Zeek Rewards Auction Preview

7:53 PM, Dec 13, 2013   |    comments
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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Hundreds of pieces of memorabilia are up for auction to help the thousands, worldwide, who lost money in the alleged Zeek Rewards Ponzi Scheme.

The items include Reba McEntire's dress from a stage performance, Porter Wagner's jacket from the Grand Ole Opry, Kenny Rodger's jacket from a world tour and a dozen guitars signed by country music superstars.

Federal investigators say Zeek Rewards was an investment scheme that lasted for only 20 months but brought in more than $800 million from people in 100 countries.

It was all based out of Lexington, North Carolina - the city in which the auction will be held next week.

The court-appointed person in charge of finding and distributing money - called the receiver -- was at the auction preview Friday with several updates on the case to victims who've been waiting for some good news.

"There are just some pitiful stories out there," Kenneth Bell, the receiver, said. "People putting in the only money they've ever been able to save, money they were hoping to earn and raise for college tuitions, medical bills, house payments. People put in every dollar they had sometimes, and they took nothing out of it."

So far, Bell says he has collected more than $ 300 million and he is finally ready to start giving some of that money back to people who lost their fortunes in the alleged scheme.

By the end of this month, Bell said, letters will go out to 80,000 to 100,000 victims informing them that their claims have been accepted or denied.

Victims can either accept or appeal that.

Those who accept the terms and reward amount should be getting some money back by April 2014.

For those who don't get letters from the receiver by December 31st, Bell says it will come soon.

Bell says there is more money out there and he's going after it.

He plans to sue the people behind Zeek Rewards including Paul Burks. Bell also says he's waiting for permission from the courts to go after more than 9,000 net-winners - people who earned more than they put into Zeek Rewards.

There will also be a push to get money back from financial institutions and investors overseas.

Bell says that could potentially bring in more than $200 million but he's cautious about that estimate.

"We have to be cost effective about it. I'm never going to spend more money chasing money than we're going to get back. So, at some point we might have to let go of some claims," he said.

Bell also adds that a lot of the victims will be able to recover about 50 percent of what they lost.

Because of potential litigation, the entire process to recover and distribute money could take another 2 to 3 years.

He said liquidating the company's assets in next week's auction will go a long way to add to the money the receiver can redistribute.

The event is scheduled to begin Monday in Lexington at 4095 Old Salisbury Road.

There'll be country music memorabilia, commercial real estate, furniture, electronics and more available.

You can get a preview this weekend.

Viewing starts Saturday morning 8 A.M. to 2 P.M.

Sunday noon to 5 P.M.

There's also the option for potential bidders to check out a list of the items online - click here.

Here's the schedule for the auction itself:

Monday, December 16th 9 A.M. - memorabilia sale

Monday, December 16th Noon -- sale of personal property will end and the real estate will be put on the auction block.

You can either bid online or on-site.

On Tuesday -- balance of assets will be sold - including office furniture, equipment, and home furnishings.

Read: Zeek Rewards: Why No Criminal Charges?

WFMY News 2's Faith Abubey will have more on this story throughout Friday. Follow @ReporterFaith on Twitter for updates and join the conversation using #Zeek.

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