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Receiver imposes deadline for Ponzi scheme investors who profited

Receiver Kenneth Bell sent emails earlier this year to 16,000 investors who made money from the Lexington, N.C.-based online company ZeekRewards. He also posted a letter on the ZeekRewards receivership website, saying the investors, or net winners, had until May 31 to contact his office to negotiate a settlement or face possible legal action.

“It’s a deadline to contact us. That doesn’t mean we’re going to start suing people on Monday,” he said. “If somebody contacts us in the next week and says, ‘Will you still talk to me?’, we will of course talk to them. We probably will be a little firmer in our negotiations than we would have been if they had contacted us more timely. But we will still talk to folks who want to settle without litigation.”

The deadline is the latest development in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.  Authorities say ZeekRewards owner Paul Burks, 66, of Lexington, was the mastermind of the scam, which attracted 1 million investors, including nearly 50,000 in North Carolina.