Members of a Clarksville family are under federal prosecution after authorities said their multi-million-dollar internet scam claimed scores of financial victims.
Federal prosecutors said Dawn Wright-Olivares and Daniel Olivares are behind an $850 million dollar Ponzi scheme. It all started in December of 2013 when the Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit against Zeekrewards. The site promised its victims cash in return for investments. The cash, though, was only paid out to old investors when new investors joined up.
"It's a complete shock to me, and I'm sure it will be to the rest of the town," Larry Childress said.
Childress ate at the Olivares' restaurant Thursday (Jan. 2) afternoon---The Healthy Hog. 5NEWS reached out to the owners multiple times, but they declined to comment.
Right around the corner from The Healthy Hog, the Moore family has been running their barber shop for more than 20 years.
The family said they monitor their daughter's internet activity back at home to make sure a scam like Zeekrewards, run by the Olivares family, doesn't hit them.
"We keep it blocked,” Bob Moore said. “If she goes on the internet we know about it."
But the family said because of current advancements, there are only so many precautions parents can take.
"It's just amazing,” Moore said. “Who would have ever dreamed that this type of scam would be going on?"
As for the ZeekRewards duo, they pleaded guilty and have been ordered to pay more than $11 million dollars. The SEC said in light of their anticipated incarceration, no civil penalty will be imposed.
The scam lasted around two years. And even after the plea deal, the SEC`s investigation is continuing.