Key Player In NC Ponzi Scheme Had Long Ties To Owner

Dawn Wright Olivares was the high-profile face of a North Carolina online company that promised big returns on a small investment.

The company's former chief operating officer would tout ZeekRewards at public events, and promote the business in interviews, calling it a great way to make money.

Now the 45-year-old is pleading guilty to securities fraud conspiracy and tax evasion stemming from an $850 million Ponzi scheme.

She will appear in federal court Wednesday, along with her stepson, 31-year-old Daniel Olivares, who's pleading guilty to securities fraud conspiracy.

U.S. District Court spokeswoman Lia Bantavani says prosecutors couldn't discuss details of the case because it's an ongoing investigation.

But Dawn Olivares and her stepson are the first to plead guilty to criminal charges in the massive scam.