Tag Archives: Disner

Zeek: Order Issued on Final Judgement Process for “Net Winner Class”

In the case entitled “Bell v Disner, et al”, we have the Judge’s Order on a Motion to set up a process for determining Final Judgments against Zeek “Net Winners”. Here are a few highlights, there are 25 sections within the Order:

  • The amount of net winnings shall be calculated in the same manner as the Final Judgments entered against the named Net Winners in this action. “Specifically, Net Winnings shall be calculated as total cash paid-out by RVG less outside cash (excluding reinvested funds generated as part of the ZeekRewards Program) used to purchase VIP bids, retail bids, and subscriptions (VIP bids + Retail bids + Subscriptions)”
  • On or before January 31, 2017, the Receiver shall notify each Net Winner Class member of the amount of their ZeekRewards Net Winnings as reflected in the available books and records of the RVG Receivership.
  • The Receiver shall notify each member of the Net Winner Class of the amount of their Net Winnings by email to the email address provided by the net winner in connection with any account included in determining the amount of Net Winnings as well as any other email address that has been provided by the net winner following the appointment of the Receiver. The Receiver shall also post a link on the Receivership website that allows class members to receive notification of the amount of their Net Winnings. In the event that the notice cannot be delivered to any email address provided by the Net Winner, the Receiver shall send a letter to the last known physical address of the Net Winner informing the Net Winner of the proceedings and the availability of the amount of his or her Net Winnings on the Receivership website.
  • Class Counsel for the Net Winner Class shall (i) post a notice on the Net Winner Class website describing the process set forth herein and (ii) communicate to the Net Winner Class the availability from the Receiver of the Net Winnings amount for each class member.
  • On or before March 31, 2017 (or at least 60 days following the initial email transmittal of the Net Winning amounts to class members if the Receiver’s email notice occurs after January 31, 2017), each class member shall, if they choose to do so, respond to the calculation of their Net Winnings from the RVG records.
  • Final Judgment shall be entered against any Net Winner Class member who does not respond to the Receiver’s calculation of their Net Winnings on or before the response deadline in the amount of their Net Winnings as calculated by the Receiver plus prejudgment interest, calculated at the North Carolina statutory rate of 8% per annum from August 17, 2012, which is on or after the date of the last fraudulent transfer payment to each Defendant, to November 29, 2016, the date of the Summary Judgment Order in this action.

I have uploaded the complete Order here.

 

Zeek Rewards: Receiver Proposes Final Judgment Process For “Net Winners”

Zeek Receiver, Kenneth Bell, has filed a Motion to Enter and Order for determining the amount of Final Judgment against the “Winner Class” members. The Court had entered an Order granting a Summary Judgment and Partial Summary Judgment against the Net Winner Class on November 29, 2016. The Court found that the Net Winner Class received “fraudulent tranfers” that must be repaid to the Receiver.

The only issue now remaining before the Court with respect to the Net Winner Class is how to fairly and efficiently determine the amount of the Final Judgment (ZeekRewards net winnings plus pre-judgment interest) to be paid by each of the over 9000 members of the class.

Attached to the Motion is an Exhibit containing the proposed process

that will give each class member individual notice of the amount of his or her “net winnings” according to RVG’s records, an opportunity to respond to that amount with evidence of a different amount and access to a fair and expedient process to resolve any cases in which the Receiver and Net Winner cannot agree on the amount of the Final Judgment. Counsel for the Receiver has conferred with Counsel for the Net Winner Class, and Counsel for the Net Winner Class has stated that the Net Winner Class has no objection to the Receiver’s proposed process.

Part of the proposal is notification “on or before January 31, 2017” of the amount of “Net Winnings” as indicated in RVG’s records and the records of the Receivership.

The amount of net winnings shall be calculated by the Receiver (through his expert witness) in the same manner as the Final Judgments entered against the named Net Winners in this action.

The process proposed is rather lengthy, so here is a link to it on the ASDUpdates Files website. Also listed is the Proposed Order.

Zeek Rewards: Judge Enters Final Judgments Against 3 “Net Winners”

Judge Mullen has ordered Final Judgments against 3 of the “net winners”, with more likely to follow.

