eventually making distributions to recognized claimants or the other relief requested in the motion.
The filing of this motion does not mean that we are about to begin making distributions on claims. Please read my letter posted on December 13, 2013 for more detail on where we are in that process.
Please do not call my office or send emails to me asking for a “status” on your claim. I simply cannot respond individually to as many as 170,000 claimants. Also, do not call or email me with change of email address or other contact information. FAQ 32 on this website tells you how to update your contact information.
I will post an update on this page when Claim Determinations begin going out later this month.
NOTICE OF AUCTION OF REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY OF RECEIVERSHIP DEFENDANT OCCURRING DECEMBER 16 – 17, 2013
The Receiver has given notice of his intention to sell at auction certain real and personal property of the Receivership Defendant. The real properties will be sold at public auction to be held on the 16th day of December, 2013, at 12:00 p.m. at 4095 Old Salisbury Rd., Lexington, Davidson County, North Carolina. The auction of these properties will be in conjunction with the personal property auction that will be held the 16th and 17th of December, 2013 commencing at 9:00 a.m. both days.
For additional information, including descriptions of the real and personal property to be auctioned and further information regarding auction procedures such as bidder qualifications and fee schedules, please visit the RVG Auction website (www.ironhorseauction.com/ZeekReceiverDay1 and www.ironhorseauction.com/
ZeekReceiverDay2), or contact Iron Horse Auction Company at (800) 997-2248 or (910) 997-2248.
For Notice of Public Auction of Real and Personal Property here.
On December 12, 2013, the Receiver filed a Motion Requesting an Order Approving Distribution Procedures.
On October 22, 2013, Judge Graham C. Mullen issued an Order approving an extended claims deadline of December 1, 2013 at 11:59 P.M. (prevailing Eastern Time) for certain parties (the “Extended Period”). The only entities that are permitted to assert claims during the Extended Period are (i) affiliates whose financial institutions paid the Receiver on or after August 1, 2013 for stopped payment instruments and are thereafter charged or debited by their financial institutions for these items and (ii) financial institutions seeking to file a subrogation claim on behalf of their affiliate customers after paying stopped payment instruments to the Receiver on or after August 1, 2013.
Please see FAQ 29 for additional information.
THE CLAIMS FILING PERIOD FOR ZEEKREWARDS CLOSED AT 11:59 P.M. (PREVAILING EASTERN TIME) ON SEPTEMBER 5, 2013.
On May 8, 2013, Judge Graham C. Mullen issued an Order approving (I) Claims Process, (II) Setting of Bar Date, and (III) Approving Notice Procedures. Pursuant to that order, the claims filing period opened May 15, 2013 and closed September 5, 2013.
On August 17, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") filed a Complaint in United States District Court, Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division, against Rex Venture Group, LLC ("Rex Venture") d/b/a ZeekRewards.com ("ZeekRewards"), and Paul R. Burks. The SEC alleges that Rex Venture and Burks fraudulently offered and sold securities in an unregistered offering as part of a combined Ponzi and pyramid scheme.
On August 17, 2012, Judge Graham C. Mullen issued an Order appointing Kenneth D. Bell of McGuireWoods LLP as temporary receiver (“Receiver”) for Rex Venture Group, LLC d/b/a ZeekRewards.com. The August 17th order directs the Receiver to, among other things, take control and possession of and to operate the Receivership Estate, and to perform all acts necessary to conserve, hold, manage and preserve the value of the Receivership Estate.
This website will be the Receiver's primary means of communicating with customers and the public. Please check back periodically for additional information.
Updates From The Receiver
12-19-13: December 13th Press Conference
12-13-13: Letter from the Receiver
10-15-13: Letter from the Receiver
9-6-13: Letter from the Receiver
8-2-13: Letter from the Receiver
5-9-13: Letter from the Receiver
3-29-13: Letter from the Receiver
3-1-13: Letter from the Receiver
1-7-13: Letter from the Receiver
1-4-13: Letter from the Receiver
12-24-12: Letter from the Receiver
10-30-12: Letter from the Receiver
9-13-12: Letter from the Receiver
8-27-12: Letter from the Receiver
8-20-12: Press Release
FAQ 32 - How do I update my contact information (address, phone number, email address) if it has changed from when I originally submitted my claim(s)?
If you would like to update the contact information (address, phone number, email address) you provided in a previously submitted claim, you may do so by and clicking on "Update/Change Contact Information for a Previously Filed Claim." You may then log into the address portal by using your logon information for the Receiver's Claim Portal (not your user name and password for your original Zeek Rewards account). Upon logging in, you will see the contact information you previously provided in your prior claim submission. Please make any necessary updates/changes to your contact information on this page and submit this information. The Receiver may ignore any change in this information submitted through alternative means.
FAQ 31 - I received an E-mail requesting further information regarding my ZeekRewards User Name, is this a legitimate request?
Yes, the Receivership Team is seeking to reconcile claims with the books and records of ZeekRewards and is requesting further information from those individuals who either did not provide a ZeekRewards User Name or provided a ZeekRewards User Name that was not valid. Please follow the link provided in that E-mail so that you can provide a valid User Name, or inform the Receivership Team that you cannot locate or do not have a ZeekRewards User name. If you did not receive an E-mail requesting this information, you are not required to take further action at this time.