Traveling Sales Crews
Information Website

Door To Door Sales 2007

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September 22, 2007
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(All articles sorted in descending order by date)


Breaking News 2007

We usher in the new year of 2007 with a murdered magazine sales agent, 3 rape cases, and a van rollover.

All of these horrible things have happened within the last 5 weeks.

It is time for the United States Government, the FBI, the Federal Trade Commission, the US Attorney General, and the Federal Labor Department to take a very close look at the "traveling door-to-door sales" industry.

It is time to prosecute those people who are in control of this corrupt and immoral industry to the full extent of the law.

It is time to expose them for what they really are and put an end to this fowl industry before more innocent kids and homeowners are raped, murdered, or killed in van accidents.

To research the traveling door to door sales industry crime wave
click on the links below:


Door To Door Sales Crimes - Criminal Profiler

DMPG Compiled Article Criminal Chronology
July 2005 - December 2006

Chronology 2005 - 2006

DMPG Compiled Article Criminal Chronology
1982 - 2005

Chronology 1982 - 2005

Letters To The MPA and Publishers
Letters To The MPA and Publishers


Slaves to the sale - By Nancy Stancill
Read these 'award winning' articles by Nancy Stancill.
The 'Slaves to the sales series' reveals a shocking glimpse into the dark and murky past of the ‘traveling door to door sales’ industry and provides an excellent history of an unregulated and immoral enterprise that continues to exploit young adults for profit.

Slaves to the sale


Dedicated Memorial Parents Group
January 5, 2007


DMPG Featured Article

New York NY
For Youths, A Grim Tour on Magazine Crews

Febuary 21, 2007
By IAN URBINA
New York Times
Read This Story

New York Times:
Life on a Magazine Crew

View This Video


Letters To The MPA and Publishers
Letters To The MPA and Publishers

Posted: 02/21/07


May 14, 2007

PROTECT THE ONES YOU LOVE
WHAT EVERY PARENT SHOULD KNOW

The Truth About
The Southwestern Company

www.southwesterncompanytruth.com


North Carolina
Magazine Sales Company
Banned From State

May 9, 2007
Trinity Public Relations
Door-To-Door Traveling Magazine Company
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina

Magazine Sales Company Owners
James A. Davis and Lourdes J. Davis
Permanently Barred From Owning Or Operating
Any Business In North Carolina That Sells Magazines.


North Carolina
Attorney General Roy Cooper
Press Releases:
Read NC AG Press Release 05/03/07 - PDF
Read NC AG Press Release 09/27/06 - PDF




April 24, 2007

Magazine Sales Company/Collection Agency Banned In West Virginia
By Attorney General Darrell McGraw

The following companies and their owner (CATHERINE M KEY)
have been banned in West Virginia

United Subscription Agency
(a magazine sales company owned by Catherine M. Key)
(Website: mytraveljob.com)

Check Game Solutions
(a collection agency owned by Catherine M. Key)
and
CATHERINE M KEY
Banned from doing business in West Virginia


CATHERINE M KEY and Check Game Solutions
are listed as Supporting Members of the National Field Selling Association
NFSA - Website: (www.nfsa.com) - NFSA
NFSA Supporting Member Page: NFSA Supporting Member Page

Catherine M. Key
Check Game Solutions, Inc.
1850 43rd Avenue
Suite C-10
Vero Beach FL, 32960
(800) 886-9798

Read The West Virginia AG Lawsuit

For additional information
Click Here



New York
Attorney General
Andrew M. Cuomo
Lawsuit Filed Against: JAGUAR SALES, LLC d/b/a/ JAGUAR SALES
Labor Violations

August 8, 2007
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, by
ANDREW M. CUOMO,
Attorney General of the State of New York,
Petitioners,
-against-
JAGUAR SALES, LLC d/b/a/ JAGUAR SALES,
ANN SIBISKI, DAVID SIBISKI, TOM SIBISKI,
ADAM CARLISLE, STEPHEN BARCEL, TIM BROWN,
D.J. WARREN, KELLY “DOE”and PREMIER SALES,
Respondents.

