Paul Burks’ last-ditch attempt to delay criminal trial denied
I was kind of half-expecting Burks to come up with an eleventh-hour reason to delay his trial again, but I was still surprised when he actually followed through.
On July 4th, the day before Burks’ criminal trial was to commence, his attorney filed a Motion to Continue Docket Call/Trial.
According to Burks’ attorneys, they’ve been inundated with ‘an overwhelming amount of new information that demands further investigation and preparation‘.
In the last 2.5 weeks alone, the government has produced nearly 17,000 additional documents through discovery. The latest production on Sunday evening, July 3, consists of over 8,000 documents.
Among other things, this new information consists of hundreds of pages of expert analyses and supporting data—including what appears to be previously undisclosed opinions—and approximately 154 pages of interviews and “notes” concerning so-called “victims.”
In addition to this onslaught of new information from the government is the fact that on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, the government added an additional 23 new witnesses to its existing list—bringing its total witness list to 60 people.
Most of the newly identified witnesses had never before been identified by the government in any discernible manner.
The DOJ contend Burks attorneys are being melodramatic.
In a response filing the government claims Burks’ attorneys have
mischaracterize(d) the nature of the Government’s continuing discovery productions and overstate(d) the importance of the new witnesses added to the Government’s Witness List.
Discovery production volume 57 was produced on June 16, 2016. This production
consisted of approximately 8,297 pages of documents.
The vast majority of these documents, some 7,689 pages, were copies of bank/financial records of the Defendant’s business obtained from the Receiver.
An additional 400 pages consisted of documents related to the state of
Montana’s investigation of ZeekRewards, of which defendant was already aware.
Discovery production volume 58 was produced on June 29, 2016. This production
consisted of only approximately 264 pages.
Discovery production volume 59 was produced on July 3, 2016. This production
consisted of approximately 8,285.
The bulk of this production – 7,054 pages – was just a copy of IRS Tax Transcripts duplicative of information previously provided.
Much of the rest of this production consisted of back-up documentation for Tucker Greer, of Price Waterhouse Coopers, in light of the defense motion to exclude his testimony filed on June 30, 2016.
On June 20, 2016, the defense provided the Government with its draft exhibit list and draft witness list.
In light of these new documents, the Government decided to interview and locate additional victims of the Defendant’s fraud scheme as potential witnesses.
All of the 23 new witnesses were participants who lost money in ZeekRewards.
The interviews of these witnesses, if any, consisted of one page of notes per witness.
These statements are substantially the same as the statements made by numerous other victims; the defense undoubtedly already knows the exact questions that they will ask of each of them.
Moreover, as many of the of the Defendant’s victims are elderly and living from paycheck to paycheck, finding those who are able to come to trial is difficult; therefore we wanted to notice as many as possible as we determined who of these individuals would be able to attend trial.
In conclusion, the DOJ assert
A substantial amount of trial preparation necessarily occurs in the months and weeks immediately leading up to trial.
This necessarily leads to last minute discovery – for example of a complete set of bank records (a summary of which was already known to the defense) or a new
version of a lengthy IRS document. This is not unusual.
Burks’ motion, filed on the eve of trial, does not serve the interests of justice.
Burks has had ample opportunity to prepare this case and his constitutional rights will not be affected by trial continuing as scheduled.
According to a report from the Winston-Salem Journal, Burks’ motion was denied today in court.
Attorneys for Paul Burks filed a motion for delay, saying it was necessary to prevent “unfair” proceedings against him. Federal prosecutors disagreed with the motion.
Judge Max Cogburn Jr.. of the Western District of N.C., denied the request, but the motion may have prevent today’s start of jury selection, according to court officials.
If that’s the case I guess they’ll resume jury selection tomorrow.
In related news Burks’ attorney’s and the DOJ have also filed lengthy exhibit lists.
Financial records, emails, text messages, content from Zeek Rewards’ affiliate back office, conference call recordings, photographs, meeting agendas… the scope of the exhibits is abundant.
There are literally over a thousand exhibits submitted, with myself featuring in one email between Dan Wright-Olivares and Dawn Wright-Olivares, dated June 20th, 2012.
Text Message dated 6/20/2012 between DAWN WRIGHT-OLIVARES, DAN OLIVARES and others wherein DAN
OLIVARES states that “Oz picked up one of dd’s old calls that isn’t linked anywhere but is still on the server.”
The call is being used “to say we’re a 125% ROI scheme” & references a call from January 26, 2011.
“DD” is Darryle Douglas and the BehindMLM article in question is “The origins of Zeek Rewards: A 125% ROI guaranteed“, published June 19th, 2012.
Zeek Rewards revoked access to the Darryle Douglas recording on June 21st, 2012.
Other interesting sounding exhibits from Burks’ submitted list include:
Exhibit 16 – Email dated October 21, 2007, from Dawn Wright-Olivares to Dan Olivares, subject RE: eColi 🙁
Exhibit 93 – Email dated February 22, 2012, from Dawn Wright-Olivares to (removed), subject Your Accusation and Threatened Actions Against Zeekler/ZeekRewards
Exhibit 95 – Email dated March 4, 2012, from Dawn Wright-Olivares to Paul Burks and Gregory Caldwell, subject Re: says: I am going to file a complaint with the State Attorney General and take legal action.
