Zeek Receiver to make second payment to victims
From time to time BehindMLM gets enquiries as to the status of victim claims, as well as payments issued by the Receive to Zeek Rewards victims.
Obviously the Receivership themselves are too, with the Receiver publishing a June 18th update to clear up some of the confusion.
First the big news, with victims of Zeek Rewards set to be issued a second distribution payment.
I am pleased to announce that we will be making a second partial interim distribution to all Affiliates who hold Allowed Claims on the next Court authorized distribution date (July 31, 2015).
This second payment will bring the amount returned to Zeek Rewards victims to 60% of funds invested.
Second, some additional information as to the “rising tide” method use to calculate distribution payments:
The rising tide method of loss calculation is designed to make every recognized claimant equally whole (as a percentage of their investment).
Take for example two recognized claimants, each of whom invested $10,000 into the Zeek Rewards Ponzi scheme. The first claimant received nothing back from Zeek Rewards while the scheme was operating.
The second claimant received $4,000 out of Zeek Rewards before it was shut down. Under the rising tide method, the second claimant is deemed to have already received 40% of her investment back, while the first claimant has received nothing back.
When we made the first partial interim distribution of 40% the first claimant received $4,000, but the second claimant did not receive a distribution check.
When the second interim partial distribution is made, the first claimant will receive an additional $2,000, and the second claimant (who did not get a first distribution) will receive $2,000.
This will ensure that both claimants have received 60% of the amounts they invested.
According to the Receiver, and somewhat surprisingly, some Zeek investors have complained about this method of calculation.
While some Affiliates have complained about the rising tide method, I believe it is the most fair way to make the Zeek Rewards victims equally whole; two investors put $10,000 into the scheme and each will receive $6,000 total, whether it was received from the scheme itself, or from distributions from the receivership, or a combination of both.
How on Earth is that not fair?
An investor perhaps putting themselves on a pedestal and wishing to screw over everyone else for their own benefit aside, everybody getting back an equal share of what they put in (there’s only so much seized funds to go around), seems pretty legit fair to me.
Third we have clarification on the quarter payment schedule, namely that these aren’t scheduled quarterly distributions, but rather the timeframes within which distributions can be made on existing claims.
There also has been some confusion about our quarterly distributions. Some mistakenly believe that they will receive a distribution every quarter. There was a first partial interim distribution and will soon be a second.
Each quarter we send distribution checks only to claimants who completed the claims process since the last quarter.
Those who for whatever reason didn’t complete the claims process, naturally miss out.
Unfortunately, nearly 50,000 claimants with recognized claims have not received a first, nor will they receive a second, partial interim distribution.
The only reason for this is that those 50,000 claimants have not electronically signed the Release and OFAC certification available through the claims portal.
For those still unclear on the signing of these documents, the Receiver has announced “an instructional video” is on the way.
Bear in mind the 50,000 investors who fall into this category haven’t as yet had their claims cut off. But it will eventually happen in the future should they fail to sign the required documents.
We have received calls and emails asking that we cut off the recovery rights of the 50,000 recognized claimants who have not completed the process and distribute their share of distributions to those who have.
That day may come, but it has not yet.
I will give each claimant with a recognized claim every opportunity to receive their share of the recovery. Nonetheless, I implore everyone to promptly complete the Court required process.
Sometime before the end of the receivership I will have no option but to ask the Court for permission to distribute all remaining receivership assets to only those recognized claimants who have completed the process.
In the meantime funds are being set aside to honor these claims if the 50,000 investors in question get their act together.
We here at BehindMLM will of course continue to direct those enquiring about their claims to the Receivership’s claims portal.
After this second partial interim distribution, the receivership will maintain sufficient funds to pay those claimants who have not yet, but hopefully will, electronically sign the Release and the OFAC certification, and sufficient funds to allow the receivership team to continue to pursue additional recoveries for the ultimate benefit of eligible Affiliates.
We are not going to hold onto money that we could otherwise distribute to victims.
We are in negotiations or litigation with financial services firms to recover tens of millions of dollars for Affiliates.
