IT looks like multi-million dollar financial scams are no longer exclusively brewing on Wall Street. These days, it could be anywhere – like in Lexington, North Carolina.
The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday ordered the total freeze of assets of Zeek Rewards, a penny-auction online site currently embroiled in a $600 million Ponzi scandal.
The complaint of the SEC bared that over a million people from different parts of the globe invested in Zeek Rewards, which Forbes Magazine believes could be the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time.
Many of the investors claimed that they were guaranteed more than tens of thousands in dividends. Unfortunately, it seems like they won’t be getting any of the money they have poured out with Zeek.
According to Lexington radio announcer Earl Harreson, who invested more than $2,000 in the company, “we need to let the owners of Zeek know that there are people who were part of the firm that feel great pain, too.” Earl earned over $10,000 but no money was ever given him.
The brains behind Zeek Rewards – Paul Burks – is a resident of Lexington who owns Rex Venture Group LLC which operates Zeekler, Zeek Rewards and other internet sites.
The 65-year-old Burks, based on the SEC complaint, is the sole owner and the one who decides and controls the overall financial operations of Zeek Rewards and Rex Ventures.
The SEC added that Burks is the one who decides Zeeks’ daily payouts that determined how much cash went to each of the investors of the company.
It was also Burks who personally embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars of investors’ money while controlling Zeek Rewards and Rex Ventures and allocated $1 million to members of his family.
Meanwhile, Burks’ neighbors are very uneasy as the man accused of the $600 million fraud hired a private security agency to guard his home. Security guards have kept a watchful eye on Burks’ residence, including those who get near it, for almost a week since the Ponzi scandal broke out.
The security guards have been seen roaming around the neighborhood since Burks was accused by the US government of running an illicit business through the ZeekRewards.com site.
According to Red Rhodes, one of Burks’ neighbors who mows 20 lawns in Lexington – including that of Burks’ – it is just so weird to see security men roaming around the block when he goes to mow a lawn.
“It’s just so weird to be living in the same neighborhood with this kind of person,” Ella Jones, one of the neighbors, said.
Burks’ neighbors can’t believe that Lexington can be the place where the largest global financial fraud in history was conceived.
The Zeek Rewards boss does not want to be interviewed, one of the guards said.