Read Lawsuit Against Jaguar Sales

Office of the New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo
Department of Law
120 Broadway
New York, NY 10271
212-416-8060
oag.state.ny.us
Read This Press Release

Additional Info On Jaguar Sales And Lawsuit Click Here


AARP
SCAM ALERT !!!
Unwitting magazine subscriptions may be buying trouble

October 2007
Danger on Your Doorstep
Door-to-Door Deception
By Sid Kirchheimer
AARP Bulletin; Vol. 48; No. 9
October 2007
Read PDF Danger on Your Doorstep


D.M.P.G. Info Clip
November 17, 2007

Wisconsin
On July 1, 2005 Brandon Green (a traveling magazine salesman employed by Gemini Subscriptions and Palmetto Marketing) brutally beat and raped a Menomonie, Wisconsin woman.

Dunn County District Attorney Criminal Complaint:
Read PDF Criminal Complaint

Lawsuit Filed Against Vincent Pitts and Palmetto Marketing
by Wisconsin Lawfirm Lawton and Cates:
Read The Civil Lawsuit Against Vincent Pitts

Dunn County Court Judge Stewart's Decision:
Read Court Decision

Wisconsin Court Of Appeals Denies Vincent Pitts Appeal:
October 30, 2007
Read PDF Wisconsin Court of Appeals Decision

Vincent Pitts is currently president of the
National Field Selling Association.
The NFSA (NFSA) is a trade group that represents many of the traveling magazine sales companies and magazine clearinghouses across the country.

The Magazine clearinghouses clear magazine subscriptions from the magazine sales crews and magazine sales companies up to the magazine publishers (Magazine Publishers of America: MPA).

Read Letters To The Publishers



Claremont, California
Door-to-Door Magazine Salesman Rapes
22-year-old Claremont Woman

December 29, 2007
Claremont Police Department News Release
Public Safety News
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2007
Rape Suspect Arrested
A door-to-door salesman was arrested for rape on Wednesday, December 19. The victim, a female who was home alone in the area of Towne Ave. and Scripps Dr., allowed the suspect to enter her home at about 4:20 pm. The suspect raped the victim and then fled on foot when a relative arrived home. The suspect was thought to be a door-to-door salesman and a check of the area by police located several persons in the area soliciting sales of magazines and other items for an out of state company. Prompted by contact with investigators, an employee of the solicitation company called Claremont Police at about 8:30 pm to report that a possible suspect, a fellow employee, was at a specific location in the area. Police contacted the suspect and he was positively identified by the relative. The suspect, identified as Corey Finley, a 21 year old male residing in Missouri, was arrested and booked for rape, sodomy and false imprisonment. He is being held at the Claremont Police Department jail in lieu of $2 million bail. Finley is due for arraignment in Pomona Court on Friday, December 21. The victim was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries and released. This incident serves as an important reminder that strangers should not be allowed into your home. This crime occurred almost exactly one year after a very similar incident in the same area of Claremont. In that case a 22 year old door-to-door salesman, Rondie Walz , was allowed into a home and raped a female who was also home alone. Walz was later apprehended and convicted of rape.
Press Release - Rape Suspect Arrested (Adobe Acrobat, 30KB)
Read PDF Claremont Police News Release
Claremont Police Department
Claremont Police Department
www.ci.claremont.ca.us
Claremont, California
Read This Story


D.M.P.G. Info Clip
December 29, 2007

Claremont Police Department News Release
December 19, 2007:
Read PDF Claremont Police News Release



Claremont, California
Door-to-Door Salesman Rapes
22-year-old Claremont Woman

December 27, 2007
Change urged after rapes
Business fee hike could be option
By Will Bigham, Staff Writer
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Article Created: 12/27/2007 09:50:21 PM PST
CLAREMONT - Following last week's rape in the city by a door-to-door salesman - the second such incident in as many years - Police Chief Paul Cooper wants to strengthen the laws regulating door-to-door solicitors. A city ordinance prohibits soliciting, but the law is unenforceable because of a Supreme Court ruling that established the practice as a constitutional right, Cooper said. City officials might consider higher fees for business licenses to discourage door-to-door salesmen from visiting the city, Mayor Peter Yao said. Cooper said he would like the ordinance to prohibit solicitors from knocking on doors marked with "no soliciting" signs. He has scheduled a meeting for Jan. 8 with City Attorney Sonia Carvalho to discuss the city's options. "Clearly, we've had two instances now, two significant crimes that have occurred. In addition to those, we continue to receive calls for service each month on solicitors going door to door," Cooper said. " ... We need to look at the law to see if we can be more restrictive." Door-to-door salesman Corey Finley, 21, was arrested Dec. 19 after allegedly raping a woman who let him into her home. Finley was arraigned Dec. 21 on felony rape charges, and remains in custody in lieu of $2 million bail, Cooper said. The incident was similar to a rape that occurred in the city about one year prior, when door-to-door magazine salesman Rondie Lamont Walz, 22, raped a woman who allowed him into her home during a sale on Dec 2, 2006. Walz was found guilty of rape and sentenced to 18 years in prison. City Council members reached by phone Thursday said they supported tighter restrictions on solicitors. Yao said the issue was urgent, and would likely appear on a City Council agenda in February or March. "No city can impose a no-solicitation ordinance," Yao said. "However, things that we can do are impose a higher than normal fee. ... Perhaps if the fee is high, (solicitors) will bypass Claremont." Councilman Sam Pedroza said he would consider new restrictions on solicitors, adding that educating the public on the practice is arguably more important. "I don't know how many times we have to hear this same story about not opening doors to strangers," Pedroza said. "We need to do more to educate people about their safety."
will.bigham@dailybulletin.com
(909) 483-8553