The litigation against U.S and foreign net winners (those who took more money out of the scheme than they put in, essentially holding the victims money) is progressing. I remain confident that we will succeed in all of these efforts.
Unfortunately, litigation is never quick, and once we have judgments against the net winners, in amounts exceeding $200 million, we will have to collect on those judgments.
I don’t anticipate making a third partial interim distribution for quite some time because the funds for such a distribution will largely have to come from litigation recoveries that will take quite some time.
Oh and finally, get a load of this:
I know and understand that recovering only 60% of your investment is not what you want. I have read letters from and spoken to many of you. I know the hardships that Zeek Rewards inflicted on thousands of people.
It may be no comfort, but a 60% recovery by victims of a Ponzi scheme is unusually high, and I am proud that the receivership team spends less as a percentage of total recoveries than any receivership of which I am aware.
Bloody hell. You invested in an $850 million dollar Ponzi scheme chasing fraudulent riches, be glad you’re getting anything back at all.
Who are these people?
i can assure you, the telxfree people will be much, much worse.
I received the video for the process of signing the release forms,I do not have this link in my claims portal!
This is the problem I believe that the other 50,000 people are having. This has to be an issue on there end! It is extremely frustrating!
I would have easily signed everything if I was able to,but the only things I can do in my portal is update tax info or personal info. Does anyone have any insight?
There has been a lot of trouble with the communication related to release form and OFAC. 🙂
Is the video publicly available somewhere, e.g. on Youtube?
1. If it is available, can you post the web-address here (a disabled or active link to the video)?
2. Can you post relevant parts of the email too?
EMAIL, AFTER MARCH 26 2014
From my understanding of it, the release form should be an email sent to the same email account you used in ZeekRewards.
It was probably sent sometimes after March 26 2014, based on the date of the Order Approving Distribution Procedures (ZeekDoc199.pdf).
I only quoted the most relevant part I found. I was primarily looking for which month the court had approved the procedures.
ZeekDoc144-4.pdf (May 8 2013) seems to be the release form (“Declaration and Release”).
Direct link to the pdf:
ZeekDoc144-3 (May 8 2013) seems to be “Claim Determination Letter”.
Direct link to the pdf:
Based on the additional information in posts #4 and #5, that date may need to be recalculated. “Sending in claims” ended on September 5 2013. Claims had to be determined after that date.
80,000 claimants received “Claims Determination Letter” on or shortly after December 27 2013.
90,000 claimants received it later.
Such notices are being sent from the email address ZRWDeterminations @ tgcginc.com
That’s the closest I have managed to identify the relevant time period. Most people received it between December 27 2013 and March 31 2014.
Additional information about dates.
I can probably find more information among those updates, but I believe I have identified the most important parts.
WHEN was it sent?
80,000 emails were sent in the end of December 2013.
80,000 were sent before May 9 2014.
10,000 were sent before May 31 2014
5,000 were sent after May 31 2014.
HOW did they send it?
To the same email account used in ZeekRewards.
From ZRWDeterminations @ tgcginc.com
HOW did it look?
Link to court documents in posts #3, #4, #5.
Here is the link they sent me: zeekrewardsreceivership.com/OFACandRelease
I do not have the link to click on release process in my claims portal? It only gives me the option to update my tax info or personal info!
Hard to access something that is not even there? Hopefully the receiver gets my emails and corrects these issues?
Clear your cache, browser history, reset your computer and try again. Will it work? I have no idea. Maybe.
If you still can’t find “Declaration and Release”, then I will need to come up with a solution for that. But I will need to analyse it first.
THE CLAIMS PROCEDURE
Based on that overview, people seem to expect to find formal documents through the “Claims Portal”.
The Receiver on the other hand have used multiple communicaion methods.
SUGGESTIONS TO THE RECEIVER (based on the overview)
1. Make those formal documents available through the “Claims Portal”, either directly or indirectly. If they cannot be made available there, then we must find other methods.
2. Make the instruction video available there too? Also make it available so I can find it somewhere, preferrably on zeekrewardsreceivership.com. I will need to “see what the claimants see” in order to communicate it properly.
3. Make additional information available too? People have had great difficulties identifying WHAT those documents are, WHAT they look like (visually), WHERE they could or can be found. They generally understand where to send them.
