by: Tenikka Smith Updated:
Attorney Kenneth Bell has filed lawsuits to recover nearly $1 billion victims lost in the Zeke Rewards Ponzi scheme.
The online investment scheme operated out of North Carolina and ripped off more than $700 million from more than 700,000 victims in less than two years. Zeke Rewards CEO Dawn Olivares and stepson Daniel pleaded guilty to federal charges. They were sentenced last month and ordered to pay back the victims.
Bell filed two lawsuits last week. One lawsuit was against the six insiders that set up and ran the Ponzi scheme. Eyewitness News learned three of those insiders were from the Charlotte area, including James Quick, Beth Plyler and Roger Plyler, who is deceased. According to the suit, Roger Plyler made more than $2 million from Zeke Rewards.
"We want to recover from them everything we can because they are ultimately responsible for all of the losses from everyone,” Bell said.
There is also second lawsuit against the "net winners."
Some of them won close to a million dollars in the scheme. Nine thousand others won more than $1,000. Their names are now listed on this website as defendants in a class action lawsuit. Channel 9 found dozens of names from our viewing area and some may not even realize they are being sued.
"I would like for these people to come in and repay the money they shouldn't hold. It's literally others people’s money - the victims in this case," said Bell.
Around 175,000 people have filed claims to get their money back. Since August 2012, Bell has recovered $300 million. He's now waiting on the courts to approve a distribution plan so he can get it back to its rightful owners.
"They're all anxiously hoping to get a good but of their losses back and I hope to give them a bit of their losses back," Bell said.
To learn more about the lawsuits and look at all the people being sued in the Zeke Rewards Scheme click here.