Related
Mar 23:
Peddler gets 18 years for rape
Mar 21:
Salesman found guilty of rape
Jan 25:
Traveling salesman to be tried on sex charges
Jan 12:
Door to door magazine salesman pleads not guilty to rape
Dec 5:
Claremont rape suspect arrested
Magazine salesman suspected in Claremont rape
Dec 4:
Woman raped by man posing as door-to-door salesman

By Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
dailybulletin.com
Claremont, California
Read This Story


Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 21, 2007
Albuquerque police investigate rape accusations
in deaths of couple
By Maggie Shepard (Contact)
Call Maggie at 505-823-3679.
Albuquerque Journal
Friday, December 21, 2007
Albuquerque police are trying to find out if one of the men accused of killing a couple in their home is telling the truth when he says his alleged accomplice sexually assaulted the female victim. Police say Travis Rowley, 23, is accusing fellow traveling magazine salesman Mike Lee, 21, of raping 69-year-old Pung Yi and strangling her, then killing her husband Tak Yi, 79, in their Northeast Heights home Dec. 4. Both Rowley and Lee were indicted Wednesday in state District Court on charges of rape in a case previously described by police as a robbery gone bad. The two will also face trial on charges of murder, robbery, burglary, larceny, kidnapping and several other charges. But police said Thursday that they are still looking for evidence to substantiate Rowley's accusation. They said evidence has corroborated many other details in Rowley's statement to detectives following his Dec. 7 arrest. With rape included in their charges, the two are eligible for the death penalty. District Attorney Kari Brandenburg said her office has 90 days to decide whether to pursue it. The Yis were found Dec. 4 in their home in the 6900 block of Avenida la Costa Northeast by their son, who was checking in on them after they failed to call him. Family members told investigators that jewelry, several cameras and credit cards were missing from the home, according to Metro Court criminal complaints. According to the criminal complaints, Rowley and Lee had been dropped off in the Yis' neighborhood to sell magazine subscriptions when they saw Tak Yi working in his backyard. Rowley told police that Lee said he was going to "steal an item from the home." Lee allegedly punched Pung Yi, who fell to the floor, and Rowley reportedly dragged her into the home. Then Tak Yi entered the home and tried to call police, Rowley told police. After punching Tak Yi twice, Rowley said, Lee suffocated Pung Yi and then walked over to Tak Yi and stomped his foot on his head, the complaint said. Rowley said he believed the "blow was fatal." Lee and Rowley were picked up Dec. 7 after the public called in tips. The two were selling their magazines door-to-door when officers arrested Rowley in Rio Rancho and Lee on the city's West Side. Lee, from the Boston area, is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in lieu of $2 million cash-only bond; Rowley, from outside of Los Angeles, is being held in lieu of $2 million cash or surety bond.

RELATED STORIES
Men accused of killing Albuquerque couple face charges, including rape and murder
Robbery was motive in slaying of older Albuquerque couple
Albuquerque police seek man in connection with couple's death
By Maggie Shepard (Contact)
Call Maggie at 505-823-3679.
Albuquerque Journal
abqjournal.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Read This Story


