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$600M Ponzi Scheme Incubated In Small North Carolina Town

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Stock image of money. (Credit: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

Stock image of money. (Credit: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

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LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) — People are questioning how a North Carolina man operated a $600 million Ponzi scheme that attracted 1 million investors, even though regulators had received dozens of complaints about the company.

Authorities say Paul Burks is the mastermind of one of the biggest investment scams in U.S. history.

His online company ZeekRewards was based in Lexington, N.C.

The Securities and Exchange Commission closed ZeekRewards in August. Burks has agreed to pay a $4 million penalty.

Investigators say he siphoned millions for his personal use, but he hasn’t been charged.

Burks says he never told anyone to invest more money than they could afford.

Investors say they were duped.

They also didn’t know regulators had received nearly a dozen complaints about ZeekRewards but failed to take action for months.\

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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