Note that those suggestions are temporary. I’m still trying to analyse it.
Also try different browsers…Chrome, I.E., Firefox, Safari etc… the latest versions.
You may have a browser compatibility issue or the page you have cached needs to be cleared and reaccessed.
Ty to access from a different computer.
Thank you. I’m looking into it now.
Your problem is that “Proceed with claim completion process” is missing in the “Claims Portal”. Try to update the website (F5 on Windows computer), or try Hoss’ suggestion?
The video was relatively clear and understandable.
* “Proceed with claim completion process” will give access to “Release form” and “OFAC” directly through the Claims Portal.
* The rest of the procedure is also explained in the video.
Most of those suggestions have already been fixed.
I cannot easily find the video on zeekrewardsreceivership.com if I’m “coming in from the outside” (if I don’t have that direct link).
It seems to have been properly communicated directly to the affected people, but you should make it easier for others to find it too.
SUGGESTIONS TO THE RECEIVER (based on current info)
1. You have a “Claims FAQ”. Add some information there, clearly visible, where people can find the video?
2. You have a “Receiver Updates”. Add a short update there too?
3. Publish the video on Youtube, to make it easier for people to watch it directly or share it (less dependant on the software they have installed)?
Keep us updated?
Did any of Hoss’ methods work?
1. If they didn’t work, check the Claim Status. It looks like this 40 seconds into the video: 1 – 1 OK 1 Records (2 places, over and under the claim).
2. Check the Distribution Status too. The video shows “Not currently available for distribution”, 40 seconds into the video.
Thanks for the advice, I tried different computers, clearing the cache, and different servers. Still the same on all of them.
If they would send a email link containing the process of the claims tab to the thousands of people that did not sign I beleive it would help a lot of them who are probaly in the same boat as myself.
Again the video is great but I don’t think it would have been needed if this link was back in the claim portal.
Here is the email I recevied.
The video was very useful to me. I had never seen that “Claimant Summary” screen before.
“To communicate something properly, we will need to see what THEY see”.
I initially guessed it would be a button on the Claims Portal, but the updates from the Receiver said something different. So I communicated those ideas (email, relevant time period, etc.).
I know one way to communicate with the Receiver, but it will need to be about solutions rather than problems. I must offer solutions to something. Those “Suggestions to the Receiver” in post #15 were meant for that purpose.
Are your Claim Status and Distribution Status correct, compared to the video?
* Claim Status should show Final determination accepted (in the middle, black letters).
* Distribution Status should show “NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR DISTRIBUTION” (in the middle).
Compare it to the video rather than to my description.
Thanks for the email. It indicates that the claim itself has been accepted.
ONE MORE QUESTION
Can you see buttons on other webpages, e.g. the buttons in the “Contact” form here, or the “Search” function?
* “Contact” is on the top left side (Home, About, Contact, etc.). It will lead to a form “Contact Oz”. That form should have 2 small buttons (upload, send).
* “Search” button (top left side, over some menus). Some AdBlock programs will make the whole “Search” function disappear.
If you did not try Microsoft Internet Explorer as your browser, may I suggest you do.
The Receiver has most likely used the same people / company to design both his website and the Claims Portal.
From zeekrewardsrecivership.com → “Contact Us”:
I’m not focusing solely on Shawn’s problem, but also on other similar problems where a button can disappear.
Yes I can see all the contact and search buttons.
Also everything you mentioned is correct regarding claims status and final determination.
This is what it says in my claims portal, it only gives me 2 option links to click on for tax or personal updates.
That message should normally mean “everything is OK”. 🙂
One method we can try is to get some information from someone who has finished “Release / OFAC”. We can ask THEM which status messages they have. Do you know some people?
– – – –
Some people are probably still following this thread:
I can ask questions there, but I don’t think many will respond. One person responded to an update yesterday.
– – – –
A third option I found was Facebook (it isn’t very active, but some people have posted comments in late June 2015):
“Some of you HAVE answers”. I have that, but I don’t have Facebook account.
They will probably see some value in “where to find the instruction video” and why it can be useful.
