Scott Rogers called me today concerned over the report that his company ViTel was lumped in as some Penny Auction Reload Program for Zeek Rewards Affiliates. He told me after talking with his Board, they are pulling the plug and issued the following statement.
Vitel has announced that it will discontinue the “Rescue Offer” to Zeek affiliates.
Our heart goes out to any and all of the individuals and families worldwide that were affected by this unfortunate travesty. We, as industry professionals and human beings saw a need to reach out and help in any way we could. We did not want to sit back and do nothing while our fellow colleagues suffered a great loss. Thousands of lives have been turned upside down by this tragedy and it has left yet another black eye on the industry.
Initially, Vitel decided to launch a “Rescue Offer” or Free enrollment to anyone affected. The intentions of Vitel, have and always will be, to look out for the independent business owner and operate above and beyond expectations of just another company.
Our company has always operated with the highest level of integrity, heart and commitment to the fellow network marketer. We believe in this industry and the entrepreneur, who seeks to change his or her lives. Vitel believes success comes from hard work and a strong commitment to do the basics. Our representatives earn commissions from selling Name brand products and services in the wireless, home services and energy markets. We also offer an exclusive benefits network that saves members on a variety of services from travel to roadside assistance. We do not promote or support, get rich quick programs or investment opportunities.
Vitel does not want to be associated with any company or companies looking to gain advantage from victims of the Zeek scandal. In the wake of all the negative publicity surrounding re-load scams and companies targeting fallen victims of this fallout, Vitel will no longer promote the “Rescue Offer” to Zeek affiliates.
For more information on the products and services we offer please visit www.vitelwireless.com or www.myvitel.com.
Affiliates file class-action lawsuit against Zeek, Burks
By Nash Dunn
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 5:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:32 p.m.
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.
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, www.zeekrewardsreceivership.com, and email, firstname.lastname@example.org, for affiliates.