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3rd payment made to investor victims in ZeekRewards scheme


WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina — The receiver for a defunct Lexington company that authorities say was an $850 million Ponzi scheme says most victims have gotten another check.

Kenneth Bell told the Winston-Salem Journal (http://bit.ly/1DzaCgc) he's paid about $89 million in the third installment of the ZeekRewards reimbursement efforts. The nearly 113,000 checks mailed July 31 bring the total reimbursement to about $246 million since September.

Bell says he has about $46 million to repay but cannot because about 35,000 victims have not filled out the proper paperwork.

He says the average recipient is getting about 70 percent of verified losses.

ZeekRewards and the online penny auction site Zeekler.com were closed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2012.

Prosecutors have said Paul Burks and conspirators promised massive profits to lure more than 2 million investors, including nearly 50,000 in North Carolina.

Burks pleaded not guilty last year to federal charges of wire and mail fraud, conspiracy and tax fraud. His trial is set for next May.

The next checks are expected to be paid Oct. 31.

More than 9,000 people who lost money have not been paid yet because they will be getting less than $100. Bell said those checks will be mailed at the end of the process.

Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com

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