Exhibit 169 – Email dated March 4, 2012, from Gregory Caldwell to Paul Burks, subject RE: says:I am going to file a complaintwith the State Attorney General and take legal action
Exhibit 99 – Email dated March 11, 2012, from Peter Mingils to Dawn Wright-Olivares, subject FW: NMBJ Article
Exhibit 100 – Email dated March 12, 2012, from Keith Laggos to Dawn Wright-Olivares, subject Re: NMBJ
Exhibit 159-1 – Document titled NO-NO Words
Exhibit 165 – Email dated February 24, 2012, from Gregory Caldwell to Dawn WrightOlivares, subject ANMP Las Vegas (PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL)
Exhibit 412 – Email dated July 23, 2012, from Kevin Grimes to Dawn Wright-Olivares, subject You are a sweetheart!!!
Exhibit 439 – Email dated May 30, 2012, from Richard Waak to Gerald Nehra, subject RE: Zeek Rewards issue… I am not going public with this issue
Exhibit 441 – Email dated June 9, 2012, from Troy Dooly to Richard Waak, subject RE: Zeek Rewards issue…I am not going public with this issue
Exhibit 492 – Email dated May 14, 2012, from Peter Mingils to Dawn Wright-Olivares, subject RE: consulting agreement
Exhibit 492-1 – Peter Mingils NDA
Exhibit 604 – Email dated August 4, 2012, from Troy Dooly to Paul Burks and others, subject RE: Termination Notice for Keith
From the DOJ’s exhibit list:
Exhibit 150I – Skype conversation dated 4/12/11 between DAWN WRIGHT-OLIVARES and DAN OLIVARES Use retired for bids that have expired from compounding; noting that can’t say expired because that is what ASD did
Exhibit 150X – Skype conversation dated 7/28/2011 between BURKS and DAWN WRIGHT-OLIVARES discussing using the NMBJ spread as a marketing tool; BURKS will have Rebecca ship it out
Exhibit 150AR – Skype conversation dated 1/9/2012 between DAWN WRIGHT-OLIVARES and DAN OLIVARES stating guy in Tampa doing meetings with 50 people; and we need to shut him down because ASD got busted in Tampa
Exhibit 150BH – Skype conversation dated 6/16/12 between BURKS and DAN OLIVARES wherein BURKS states, “Unfortunately many of our affiliates can’t walk and chew gum at the same time”
Exhibit 150NB – Skype conversation dated 2/28/12 between
DAN OLIVARES and DAWN WRIGHTOLIVARES wherein DAN OLIVARES is directed to change the Income Disclosure Statement to take out “roger, dd” “sam, durant and anyone else that has special deals”
Exhibit 153B – Text Message dated 5/24/2012 from DAWN WRIGHT-OLIVARES to DAN OLIVARES stating, that if DAN OLIVARES were to resign that he would “Fucking destroy millions of lives, And kill Paul, And [her] and Put us in jail.”
Exhibit 153D – Text Message dated 6/11/2012 from DAWN WRIGHT-OLIVARES to DAN OLIVARES stating that she is meeting with BURKS and Greg Caldwell who suggested that they shut down the company
Exhibit 153E – Text Message dated 6/14/2012 from DAWN WRIGHT-OLIVARES to DAN OLIVARES forwarding message from OH brown that its IT partners got a call from the SEC about yougetpaidtoadvertise – the government is looking. We need to get squeaky clean and quick!
Exhibit 153P – Text Message dated 7/30/2012 from DAWN WRIGHT-OLIVARES to DAN OLIVARES with a draft a note to BURKS regarding being made a fool of
Exhibit 242 – Email dated 2/21/2012 Keith Laggos emails BURKS copies DAWN WRIGHTOLIVARES re “[Fwd: a way to stop the Zeekler slanderous web comments once and for all… please consider.]”
Exhibit 252 – Email dated 3/26/2012 from Caldwell to DAWN WRIGHT-OLIVARES re: “FWD: T Le Mont I have a question?”
Exhibit 255 – Email dated 4/13/2012 to BURKS from Coach Van re: Pizza
The DOJ’s exhibit list also contains both Dan Olivares’ and Dawn Wright-Olivares’ guilty pleas. These have only previously been filed under seal.
Witness lists for both parties have also been filed under seal.
Looking forward, as far as I know Burks’ trial is scheduled to continue tomorrow as normal.
Footnote: Our thanks to Don@ASDUpdates for providing a copy of Burks’ “Motion to Continue Docket Call/Trial” and his and the DOJ’s exhibit lists (all filed July 4th).
Update July 6th, 2016 – Jury selection has gone ahead as originally scheduled, reports the The Dispatch.
A jury was selected Tuesday to determine the guilt or innocence of the creator of what prosecutors allege was one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.
The jury selection process took up most of the day in court, with Judge Max Cogburn Jr. presiding over the trial.
The court made a substantial effort to eliminate any juror with preconceived notions about Burks and ZeekRewards. Many jurors were excused because they had already established either the guilt or innocence of Burks because of what they had learned from media outlets.
Opening statements will begin Wednesday morning, and the trial is estimated to last three weeks.
Looks like it’s on.