– – – –
The third option there is probably where it will be easiest to get answers — “Which status messages do people have in the Claimant Summary screen?”
I have one additional question:
Those 1 – 1 OK 1 Records in blue letters (right side), are they clickable links leading to information? I don’t think they are, but I must ask anyway.
– – – –
I know multiple potential ways to contact the Receiver, but I must offer something useful if I want to get meaningful answers (as an update on his website, “communicate it to many”).
A clear description of the problem should normally be useful. Suggestions can be useful. Many of the posts in this thread can be useful, e.g. they show exactly how I misinterpreted something when I tried to identify “Release / OFAC” (before I had seen the video).
Another factor that will make it easier for us to get answers is that we’re looking at it from a viewpoint relatively similar to his own.
We’re trying to find solutions to the problem on behalf of many, we’re not asking him to find solutions to our individual problems. We’re actually trying to solve HIS problem rather than our own.
So I have “Contact the Receiver” as one of the alternatives we can use. But I won’t use it before I know more clearly what I should offer.
– – – –
Two more questions:
1. Do you live in the U.S. or another country? The question is related to OFAC certification. OFAC should only be relevant for other countries.
2. Are you absolutely sure you haven’t signed the Release form? I will need to communicate that I have asked directly about it.
I tried the blue tabs with no success, I live in the States.
I received the email below long ago but I also have received 2 other emails saying I did not complete the process which makes it even more confusing?
I was never issued a check and this has been going on for awhile now. I have tried numerous times to contact and have been told basic info not helping me with this whole process of the claims detail.
I never saw the process of the claims ever in my portal so I know it was not complete.
Otherwise I would have completed this part along time ago with everything else.
Did you receive that before or after March 30 2015 (the deadline for the April 30 distribution)?
– – – –
I’m starting to believe that they have 2 different systems organizing the Claim Status, and that they report 2 different values (“OK” / “Not OK”).
1. The one displaying Claimant Summary have the value of “OK” (“All necessary documents submitted”). In your case, that status is incorrect and is only causing a lot of trouble.
2. The one sending out checks and emails have the value of “Not OK”. In your case, that’s the correct status.
Since as many as nearly 50,000 claimants have failed to complete those documents, the cause is more likely in the system itself rather than among all those claimants.
Nearly 50,000 incomplete claims (June 18 2015) = about 25% – 30% of all claimants. That’s simply too high to be normal.
I’m not a computer expert, so I didn’t try to use any “correct terms”. I only tried to make it understandable. They will need someone familiar with the system to identify it correctly anyway.
– – – –
I will try to write a summary of this thread, what we have looked into (to save them some time reading irrelevant posts). The idea is to use this thread as a part of the communication (so I won’t need to write too detailed explanations in an email).
I will then try to write a type of “report” that can be included in an email to the Receiver. It will be finished on Sunday.
I received it before the last deadline.Thank you for any info you can get!
SUMMARY OF THIS THREAD
Communication from Shawn about Claims Portal:
Post #2: Initial post from Shawn.
Post #8: Link to video.
Post #9: Clarification from Shawn.
Post #19: Current email (with video)
Post #25: Claim Status / Distribution Status (answer to #20).
Post #26: Claims Portal message.
Post #29: Previous communication with the Receiver team.
Post #30: “I never saw that process / never received any check”
– – – –
Post #31 My conclusion
– – – –
Based on that overview, I can probably communicate the RESULTS of questions and answers.
SHAWN’S CURRENT STATUS MESSAGES
1. Claim Status: Final determination accepted
2. Distribution Status: Not currently available for distribution
3. Claims Portal message:
4. Previous email from Claim Administrator (before March 2015):
5. Shawn’s additional communication here:
6. My conclusion (“diagnosis”):
That “write a report” idea isn’t really necessary. It was part of an initial plan where I still thought the problem could be solved by better information. My initial suggestions revolved mostly around improved information.
What’s needed here is to get someone to indepently look at the conclusion, someone to look at it with “fresh eyes” to see if there’s any better explanations.