Claremont, California
Door-to-Door Salesman Rapes
22-year-old Claremont Woman

December 20, 2007
Salesman suspected of rape nabbed
By Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Article Created: 12/20/2007 08:41:46 PM PST
CLAREMONT - A door-to-door salesman was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of raping a woman who had let him into the house. The incident was eerily similar to one that occurred just a street away last December. "It just goes to show you don't let people in your house," said Claremont police Lt. Jon Traber. "Especially if you're female, but anyone. There are so many strange people out there." Corey Finley, 21, of Missouri was arrested on suspicion of rape, sodomy and false imprisonment of the 22-year-old woman, who was home alone in the area of Towne Avenue and Scripps Drive, according to a Claremont Police Department news release. She was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries and released, according to police officials. The woman let the salesman into her home about 4:20 p.m. Wednesday and was raped a short time later. A relative of the woman arrived home and the man fled from the house. Police officials searched the area for a door-to-door salesman and found several people who were soliciting donations for an out-of-state company. An employee of the company eventually called Claremont police about 8:30 p.m. to report the location of a possible suspect, who turned out to be Finley. Finley was picked up by police and the woman's relative positively identified him as the salesman, police officials said. Finley is being held at Claremont Police Department jail and his arraignment is set for today in Pomona Superior Court. Traber said the original $100,000 bail was raised to $2 million because Finley was deemed a flight risk. This past year on Wheaton Avenue, a traveling magazine-subscription salesman raped a woman. Rondie Lamont Walz, 22, of Gig Harbor, Wash., was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the Dec. 2, 2006, rape of the 20-year-old woman.
By Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
dailybulletin.com
Claremont, California
Read This Story


Claremont, California
Door-to-Door Salesman Rapes
22-year-old Claremont Woman

December 20, 2007
8:16 a.m.: Missouri man arrested in rape of Claremont woman
San Bernardino Sun
Article Launched: 12/20/2007 08:16:07 AM PST
CLAREMONT - Police arrested a door-to-door magazine salesman Wednesday on suspicion of raping a 22-year-old woman in her home, a crime strangely similar to one that occurred in the city a year ago. Corey Finley, 21, of Missouri was booked into jail at the Claremont Police Department in lieu of $100,000 bail. His bail has since been increased to $2 million due to the severity of the crime and because Finley is a flight risk, said Claremont police Lt. Dennis Smith. Claremont police said the victim was home alone near the intersection of Towne Avenue and Scripps Drive at 4:20 p.m. when the salesman came to her residence. She let Finley inside her home. Finley then raped her. "A relative of the victim arrived home during the assault and the suspect fled from the house," Smith said. Police searched the area and found several people soliciting for donations for an out-of-state company. An employee of the company called the police at 8:30 p.m. - several hours after police contacted the company - and told investigators where to find a possible suspect, police said in a release. Officers tracked down the man, who was positively identified as the suspect by the victim's relative, police said. Police arrested Finley on suspicion of rape, sodomy and false imprisonment. The incident served as a tragic reminder of another rape that occurred in the same area almost exactly a year ago. In that incident, a woman home alone Dec. 2 let another door-to-door magazine salesman in her residence after the man convinced her to fill out some paperwork. Rondie Lamont Leland Walz, 22, of Gig Harbor, Wash. was arrested several days later in Norwalk. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison in March.
San Bernardino Sun
sbsun.com
California
Read This Story


Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 20, 2007
Men accused of killing Albuquerque couple face charges,
including rape and murder
By Maggie Shepard (Contact)
Albuquerque Journal
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The two men charged in connection with the slaying of a Korean couple in their Northeast Heights home also raped the woman, according to charges included in the indictment filed today. Previously described by police as a robbery gone bad, the deaths of Tak Yi, 79, and his wife Pung Yi, 69, are now cast in a more brutal light as both suspects, Travis Rowley, 23, and Mike Lee, 21, face rape charges. Rowley and Lee were indicted by a state District Court grand jury Wednesday on charges that also include murder, aggravated battery, robbery, burglary, larceny, kidnapping and conspiracy. Under the circumstances, the two, both traveling magazine salesmen, are eligible for the death penalty, said District Attorney Kari Brandenburg. Her office has 90 days to decide whether to pursue it. The Yis were found Dec. 4 in their home in the 6900 block of Avenida la Costa Northeast by their son, who was checking in on them after they failed to call him. Family members told investigators that jewelry, several cameras and credit cards were missing from the home, according to Metro Court criminal complaints. But the complaints and search warrants left out details of the alleged rape. Detectives in the case have said this detail was withheld from the family to protect them from the brutality of the couple's death. Brandenburg said the family was informed last week of the charges her office planned to seek. Prosecutors were waiting for more evidence to determine whether to charge both Rowley and Lee or one of them with the rape of Pung Yi. According to the criminal complaints, Rowley and Lee were dropped off in the Yis' neighborhood to sell magazine subscriptions when they saw Tak Yi working in his backyard. Rowley told police that Lee said he was going to "steal an item from the home." Lee allegedly punched Pung Yi, who fell to the floor, and Rowley reportedly dragged her into the home. Then Tak Yi entered the home and tried to call police, Rowley told police. After punching Tak Yi twice, Rowley said, Lee suffocated Pung Yi and then walked over to Tak Yi and stomped his foot on his head, the complaint said. Rowley said he believed the "blow was fatal." Lee and Rowley were picked up Dec. 7 after the public called in tips. The two were selling their magazines door-to-door when officers arrested Rowley in Rio Rancho and Lee on the city's West Side. Lee, from the Boston area, is held in lieu of $2 million cash-only bond; Rowley, from outside Los Angeles, is held in lieu of $2 million cash or surety bond. Both are held in the Metropolitan Detention Center.

