Alert #210: 8/20/2012

Inside Zeek Rewards
What Went Wrong, When, and Why

Zeek Rewards Expose’ – Better Late Than Never     
This extensive review (35 pages, 100 footnotes) is now offered more as an explanation rather than a warning. Hopefully it will also serve as an educational tool to help prevent this kind of emotional and financial damage from happening again.
My greatest regret is that I didn’t get this done sooner. As I explained in the review, my policy is to never make a public comment regarding concerns I have with any person, product or company, until I’ve gotten their side of the story. I have made exceptions, but only when their was a smoking gun, and the evidence was irrefutable. In ZR’s case, virtually all of the myriad concerns I had still left open at least the possibility of a valid explanation, or that I had simply got it wrong. Also, ZR was a work-in-progress. It didn’t make a lot of sense to write up a novella about what ZR is at that moment when it would have been made obsolete several times over before the review was completed. As I state in the review…
“The first challenge in reviewing ZeekRewards is that it has been in a constant state of metamorphosis… About the time all the online chatter began about what ZeekRewards was and was not, legally, structurally, and economically, was about the time it started to turn into something different. My argument for not joining the debate during this time was that it was tantamount to arguing whether this newly found species was going to be a beautiful, rainbow colored butterfly, a fuzzy gray moth, or a malaria riddled mosquito, while it was still inside the cocoon. Unlike so many other Zeek critics, I chose to wait to see what emerged rather than judge what it was, or was in the process of changing from.”
I also was led to believe by ZR management that an “exclusive” interview with founder and CEO Paul Burks, along with attorney Kevin Grimes, was imminent. This was to be recorded for broadcast on my “Inside Network Marketing” podcast, and it was fully understood that no questions were off the table. After waiting a month, and three postponements, I started work on writing this review based on what I had.
My biggest concern when I do this is, what if I’m wrong? What if I don’t have my facts straight? What if I’m about to bash them on something that they are about to change or eliminate? In this case, my concerns were confirmed, but by the SEC rather than a member of ZR corporate management.
Still, I feel somewhat like how I feel when I hear about a life saving medication passing FDA mandated, years long, double blinded clinical trials. We eventually find that the drug works when those who got the real drug get better. But in the mean time thousands of people who got a placebo died unnecessarily. I’m not debating this specific practice (at least not here, and now), I’m just lamenting how my own self-vetting process very likely caused at least one person to dump thousands of dollars into ZR that otherwise wouldn’t have. And even one was too many.
Or, it might have made no difference. I warned at least a dozen friends and associates about Zeek. Every one of them joined anyway.
Either way, I should have gotten this done sooner, and I am sorry I didn’t.
This review is a monster. It involves a lot of legal theory and delves deeply into the minutia of what was ZeekRewards. But if you can bear through it I assure you, you will be armed with all the ammunition you need to be sure that you, your family, and your friends will never be a victim of an illegal pyramid, Ponzi, or investment scheme again.
You’ll also completely understand why the closure of ZeekRewards was inevitable, and why (in spite of rumors to the contrary), it is not coming back. 
Here’s the SEC’s press release, which includes a link to the legal Complaint:
Forbes, Reuters, Fox News, MarketWatch, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and many local news outlets have all reported on the “SEC Closure” of ZR. Just Google “Zeek Rewards” and “News” and you’ll find them.
And, finally, here’s the ZeekRewards review:
I’m also going to be doing an INM podcast on this issue in the next few days, because there’s a lot of stuff I want to say about the aftermath of this fiasco, and I talk a lot faster than I type. Also, I’ll be a guest on Tony Canulli’s “The Slight Edge” show on the “Home Business Radio Network”, where we will be discussing nothing but Zeek.
I know there’s a lot of you who have a lot of questions. For those who don’t get them answered within this review, or during my podcast, or on Tony’s show, I’ll be conducting a live Q&A call devoted entirely to ZeekRewards within the next few days as well. Stay tuned for details.
ZeekRewards was an M.L.M. experiment gone awry. It was an out-of-the-box concept that hit it out of the park but, I strongly believe, had no intention of being out of compliance. And while the idiom “Intent is 9/10th of the law” is completely false, it may very well have played a roll here. In spite of the SEC’s declaration that ZeekRewards was a “$600 Million Online Pyramid and Ponzi Scheme”, no criminal charges have been filed against Mr. Burks (or any other member of Zeek’s senior management) and he was allowed to settle without even admitting any guilt.
One final thought for those of you who were involved in ZeekRewards: As much as the anti-MLM critics are going to exploit this, and the media is going to sensationalize it as another bad “multilevel marketing scheme”, ZeekRewards was an aberration. They are not representative of the multilevel marketing profession, or indicative of how the business model operates. Please don’t give up on the profession itself.
This education was probably a costly one. Don’t waste it.
Len Clements
Founder & CEO
MarketWave, Inc.

About Len Clements

Based in Las Vegas and Founder and CEO of MarketWave, Inc., Len Clements provides consulting, training & expert witness services for the network marketing industry. Since 1989, he has been a top producer, trainer, and consultant for multiple network marketing companies. As a well-respected icon in the MLM industry today, Len conducts Inside Network Marketing seminars throughout the world and is the author of several best-selling books and audio tapes including Inside Network Marketing (Random House), Case Closed, The Whole Truth About Network Marketing and The Coming Network Marketing Boom.