Shawn can contact the Receiver himself. He can add anything he like from this thread, “I have had other people to look into the problem, and their conclusion was …”. He will be the right person to follow up questions about his own problem if they want to ask about details like I did.
We will need someone to indepently look at this, someone with other ideas.
THE MAIN PROBLEM
Nearly 50,000 (out of 175,000) claimants have failed to complete the claims process, mostly by failing to send in some formal documents (“Release form” and “OFAC certification”).
Those formal documents are now available through the Claims Portal, “Claimant Summary” screen, as a button “Proceed with claim completion process”. The process itself is rather uncomplicated, signing two forms and checking two checkboxes “I declare under penalty of perjury that the above is true”. The process itself won’t cause any problems.
Downloadable instruction video here:
The video was very useful as a tool to understand the problem. It was highly needed.
The “Proceed with claim completion process” doesn’t appear where it should appear. He only receives a message that he has completed the process and don’t need to do anything.
We have checked all details in the Claimant Summary screen.
SHAWN’S PROBLEM, additional details
Shawn is listed as “Not completed”, i.e. he has received emails from the Receiver asking him to complete those forms.
But he has also received emails telling him the opposite:
He has not received any distributions from the Receiver. The email telling him “our records indicate … everything is completed” was received long before the previous distribution date on April 30 2015.
Shawn is absolutely sure he hasn’t completed those 2 forms.
My conclusion is “system error”, most likely located in Garden City Group’s database → in the values stored for whether those forms have been completed.
It incorrectly reports that the forms have been completed, i.e. it will disable the “Proceed with claim completion process” button and display the “no further actions required” message.
I’m not sure I have identified the exact cause here. I tried primarily to identify a main cause as “system error” of some type.
The action required here is that they must use someone qualified to check the system itself — “Is there really any incorrect values stored there?”. They can’t simply check the status of individual claims and assume they are correct.
Any errors will need to be communicated properly.
You can contact the Receiver yourself.
Make sure to focus on THE problem rather than your own personal problem, e.g. name the email “Claims Portal, potential system error” (or something similar).
In communication like that, we start with the main point = you have had people looking indepently into the problem, and they pointed out system error as a likely cause.
Then you can include and link to my post #35 (the previous post).
It was intended for a different purpose, to let someone check the conclusion first and make corrections. But you don’t really have time to wait for that, you should focus on your own interests too.
If the problem really is a system error, and if it can be fixed easily, then you will still have a chance to be included in the July 31 distribution. They CAN extend the deadline e.g. till July 15 (they did that for the April 30 distribution.
You must of course use your own words, not repeat my spelling errors (“indepently”, etc.). My focus in those two post was on “decisions to be made” and “communication methods”, so I didn’t really check any details.
So if you see any spelling errors / “poor communication” then correct them in your email.
The deadline for completion was June 30. It CAN be extended, so you and others may still have a chance to be included in the July 31st distribution.
The Receiver can also file a Motion for Extraordinary Distribution (on August 31st), if the problem really was caused by a system error and corrections have solved that problem.
Thank you M Norway, I will continue to try to get the messages across to the Receiver, but they probaly won’t reply?
I hope they see the messages and this issue gets resolved for many others and myself.
They will probably forward those messages to the Claim Administrator = Garden City Group. They will NOT answer each and every email. They simply cannot use the victims’ money to pay for multiple “support emails”.
In a long list of emails, make sure that your email is among the ones worth looking into. I simply tried to make it “worth looking into” from the perspective of the ones receiving it.
Don’t send multiple emails about the same problem. Respect the “no personal email / no personal phone calls” policy they have until it actually is highly necessary to communicate something.
I have additional methods for communication if the current method doesn’t work.
One of them is the local reporter Nash Dunn (the-dispatch.com). But he will be interested in it as a Zeek Rewards related story. He has covered all other parts of that story, and he communicates directly with Kenneth Bell.
I will do as you say, my last few emails directed it just for my problem, but I will try to convey the problem as a whole.
Seeing that many others are being affected, hopefully one of us gets through.
Thanks again for all your efforts! Hope to keep in touch!
“As a whole” includes the costs of responding to multiple emails from individual users. 🙂
You shouldn’t expect a direct reply. It will be better if they focus on solving the problem for the whole group, and communicate it via an update on the website + an “email blast”.