RELATED STORIES
Robbery was motive in slaying of older Albuquerque couple
Albuquerque police seek man in connection with couple's death
By Maggie Shepard (Contact)
Call Maggie at 505-823-3679.
Albuquerque Journal
abqjournal.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Read This Story


Albuquerque, New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 20, 2007
Rape Added To List Of Charges Against Traveling Salesmen
POSTED: 5:36 pm MST December 20, 2007
UPDATED: 7:20 pm MST December 21, 2007
Associated Press
KOAT-TV
KOAT 7
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Rape has been added to the list of charges two men are facing in the slaying of an elderly couple in a northeast Albuquerque home. Police have described the deaths of 79-year-old Tak Yi and his 69-year-old wife Pung Yi as a robbery gone bad. The case now is cast in a more brutal light as both suspects --23-year-old Travis Rowley and 21-year-old Mike Lee -- face rape charges. The men were indicted this week on charges that also include murder, aggravated battery, robbery, burglary, larceny, kidnapping and conspiracy. Police say DNA from the crime scene still is being processed, and based on those results, the rape charges might be reduced or dropped against one of the two suspects. Rowley and Lee are being held on a $2 million bond.
Associated Press
KOAT-TV
KOAT 7
koat.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Read This Story


Albuquerque, New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 20, 2007
New details emerge in double murder case
By: Shelton Dodson KOB-TV, and Joshua Panas KOB.com
Posted at: 12/20/2007 04:13:07 PM
Updated at: 12/20/2007 07:32:32 PM
Shocking details have emerged in the case of a Korean couple murdered in their northeast Albuquerque home earlier this month. Detectives now believe the suspects sexually assaulted the female victim before they beat the couple to death. The suspects are now facing 27-counts for the double murder of Tak Yi and his wife Pung Yi. Included in the indictment are charges that Pung Yi was raped by her attackers. Travis Rowley, 23, and Michael Lee, 21, are each being held on a $2 million bond. The door-to-door magazine salesmen were arrested three days after the Yi's were found murdered in their home. Investigators said that they initially withheld the rape evidence to protect the grieving Yi family from the horrific details. The family was aware of the sexual assault details before they were made public. DNA from the crime scene is still being processed, and based on those results, the rape charges may be reduced or dropped against one of the two suspects. Both Rowley and Lee are eligible for the death penalty in this case; the district attorney has 90 days from the January 4 arraignment date to decide if she wants to go forward with a death penalty case.
By: Shelton Dodson KOB-TV, and Joshua Panas KOB.com
Eyewitness News 4
kob.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Read This Story


Denton, Texas
Traveling Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Warning !!!

December 19, 2007
Local News
By Donna Fielder / Staff Writer
Denton Record-Chronicle
11:58 PM CST on Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Denton, Texas
800 block of Circle View Lane — A woman believes a magazine salesman stole her $3,000 ring, according to a police report. The woman said she came home about 2 p.m. and laid the ring on a table in the entranceway to her home. A magazine salesman rang her doorbell and she allowed him inside for a few moments until she found out what he wanted. She sent him on his way without buying any magazines; however she then noticed that her ring was missing.
By Donna Fielder / Staff Writer
Denton Record-Chronicle
dentonrc.com
Denton, Texas
Read This Story