Kenneth Bell has also filed for Final Judgments against:

  • Defendant Rhonda Gates in the amount of $1,916,479.07
  • Defendants T. Lemont Silver, Sr., Karen Silver, and Global Internet Formula, Inc., jointly and severally, in the amount of $3,141,668.09
  • Defendant Durant Brockett in the amount of $2,312,129.25, and
  • Defendants David Kettner, Mary Kettner, Kettner & Associates, LLC and Desert Oasis International Marketing, LLC jointly and severally, in the amount of $1,259,114.65

As of today, only these Defendants have had Final Judgments ordered, as follows:

Final Judgment is hereby entered against Defendant Jerry Napier in the amount of $2,349,670.59, which is comprised of $1,749,550.73 in net winnings from the ZeekRewards scheme and $600,119.86 in prejudgment interest, calculated at the North Carolina statutory rate of 8% per annum from August 17, 2012, which is on or after the date of the last fraudulent transfer payment to each Defendant, to November 29, 2016, the date of the Summary Judgment Order in this action.

Final Judgment is hereby entered against Defendant Darren Miller in the amount of $2,198,738.44, which is comprised of $1,637,167.55 in net winnings from the ZeekRewards scheme and $561,570.89 in prejudgment interest, calculated at the North Carolina statutory rate of 8% per annum from August 17, 2012, which is on or after the date of the last fraudulent transfer payment to each Defendant, to November 29, 2016, the date of the Summary Judgment Order in this action.

Final Judgment is hereby entered against Defendants Aaron Andrews, Shara Andrews, and Innovation Marketing, LLC, (The Andrews Defendants) jointly and severally, in the amount of $1,359,897.50 which is comprised of $1,012,571.58 in net winnings from the ZeekRewards scheme and $347,325.92 in prejudgment interest, calculated at the North Carolina statutory rate of 8% per annum from August 17, 2012, which is on or after the date of the last fraudulent transfer payment to each Defendant, to November 29, 2016, the date of the Summary Judgment Order in this action.

Zeek Rewards: Judge Mullen Grants Default Judgement in ‘Bell v Disner et al’

zeekrewardsIn case filed by the Zeek Receiver, Kenneth Bell, the receivership filed  civil suit against what were called “Net Winners” in the Zeek scam which garnered $1000 or more from the scheme. The list of Defendants included a large number of serial promoters of this type of pyramid/Ponzi scheme such as:

Todd Disner, Trudy Gilmond, Jerry Napier, Daren Miller, Rhonda Gates, David Sorrells, Aaron and Shara Andrews, T. Lemont Silver, Karen Silver, Michael Van Leeuwen, Duran Brockett, David and Mary Kettner and a “Defendant Class of Net Winners”.

Several of the individuals above were involved in ASD and other scams prior to promoting Zeek and bilking thousands of people on the false hopes of becoming rich with little or no effort. The majority of these defendants have already received judgments which resulted in them having to return monies to the receivership to be distributed to the victims.

The problem with scams like Zeek is the money was actually made from recruiting others, not from sales of products of services. Sadly, a new one pops up almost every day.

You can read the 27 page order, wherein the Judge details the reasons for his decision and a background on the scam by clicking the link. There is also a list of the “Net Winners” on the site.

Zeek Rewards: Receiver Replies to Class Defendants

zeekrewardsJust filed today, Kenneth Bell has replied to the Class Defendant’s (Rhonda Gates, Innovation Marketing, LLC, Aaron Andrews, Shara Andrews, and Durant Brockett) response to his initial Motion for Summary Judgment and Partial Summary Judgment against the Net Winner Class. It seems that Jerry Napier, Darren Miller, T. Le Mont Silver, Global Internet Formula, Inc., Karen Silver, and Dave and Mary Kettner did not respond to the Receiver’s motion.

