Gary Bessoni settlement sees $175,000 returned to Zeek Ponzi victims
Back in mid 2015 the Zeek Rewards Receiver sued Gary Bessoni and his companies Peak USA and Peak Impact.
Through Peak USA and Peak Impact, Bessoni flooded Zeek Rewards affiliates with bogus email leads. This was central to perpetuation of the Ponzi scheme, as Zeek affiliates required an ever-increasing amount of bogus accounts to dump generated bids onto.
The Receiver initially sued Bessoni for $3.3 million. In a court filing dated November 7th, the Receiver reveals the matter had been settled for $175,000.
The settlement agreement between Bessoni (right) and the Receiver also stipulates $2.6 million dollar partial Confession of Judgement.
For those unfamiliar with the legal term, a Confession of Judgement
is a legal term that refers to a type of contract (or a clause with such a provision) in which a party agrees to let the other party enter a judgment against him or her.
Basically it stipulates that Bessoni is legally liable for $2.6 million dollars, if the Receiver decided to pursue judgement against him.
The motion to approve the settlement agreement doesn’t state the conditions the Receiver might pursue said judgement.
As per the Receiver’s filed proposed settlement agreement;
The Receiver believes that RVG’s legal claims to recover damages or payments from Bessoni Defendants are strong and straightforward; yet, Zeek itself was an extraordinarily large and complex scheme which will unavoidably create complexity in the litigation to assert these claims.
So, while the Receiver believes there is a significant likelihood of success, the path to obtaining Judgments against these Defendants may not be quick or easy, and settlement of the claims without the expense of further litigation is worthwhile.
The Bessoni Defendants have represented to the Receiver that they have limited financial resources and are not able to return the full amount owed to RVG and claimed by the Receiver.
These limited resources might erode even further during litigation to enforce the Receiver’s claims. And, there would be a cost incurred by the Receiver to collect any Judgment awarded.
Accordingly, the early and voluntary collection of settlement funds will benefit the victims by likely increasing the amount of money available for distribution.
The Receiver believes the settlement reached as part of the negotiation process is the best outcome for the Receivership and that even with the expenditure of additional funds to obtain a judgment
there is not a likelihood of a materially increased recovery for the eventual distribution to the Zeek victims
$175,000 out of the initial $3.3 million sought represents an approximate 5.3% recovery.
Through zCustomers, Peak USA and Peak Impact, Bessoni played a key role in assisting Paul Burks perpetuate hundreds of millions of dollars in Ponzi fraud. Bessoni made millions of dollars through this process.
When the Receiver came knocking for a clawback, he told him he didn’t have the money and only has to return just over 5% of what he made.
I have to say this settlement in particular is pretty disappointing. For all we know Bessoni stashed his millions offshore and is just waiting for this to all blow over.
I guess some crime does pay after all…
Footnote: Our thanks to Don@ASDUpdates for providing a copy of the Receiver’s “Motion To Approve Settlement Agreement With Gary Bessoni, Peak USA, LLC and Peak Impact, LLC” (filed November 7th).
Update 3rd December 2016 – On November 16th the Bessoni settlement agreement was approved.