Dawn Olivares, Operations Officer for Zeek Rewards, Pleads Guilty To Two Counts of Fraud

    Kevin Thompson is an MLM attorney, proud husband, father of four and a founding member of Thompson Burton PLLC. Named as one of the top 25 most influential people in direct sales, Kevin Thompson has extensive experience to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses on secure legal footing. Recently featured on Bloomberg TV and several national publications, Thompson is a thought-leader in the industry.

    Dawn Olivares, operations officer at Zeek Rewards, pled guilty today to two counts of criminal charges for her involvement with the ponzi scheme. The SEC broke the story this morning in an article titled “SEC Charges Woman and Stepson for Involvement in ZeekRewards Ponzi and Pyramid Scheme.” The copy of Dawn’s guilty plea is signed below (hat tip to Don Ryan over at ASD Updates for finding the document). She pled guilty to both counts levied against her: Count 1 = Securities and Wire Fraud. Count II = Conspiracy to Defraud the IRS. Both counts carry a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. The charges were filed and a plea was entered the same day, which tells me this was all negotiated between Olivares and the federal authorities. We’ll see what kind of penalty shakes out of this. See below for an excerpt from the SEC’s press release:

    The SEC alleges that Dawn Wright-Olivares and Daniel Olivares, who each now live in Arkansas, provided operational support, marketing, and computer expertise to sustain ZeekRewards.com, which offered and sold securities in the form of “premium subscriptions” and “VIP bids” for penny auctions. While the website conveyed the impression that the significant payouts to investors meant the company was extremely profitable, the payouts actually bore no relation to the company’s net profits. Approximately 98 percent of total revenues for ZeekRewards – and correspondingly the share of purported net profits paid to investors – were comprised of funds received from new investors rather than legitimate retail sales.

    If you’re reading this via email, click here to download a copy of the guilty plea.

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      Kevin Thompson is an MLM attorney, proud husband, father of four and a founding member of Thompson Burton PLLC. Named as one of the top 25 most influential people in direct sales, Kevin Thompson has extensive experience to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses on secure legal footing. Recently featured on Bloomberg TV and several national publications, Thompson is a thought-leader in the industry.

      • And Paul Burks, the actual perpetrator, get’s to keep $4 million and walk away? Something’s wrong with this picture.

        • Len, you are assuming Paul was the perpetrator. There is always a possibility he wasn’t the mastermind… Just saying 🙂

          • Then this would beg two questions: 1) Who was? 2) Why did they lie about Paul Burks being the mastermind? How many times were we told it was Paul’s company, Paul’s concept, and that Paul was in full and complete control of all the dials on the payout dashboard? Are you suggesting Paul was someone else’s puppet?

            • Well according to The Summary of Alligations #4 it was Dawn Wright-Olivares

              “She conceived of the idea for operating penny auctions, helped develop the technical specifications for the Zeekler.com program and its key features, marketed ZeekRewards to investors, managed some of RVG’s operations, and helped design and implement features that concealed the fraud.”

              #5 States in part – During that same time period, Olivares (I believe this would be Daniel) was the chief architect of the company’s computer databases that tracked all investments (including subscription and bid purchases), managed the electronic operations, and perpetuated the illusion of a successful retail business.

              So, although WE were told that it was Paul’s concept. The facts based on the court docs, show something seemly different.

              And let’s not forget there are hundreds of documents still sealed, which Paul Burks team have provided to the Receiver and SEC, those documents should provide even more interested reading.

              By the way, I am not suggesting that Paul was someone else’s puppet the court documents seem to point in that direction.

              • To your point, the original SEC complaint named only Burks and his company as defendants. Dawn wasn’t even mentioned. Further, the SEC cited Burks as “the sole owner of Rex Venture Group”, and that he “exercises control over ZeekRewards” and that “Rex Venture wholly owns and operates ZeekRewards”. The SEC goes on to say, “Burks is solely responsible for determining the amount of ‘net profits’ to share in the Retail Profit Pool… Burks unilaterally and arbitrarily determines the daily dividend rate…”. And yes, this would have been their findings after a 4-5 month long investigation.

                For what it’s worth, there are numerous news reports (then and now) declaring Paul Burks as the “mastermind” behind Zeek Rewards. I can find no evidence of Dawn being referred to as such until this recent criminal charge.

                But Troy, let’s not lose sight of my original point. All I suggested was that something was “wrong” with Dawn being hit with criminal charges, an $8 million fine, and a possible prison sentence, while Burks is free to spend the net SEVEN million dollars (not $4 million – that was his fine) he was allowed to keep from his ZR proceeds.

                Are you suggesting that Burks might have been so much less culpable that there really isn’t anything “wrong” with these hugely disparate punishments?

              • G.Arthur Joy

                If you go back to the original order of the court for receivership, Paul was made to forfeit his earnings from ZeekReward and some funds were put into a special account with the Federal Court Clerk. Clearly, he was required to forfeit his Zeek Rewards earnings!!! Read the original order on PACER (Public Access Court Electronic Records). I am also told Paul did suffer some form of dimentia and therefore likely not cognizant of the Ponzi Scheme. Arthur

      • Let’s not forget that the documents mention an “un-indicted co-conspirator P.B.”. I doubt that they refer to peanut butter. It is conjecture, but I do believe that Paul Burks did mastermind this Ponzi scheme. It took the DOJ a few years to go after Andy Bowdoin of ASD infamy; it may take as long, or longer, to file against Burks.

        By being the owner of Rex Ventures, Burks has exposure and culpability. The argument of “innocent ignorance” will not fly. Besides, the YouTube videos are a bit damaging.

        • Kevin Thompson

          I’m with you, Don. I think they’ll get to Paul eventually. They’re probably starting small and working their way up the chain.

      • Bob

        Many took a on online test given by a respected attorney Kevin Grimes, the test was very long and not easy to pass, you had to pay attention and answer at least 80% of the questions correctly in order to pass. The test takers thought they were operating according to the companies (Zeek Rewards) and their legal representatives instructions.
        The people that took the test (from what I have been told) thought they were abiding by the law and the instructions of a legal company and acted accordingly. Now the receiver wants to enforce a Claw Back Law against the people that were working for the company, are they going to claw back the money the people that washed the windows or swept the floors, how about the people that painted the signs on the windows are they in danger of the receiver coming after them?
        Just as an example, if a company was found to be a fraud that issued real estate license would all the Realtor’s that took the test and sold real estate have to pay back the commissions they earned? If this is the case how can anyone receive a pay check from an employer, How about Enron, they were accused of being a ponze scheme, did all the employees and share holders fall under the claw back law, or is it left up to the government who the chose to go after.
        Didn’t we just go through all this with people requesting 503-c status from the IRS,their request were denied or delayed because the government thought they should be… Where does it stop?

      • Barb

        I hope she enjoys prison, maybe she will finally get a conscience.

      • Unknown

        How about she deserves prison for life ??? After she lied to millions of people including people that were considered “family” and people who saw her receive million dollar checks in the mail with which she didn’t really work for it, she actually stole from others who believed in Zeek and believed in her. Justice needs to be served.