Under “Summary of Argument”, the Reply states that after more than a year and considerable cost to the Receivership engaging a defense expert to investigate the question of whether or not Zeek operated as a Ponzi that the

Defendants have conceded—without a single reference to their own expert—that ZeekRewards was a Ponzi scheme which intentionally defrauded hundreds of thousands of victims out of hundreds of millions of dollars. Indeed, since the filing of the Receiver’s motion Paul Burks, the mastermind of the ZeekRewards scheme, has been found guilty by a Federal court jury of three counts of securities fraud and one count of tax fraud related to the Ponzi scheme. So, the fact that ZeekRewards was a Ponzi scheme has now been established as a matter of undisputed facts and law.

Despite this concession that Zeek was a Ponzi, the Defendants argue that they can avoid returning their “net winnings” based upon the TOS (Terms of Service) which

can limit the Receiver’s rights to assert claims and that they should be given credit for recruiting victims to the scheme. Defendants still act as if Zeek was a legitimate business and Defendants were “internet marketing specialists” entitled to be paid as employees rather than investors in the scheme, all of which is of course pure fiction.

The Court should resist Defendants’ invitation to create the dangerous loophole of allowing a fraudster to use the terms implementing a Ponzi scheme to limit the right of a subsequently appointed Receiver to recover funds paid to the winners of the fraudulent scheme. While such a rule would be a great recruiting tool for future Ponzi scheme operators, it is surely an unacceptable legal rule and public policy.

The Defendants urge the Court to rule that purchasing bids, posting online advertisements (which only took 5 minutes a day) and recruiting thousands of victims somehow means they provided “reasonable equivalent value” such that they get to keep the victim’s money.

Bell goes on to eviscerate the Defendant’s attempt to legitimize their actions:

In other words, Defendants claim that those Defendants who spent the most time successfully promoting the scheme and multiplying the number of its victims should be given the most credit against the Receiver’s claims to recover their fraudulently transferred winnings. In fact, in arguing that they were supposedly rightly paid for their “services,” Defendants stretch to compare themselves to the utility company, which among many other differences does not invest money in their customers’ businesses hoping to share in compounding profits of 125% every ninety days. Whether or not innocent third-party trade creditors of a Ponzi scheme could be subject to a clawback action is not at issue in this case. Here, Defendants—all active participants and investors in the scheme—provided no value to ZeekRewards as a matter of law and fact; instead, as a result of their efforts the company became liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in losses incurred by the victims they recruited to the scheme.

You can read the full Response, the Zeek Terms Of Service and the Purchase/Subscription Agreement here.

Zeek Rewards: “Net Winner Class” Defendants File Reply to Complaint

zeekrewardsIn case 14-cv-91, Bell v Disner ,et al, the “Defendant Class of Net Winners” by and through their Texas attorney, James Kevin Edmundson, have filed a “Defendants’ Answer to Complaint and Affirmative Defenses” in reply to the original complaint filed back on February 28, 2014.

The very first 2 sentences are this:

1. The statement that RVG operated as a Ponzi scheme is a legal conclusion to which no response is required. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the remaining allegations of paragraph 1.

2. Defendants deny the allegations of paragraph 2 because, among other reasons, they have no information leading them to believe that RVG was a “scheme” or that they or others were somehow “net winners” as opposed to individuals who worked diligently for the income they earned in connection with Zeek.

I suppose even though a legal decision has been made as to whether Zeek was a Ponzi or a “scheme”, following the conviction on all counts of Paul Burks in the criminal trial, one would surmise that these positions by the Net Winners would be somewhat untenable. But, it gets even better with their Affirmative Defenses: (Pay particular attention to “C”, emphasis added)

AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES
A. Defendants devoted significant time and money working on behalf of RVG, which was performed pursuant to a contract between Defendants and RVG by which RVG agreed to pay Defendants for the work that they performed. Defendants performed as agreed and were owed the compensation that RVG promised to pay.
B. If RVG was a Ponzi scheme, Defendants had no knowledge of that fact. If RVG was a Ponzi scheme, then all of the other affiliates who participated in RVG have unclean hands as a result of their participation in a fraudulent scheme.
C. On information and belief, the SEC knew or should have known of the RVG Ponzi scheme, but delayed unreasonably in its prosecution of claims against RVG. Alternatively, the SEC knew for some time that RVG was operating as a Ponzi scheme but intentionally delayed disclosing that information to Affiliates and to the public. That unreasonable delay has prejudiced Defendants because t h e y h a v e paid taxes on the money they earned working on behalf of RVG and have incurred business expenses as a part of their work on behalf of RVG. The Receiver in this action stands in the SEC’s shoes and also delayed to Defendants’ detriment and now seeks return of all monies Defendants earned in connection with RVG, with no credit for the taxes or business expenses that Defendants legitimately paid, but that could have been avoided had the SEC or the Receiver timely advised Defendants of RVG’s true nature or acted in a more expeditious manner.
D. The Receiver’s claims in this case against Defendants are barred by the equitable doctrine of laches.
E. Defendants accepted compensation in connection with RVG in good faith, in exchange for reasonably equivalent value and in accordance with the terms of the contract between Defendants and RVG.
F. Defendants are entitled to a setoff for the amounts they paid to RVG for the purchase of bids and to otherwise participate in the Affiliate program, the amount of any and all expenses they incurred in operating their business for the benefit of RVG, for the amount of all taxes they paid and for the value of the funds the Receiver wrongfully misappropriated from Defendants’ e-wallet accounts. Defendants are also entitled to a setoff to the extent of any judgment on their counterclaims.
G. The Receiver has filed suit against two attorneys who provided legal advice to RVG and Affiliates, including Defendants. Defendants relied on that advice in concluding that RVG was a legitimate business and in committing significant personal resources to grow their now defunct business. Because Defendants’ damages were caused in part by the conduct of the two lawyers, Defendants are entitled in equity and at law to a credit for all money the Receiver recovers from the two attorneys as a result of their claims against them.
H. Plaintiff’s claims are time-barred pursuant to the express terms of the agreement between RVG/ZeekRewards and Defendants.

Zeek Rewards: Receiver Asks for Summary Judgment Against Class of “Net Winners”

Filed on the virtual eve of the Burks criminal trial which begins on July 5th, the Receiver has filed a ZeekMotion for Summary Judgment in Bell v Disner, et al, along with a supporting memorandum of Law and a group of Exhibits.  The Motion lists the “Named Defendants” like this:

The named defendants in this action are among the largest net winners of the ZeekRewards scheme, with winnings for each reaching as high as $1,875,000. The Court already has entered Judgments against several of these named defendants – who either failed to answer or cooperate in the action. See supra at n.1 and Doc. Nos. 76, 93, 95 and 119. Two defendants, Lori Jean Webber and P.A.W.S. Capital Management LLC, have reached a settlement with the Receiver.

 

 

The remaining named defendants are: Jerry Napier (Owosso, Michigan; a “net winner” of more than $1,745,000); Durant Brockett (Las Vegas, Nevada; a “net winner” of more than $1,720,000); Darren Miller (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; a “net winner” of more than $1,635,000); Rhonda Gates (Nashville, Tennessee; a “net winner” of more than $1,425,000); T. Le Mont Silver Sr. (Orlando, Florida / Dominican Republic; a “net winner” of more than $773,000; Mr. Silver also used Global Internet Formula, Inc., which is, upon information and belief, incorporated in Florida, as a shell company through which he was a ZeekRewards “net winner” of more than $943,000); Karen Silver (T. Le Mont Silver’s wife; a “net winner” of more than $600,000); Aaron and Shara Andrews (Lake Worth, Florida; the Andrews used Innovation Marketing LLC, a Florida shell company to win more than $1,000,000) and David and Mary Kettner (Peoria, Arizona; “net winners” of more than $930,000 using the shell companies named Desert Oasis International Marketing, LLC and Kettner & Associates, LLC as nominal payees). See Exhibit C (Expert Report of David S. Turner) (hereinafter “Turner Report”)at Ex. F.

Default judgments have already been ordered against:

    • Michael Van Leeuwen – $1,617,444.99
    • Todd Disner – $2,079,757.88
    • David Sorrells – 1,197,241.12
    • Trudy Gilmond – $2,129,522.27

 

Also listed are the “net Winner Class” which was already certified by the Court.

