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Federal receiver sues key players in Ponzi scam


CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) -- A federal court-appointed receiver is suing key players in a North Carolina online company that promised big returns in a massive Ponzi scheme.

Kenneth Bell said Monday he's trying to recoup money from ZeekRewards executives and investors who made money in the $850 million scam.

He says the two lawsuits are the first step to recover money for victims.

Former nursing home magician Paul Burks of Lexington is among the former ZeekRewards officials being sued. The 67-year-old Burks is the founder of, a penny auction site, and ZeekRewards, a business designed to drive traffic to the penny auction.

The Securities and Exchange Commission closed both companies in August 2012.

Bell also is suing more than 10 of ZeekRewards' largest net winners. He says their winnings topped more than $900,000.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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