Thursday, September 6, 2012

Zeek Rewards Confirmation Bias: trust but not verify

A couple sharp readers have spotted that some of the diehard Zeek Rewards Ponzi defenders are not only raising money to "restart Zeek", but also spreading misinformation about everything in the case, including:

  • Burks' lawyer is bullsh__
  • SEC never went before a judge before shutting RVG down
  • SEC didn't present any evidence in front of a judge
The following is from this "restart Zeek" campaign's website. As not to give them any link juice I am not linking to the source, but if you Google a sentence you can find the original easily. 

First of all, this is bogus, because the two sentences don't fit. You think a judge would just listen to SEC, and rubber-stamp everything SEC says, without SEC presenting any proof, merely allegations? 

And second, don't you think Burks was in court with his lawyer when this went down? They'd LIKE you to think SEC was in court alone, but that ain't the truth!  See next section. 

Third, here's proof that there are PLENTY of evidence, presented to the court, however, it is still under seal and NOT viewable by the public. I present to you: MOTION TO SEAL CASE  and note this paragraph: Burks and Rex indeed have counsel, and BOTH SIDES agreed to seal the case files!

So there was indeed plenty of evidence presented by the SEC, that not even Rex / Burks want exposed! And this proves beyond a doubt that SEC lawyers had been talking with Rex/Burks lawyers long before they came to court on 17-AUG-2012! 

Yet people persist in believing whatever story they've been told, like "his lawyer basically told him to take any deal" such as this guy (Calabro, yes, you) wrote :

As the above shown, Burks lawyer have been negotiating with the SEC lawyers for a while. Given the timing of cancellation of the Red Carpet Event, and the cancellation of all the training calls, SEC had been in contact with Burks for at least a week, if not longer. 

Thus, Mr. Calabros wrote bullsh__, because he trusted whoever told him to story to be telling him to truth, without his own fact-checking. He WANTS to believe that Burks was oppressed, and didn't really want to believe that Burks accepted the "no contest" plea deal. So he rather believe this fiction, without checking the reality. This is a perfect example of confirmation bias. 

He also managed to imply that Burk's attorney basically helped the SEC "steal" the business from Burks. 

In fact, I've heard even MORE embellished versions where someone claimed to have heard third-hand that the lawyer was stuttering under pressure and basically kowtowed to the SEC lawyers. 

Except that is even more bullsh__. 

Burks' lawyer is Noell P. Tin, one of the best white-collar crime defense lawyers in North Carolina (or even in the nation). In fact, he had a reputation of taking on clients of white collar crimes, such as Ponzi scheme ringleaders. Don't believe me? Would you believe newspaper reports?

Here's one where he defended Charis Johnson, leader of 12DailyPro, a predecessor of Ad Surf Daily Ponzi, and by extension, an ancestor of Zeek Rewards Ponzi. 

How about another one where he defended Harrison, who got a bunch of seniors into a Ponzi scheme.  

Mr. Tin is actually a VERY good lawyer. He got a man freed after 11 years in prison, and another guy off a drug charge after proving his client was coerced into it... if you ever bothered to check his legal biography. He had plenty of other cases, but those are the biggest ones. 

The lesson is simple: trust, but verify. And people who spread info without fact-checking are guilty of violating this principle. They may even be abetting certain... elements with unknown purposes in their endeavor to spread disinformation for unknown (but likely nefarious) purposes. 

Don't be a tool, or even worse, a tool who don't even know they're being used. 

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