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目前日期文章:201208 (2)

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SEC Shuts Down $600 Million Online Pyramid and Ponzi Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2012-160

Washington, D.C., Aug. 17, 2012 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges and an emergency asset freeze to halt a $600 million Ponzi scheme on the verge of collapse. The emergency action assures that victims can recoup more of their money and potentially avoid devastating losses.

The SEC alleges that online marketer Paul Burks of Lexington, N.C. and his company Rex Venture Group have raised money from more than one million Internet customers nationwide and overseas through the website ZeekRewards.com, which they began in January 2011.


Additional Materials


According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Charlotte, N.C., customers were offered several ways to earn money through the ZeekRewards program, two of which involved purchasing securities in the form of investment contracts. These securities offerings were not registered with the SEC as required under the federal securities laws.

The SEC alleges that investors were collectively promised up to 50 percent of the company’s daily net profits through a profit sharing system in which they accumulate rewards points that they can use for cash payouts. However, the website fraudulently conveyed the false impression that the company was extremely profitable when, in fact, the payouts to investors bore no relation to the company’s net profits. Most of ZeekRewards’ total revenues and the “net profits” paid to investors have been comprised of funds received from new investors in classic Ponzi scheme fashion.

“The obligations to investors drastically exceed the company’s cash on hand, which is why we need to step in quickly, salvage whatever funds remain and ensure an orderly and fair payout to investors,” said Stephen Cohen, an Associate Director in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “ZeekRewards misused the power of the Internet and lured investors by making them believe they were getting an opportunity to cash in on the next big thing. In reality, their cash was just going to the earlier investor.”

The SEC’s complaint alleges that the scheme is teetering on collapse with investor funds at risk of dissipation without its emergency enforcement action. Last month, ZeekRewards brought in approximately $162 million while total investor cash payouts were approximately $160 million. If customers continue to increasingly elect to receive cash payouts rather than reinvesting their money to reach higher levels of rewards points, ZeekRewards’ cash outflows would eventually exceed its total revenue.

Burks has agreed to settle the SEC’s charges against him without admitting or denying the allegations, and agreed to cooperate with a court-appointed receiver.

According to the SEC’s complaint, ZeekRewards has paid out nearly $375 million to investors to date and holds approximately $225 million in investor funds in 15 foreign and domestic financial institutions. Those funds will be frozen under the emergency asset freeze granted by the court at the SEC’s request. Meanwhile, Burks has personally siphoned several million dollars of investors’ funds while operating Rex Venture and ZeekRewards, and he distributed at least $1 million to family members. Burks has agreed to relinquish his interest in the company and its assets plus pay a $4 million penalty. Additionally, the court has appointed a receiver to collect, marshal, manage and distribute remaining assets for return to harmed investors.

The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Brian M. Privor and Alfred C. Tierney in the SEC’s Enforcement Division in Washington D.C. The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the Quebec Autorite des Marches Financiers and the Ontario Securities Commission.

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http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2012/2012-160.htm

SEC關閉600萬美元在線金字塔和龐氏騙局

立即釋放
2012-160

華盛頓特區,2012年8月17日 -美國證券和交易委員會(SEC)今天宣布,欺詐指控和緊急凍結資產,停止對處於崩潰的邊緣了6億美元的龐氏騙局。緊急行動,確保受害人可以收回他們的錢,並有可能避免損失慘重。

證交會指控北卡羅來納州列剋星敦和他的公司雷克斯創業集團的網上營銷保羅·伯克斯提出了從互聯網用戶超過一百萬的錢通過網站ZeekRewards.com的,這是他們在2011年1月開始在全國及海外。


補充材料


根據證券交易委員會的投訴,在北卡羅來納州夏洛特市的聯邦法院提交的,客戶提供多種方式賺取金錢通過ZeekRewards方案,其中兩個涉及購買證券投資合同的形式。這些證券發行與證券交易委員會註冊,根據聯邦證券法的要求。

證券交易委員會稱,投資者共同承諾通過利潤分享制度,使他們積累的獎勵分,他們可以使用的現金支出,該公司的日常淨利潤的50%。然而,該網站騙取轉達該公司是非常有利可圖的時候,事實上,投資者的支出毫無關係,該公司的淨利潤的假象。大多數ZeekRewards總收入和向投資者支付的“淨利潤”已經收到的資金從經典的龐氏騙局時尚的新的投資者組成。

“該投資者的義務大大超過手頭上該公司的現金,這是為什麼我們需要以加強迅速,挽救任何資金維持和確保1有秩序和公平支付給投資者,”說斯蒂芬·科恩,1證券交易委員會的部的副主任執法。“ZeekRewards濫用互聯網的力量引誘投資者,使他們相信,他們得到一個機會,兌現在未來的一件大事。在現實中,他們的現金只是早期的投資者。“

SEC的指控,該計劃是徘徊在崩潰的耗散風險投資者的資金沒有緊急的執法行動。上個月,的ZeekRewards帶來了約162萬美元,而投資者的現金支出總額約為160萬美元。如果客戶繼續越來越多地選擇接受現金支出,而不是自己的錢再投資,以達到更高層次的獎勵積分,ZeekRewards的現金流出,最終將超過其總收入。

伯克斯已同意和解SEC的指控,對他沒有承認或否認指控,並同意配合法院指定的接收器。

據美國證券交易委員會的投訴,ZeekRewards已支付了近375萬美元投資日期,並持有15家外資和國內金融機構投資者的資金約為225億美元。這些資金將被凍結資產由法院授予美國證券交易委員會的要求下,緊急凍結。同時,伯克斯親自抽走數百萬美元的投資者的資金,同時經營雷克斯風險和ZeekRewards,和他家庭成員分佈在至少100萬美元。,伯克斯已經同意放棄他的興趣在該公司,其資產,再加上支付400萬美元的罰款。此外,法庭已任命了一個接收器,以損害投資者的回報,以收集,元帥,管理和分配剩餘資產。

證券交易委員會SEC的法規執行部在華盛頓進行證券交易委員會的調查是由Brian M. Privor和Alfred C.蒂爾尼承認魁北克市場管理局DES進行曲金融家和安大略省證券委員會的協助。

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http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2012/2012-160.htm


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