On September 14, 2015, the Court appointed Kevin Edmundson as class counsel and subsequently the Court authorized the defendant class to engage an expert witness,
Berkeley Research Group (“BRG”), at the primary expense of the Receivership. See
Doc. Nos. 117, 125.

Their own expert witness, BRG concluded the following:

In its initial report dated January 18, 2016, BRG agreed that it was able to “replicate the exhibits in the Turner Report, within a reasonable margin of difference.” Then, in its “Phase II” report, BRG reached two conclusions (bolded in the report):
a) [B]ased upon a preliminary analysis, it does not appear that the magnitude
of profit from the auction business would materially impact the assessment of
whether or not the business, taken as a whole, operated as a Ponzi scheme.
b) As a result of our testing in Phase II, we have not found evidence that
definitively disproves that the business as a whole operated as a Ponzi scheme.

Addressing the Burks and his not so successful endeavors, the receiver had this to say:

Beginning at least as far back as 2000, Paul Burks operated a number of generally
unsuccessful multi-level marketing businesses through Rex Venture Group, LLC (and
related entities) with names such as Go-Go Hub, Free Store Club, My Bid Shack, New
Net Mail and Signed and Numbered International. See, e.g., Bell Aff. at Ex. 2, 3;
Douglas Dep. at pp. 50, 54-55, 71, 78; Exhibit D (Excerpt of Durant Brockett Deposition)
(hereinafter “Brockett Dep.”) at pp.18-19, 30. In 2010, RVG launched Zeekler.com, a
so-called “penny auction” website where items ranging from personal electronics to cash
were auctioned to bidders. See id.

 

However, bids bought through ZeekRewards rather than as retail bids were more valuable because purchasing those bids gave the affiliates “points” that supposedly entitled Affiliates to a portion of the profits from the business. This was the real (and only) reason Affiliates would pay $1 for auction bids they could buy for $.65. See Brockett Dep. at 77-78. As one Affiliate told Burks, “I know how the system works mathematically and you know I know. Whether you call the bids bids or hamburgers makes no difference. People are not joining Zeek to get hamburgers, orauction bids; they are joining Zeek to make money….” Bell Aff. at Ex. 6.

Also mentioned are the Wright-Olivares and how they knew what they were doing:

From the beginning, RVG intended to use “bids” in ZeekRewards not as a product but as a proxy for money deposited into the program. Dawn Wright-Olivares was very clear about the plan, telling Danny Olivares on January 21, 2011: “We’re just going to use bids as currency.” Bell Aff. at Ex. 9(a). On another occasion, Dawn Wright-Olivares referred to the compounding bids as “Monopoly money.” Bell Aff. at Ex. 9(b). Quickly, RVG’s focus changed from Zeekler to ZeekRewards, which was the source of nearly all the company’s income. Relative to ZeekRewards, little or no money was made in the Zeekler “penny auction” business.

Burks and the other Insiders were aware that the payouts to Affiliates would be funded by new participants rather than retail profits from the penny auctions. Dawn Wright-Olivares excitedly told Burks early in the scheme, “I think we can blow this OUT together- we’ve already attracted a great many big fishes.” Bell Aff. at Ex. 4.

As you go farther down the Memorandum, it details the “Compensation Plan”, the “Compounder” and how the money magically multiplied. And it seems everyone at the top knew all along that it was not exactly above board and could not really explain the voodoo behind the ROI and how it was calculated:

Burks deliberately evaded affiliate questions asking how the RPP was calculated. In a Skype chat with an affiliate, he said: “[a] proprietary system is used to determine the amount of profit sharing that is done each day. We do not divulge the details of how those numbers are determined. Our stated target of minimum of 1% weekdays (Mon-Thur) and .5% weekends (Fri-Sun) has always been met and exceeded. It is clearly not directly tied to the number of auctions in a particular day. It is the overall average that counts.” Bell Aff. at Ex. 9(d).

Behind the scenes, the Insiders were not even subtle about the fake earnings numbers. Often, the company simply used the previous week’s daily RPP percentages. For example, on one occasion, Danny Olivares sent a text message to multiple insiders stating, “Need a % for rpp when you can.” Dawn Wright-Olivares responded, “Do whatever was last Monday.” Bell Aff. at Ex. 40. Or, from Paul Burks: “Hey Dan. Sorry about last night. What percent did you use?” Danny Olivares: “Same as last Friday. 0.009.” Bell Aff. at Ex. 23.