I’m a former sales person, 14 years communicating with business people, lawyers, goverment employees and similar people. I will almost automatically focus on the ones that make decisions and will try to see it from their perspective.
Posts #11 and #15 had some temporary “suggestions to the Receiver”, i.e. I focused on the decision maker right from the start. But those suggestions were posted before I had watched the video, before I had identified the problem correctly.
The cost of having Kenneth Bell looking into an email is about $600 per hour (of the Claimants’ money). Neither he nor anyone in his team will be eager to answer individual emails. They risk being criticized for being “too costly” / “profiting from the net losers”.
That’s why I tried to reduce 30 posts down to one single post, to something that coud be included in an email.
That is what I meant as a whole,if they look it to it they might realize it is software issue affecting many people.
One thing I don’t understand in this case (quote from the Receiver’s First Quarterly Report 2015, ZeekDoc361.pdf, page #13).
If they failed to respond to that date [April 15], they would be deemed to have accepted their claims determination.
He’s talking about in the same section as “may eventually cause a claimant to forfeit the distribution”, i.e. the meaning comes from the context rather than from the words. The words can be interpreted to that they will be deemed to have accepted the amount (not the forfeiture).
I would have used simpler words. “Legal language” may not be very understandable.
By failing to act the creditor WILL be deemed to have accepted the determination and MAY forfeit the distribution.
Wow, I am not even going to try to read all of that. I do agree that the amount of people who still have not completed things correctly has me concerned where the actual problem is.
I want to place blame on the receiver but I know the nature of the Zeek business was to have others handle things for many people so now those many people are at a loss as to what to do for themselves.
I did help someone recently and figured out why they did not get any money. When you log into your account, look at the amount of your claim. Then to the left of that number look at how much money the receiver says you made or got from Zeek.
If the amount the receiver says you got is 40% or less of your total claim, that is why you did not get anything back. Basically you already got your 40% back.
And now the receiver is sending out another 20% the end of this month so if you got anything less than 60% of your total claim, then you should get something back in this next round of checks being sent out. Just something to take a look at.
My wife did not get any money from Zeek, it got shut down 2 months after getting onboard.
She has not received any checks for payout because there is no process of the claims tab in her portal? Has to be on there end and I will continue to reach out to them to get answers!
The good news is that someone from the Receivership team may have browsed quickly through this thread. They have added a point #38 in the Claims FAQ on July 7.
It was suggested in post #15.
They may of course have come up with that idea themselves.
The one thing you can do is to check the Claims Portal on a daily basis for a week or so. Or each second day for 2 weeks. I’m talking about workdays, not about weekends.
Shawn…watch the video, that could be the problem.
You should also check the amount your wife submitted as a claim vs the amount that the receiver says that she got. I have seen some cases where people did everything right but they already took their 40% and that is why they have not got any money back.
And now with another 20% being sent out, you should check and see the amount she got is more or less than 60%.
If it is more, she will not get anything again it is less than 60% then she will get some. Good luck.
WooHooooo.. Got my 2nd check yesterday. Deposited into my account today. This brings my refund up to 60% of what I put into this stupid ponzi.
I’m so ashamed of myself that I fell for this piece of garbage program. Never again.
I’m happy that I got 60% back. It could have been nothing back if it wasn’t for the great Kenneth Bell going after those scumbag Zeek Rewards people. Thank You Mr. Bell.
Looking forward to a 3rd check after the unclaimed monies are distributed. Thank you Kenneth Bell.
60% is a very decent recovery of funds, so you have all reasons to feel happy about it.
You will probably get a third distribution too, sometimes in 2016 or maybe 2017 (based on clawbacks).
You can probably thank Noell P. Tin too, Paul Burks attorney. He’s the one who managed to get Paul Burks to make a deal while Zeek still had $225 million in bank accounts and $85 million in “other funds” (mostly uncashed Cashier’s Checks).
Most of the 1st and 2nd distribution come from those $310 million.
Yes, let sing “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” for Paul Burks since he only stole 40% of Mike’s investment.