There are a ton more revelations in this filing, too many to detail here. You can click here to look at the 139 page filing, including all of the Exhibits.

Zeek Rewards Updates

zeekrewardsHere are the latest activities in the Zeek Rewards federal lawsuits:

12-cv-519 (SEC Case)  On February 1st, Kenneth Bell filed is Status Report for the Fourth Quarter of 2015.  I have uploaded it onto the Files Website, click here for that document.

12-cv-519 (SEC Case) Kenneth Bell continues to go after Zeek receivership assets by getting an Order directing Sooper Credit Union to turn over the sum of $2,200.00 that represents proceeds of Cashier’s Checks within 30 days.

14-cv-91 (Bell v Disner) The attorney representing the “Defendant Class of Net Winners”, Kevin Edmundson,  has filed his first application for reimbursement of professional fees and expenses, which are: (a) Berkeley Research Group $ 70,775.78, (b) Edmundson PLLC $ 2,800.00, and (c) Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP $ 6,976.70

14-cv-91 (Bell v Disner)  William R. Terpening and Jefferson A. Moors filed a Motion to allow
them to withdraw as counsel for any and all parties in this case, including Rhonda Gates;
Innovation Marketing LLC; Aaron Andrews; Shara Andrews, who are part of the Defendant Class.

 

 

 

Zeek Rewards: Receiver Asks For Time Extension

I saw this listed on the Bell v Parker case, 3:14-cv-00444, a civil suit against the Canadian alleged “net Zeekwinners”. Kenneth D. Bell, receiver for RVG, LLC, has filed a request for extension of time within which to file a Motion for Summary Judgment in the Bell v Parker case.

Mr. Bell is wanting to wait until the Court has made a ruling on the Motion for Summary Judgment in the related case of Bell v Disner, et al., 3:14-cv-00091.  The Receiver intends to file a Motion for Summary Judgment in Bell v Parker upon close of discovery in the Disner case.

The Court has issued an ORDER as follows:

Upon consideration of the Motion for Extension of Time to File a Motion for Summary Judgment until such time that the Court rules on a Summary Judgment in a related case, Bell v. Disner, et al., 3:14-cv-00091, and for good cause shown, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that The Receiver’s Motion is GRANTED

 

 

Zeek Rewards: Orders Granting Defaults and Order to Show Cause

Today we have 2 Orders from Senior Judge Graham C.Mullen, in which he Grants the receiver’s Motionzeekrewards for Default Judgments against Jerry Napier and Trudy Gilmond, and also Orders both individuals to appear and Show Cause why judgment should not be entered. I would guess that neither one will show for this either.


 

ORDER
THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Receiver’s Motion for Default Judgment for Failure to Defend or, in the Alternative, Motion for Order Requiring Jerry Napier to Personally Appear and Show Cause.
For good cause shown, it is ORDERED that the Receiver’s Motion is GRANTED and Defendant Jerry Napier is hereby ORDERED to personally appear in court in the Western District of North Carolina on May 27, 2015 at 11:00 AM and SHOW CAUSE as to why judgment should not be entered against him as requested by the Receiver. If Defendant does not personally appear at such hearing, judgment will be immediately entered against him in the amount of $$2,041,356.19.
SO ORDERED.


ORDER
THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Receiver’s Motion for Default Judgment for Failure to Defend or, in the Alternative, Motion for Order Requiring Trudy Gilmond to Personally Appear and Show Cause.
For good cause shown, it is ORDERED that the Receiver’s Motion is GRANTED and Defendant Trudy Gilmond is hereby ORDERED to personally appear in court in the Western District of North Carolina on May 27, 2015 at 11:00 AM and show cause as to why judgment should not be entered against her as requested by the Receiver. If Defendant does not personally appear at such hearing, judgment will be immediately entered against her and Trudy Gilmond, LLC in the amount of $2,129,522.27.
SO ORDERED.


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