Madison, Wisconsin
Traveling Door-To-Door Sales
Legislation - SB-80

December 19, 2007
Traveling sales crew bill needs more narrow focus
Dave Cappozzo, guest columnist — 12/19/2007 11:38 am
Opinion - Letters to the editor
Capital Times
Madison, Wisconsin
In response to a recent column  by Sen. Jon Erpenbach, I would like to reiterate several points I made in a letter to the Senate committee considering Senate Bill 80, the traveling sales crew bill. I am a homeowner, taxpayer and UW-Madison alumnus. As such, I commend Sen. Erpenbach for taking the lead in regulating rogue magazine van crews that participate in unethical practices and should not be allowed to exploit Wisconsin residents. No one wants to see another tragic accident such as the one in Janesville in 1999 or the safety of our residents and youths compromised in any way. Since the bill's conception, opposition to the bill has not been from any of the so-called traveling sales crews. It has been from legitimate businesses, Wisconsin residents and college students across the state who have a vested interest in this bill since it would affect them directly. The traveling sales crews do need regulation. While I wholeheartedly agree with the intent of the bill, I couldn't disagree more with the ultimate consequence the current version would have on the ability of hundreds of college students and potentially other entrepreneurs who choose direct sales as a method to build a customer base. The bill in question does not simply require registration with the Department of Workforce Development. It eliminates the choice and the opportunity for young people to run their own business by defining them as employees of their supplier(s). This is an opportunity I cherish since I, like hundreds and hundreds of other Wisconsin college students through the years, have benefited from it. There are successful contributors to Wisconsin communities all over the state, including police officers, doctors, lawyers, educators and, yes, sales people because they were afforded an opportunity to pay for their education through small independent sales businesses. I was very fortunate and blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in a summer internship program with the Southwestern Co. As a wholesale customer of Southwestern Co., I bought and then sold children's books and family reference books. I learned at a young age that I can accomplish anything through hard work, discipline and self-confidence. I learned how to set goals, how to establish a good schedule, and how to develop a positive mental attitude ... all on my own. I chose to spend my summers gaining invaluable experience -- things not always taught in a classroom. This allowed me not only to stand out among my peers upon graduation, but also to graduate debt-free. Some of my classmates even earned college credit because their professors viewed their experience as excellent business exposure. Just as I would never give away my college experience at UW-Madison, I would also never give away my summers spent learning life skills and gaining personal growth. This type of program is nowhere near a traveling sales crew, therefore it should not be broadly defined as one. I applaud the Small Business Committee and Rep. Terry Moulton's efforts to understand the bigger picture. I appreciate our lawmakers looking out for hard-working, ambitious college students so they may continue to learn and grow from their summer experiences. A problem often has more than one right way to get to a solution. The bill is not simply a matter of "simple regulation." Senate Bill 80 should be altered to a narrower, targeted focus, so that all legitimate interests are protected. Hopefully, there can be cooperation to get that done.
Dave Cappozzo is a McFarland resident.
Dave Cappozzo, guest columnist — 12/19/2007 11:38 am
Dave Cappozzo, guest columnist — 12/19/2007 11:38 am
Opinion - Letters to the editor
Capital Times
madison.com
Madison, Wisconsin
Read This Story


Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 18, 2007
Albuquerque sues employer of traveling salesmen
accused in killings of couple
By Caleb Fort
Albuquerque Journal
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The city is suing the employer of two traveling magazine salesmen accused in the killings of a Northeast Heights couple. Mayor Martin Chavez also said he will propose amendments to the city's solicitor ordinance that would make it more difficult for out-of-state businesses to fly under the radar. The lawsuit accuses Integrity Program of Las Vegas, Nev., of not conducting background checks on the two men or otherwise doing an adequate job of ensuring they would not be a danger to the city. The lawsuit seeks punitive damages against the company and a restraining order that would prevent the company from doing business in Albuquerque. Tak Yi, 79, and his wife, Pung Yi, 69, were slain in their home Dec. 4. Travis Rowley, 23, and Michael Lee, 21, traveling salesmen for the company, were arrested Dec. 11 in the deaths, and each is charged with two counts of murder. The company has not returned phone calls or e-mails from The Tribune. The mayor's changes to the ordinance would establish a "no-knock list," similar to the national do-not-call list that limits which phone numbers telemarketers may call. Albuquerque residents could call 311, the city's information hot line, to place themselves on the list. Solicitors who went to houses on the list, or houses with no-solicitation signs, would face a petty misdemeanor charge. The ordinance would also requires stricter permits for solicitors. The sales teams' coordinators would have to apply for a permit at least 30 days before beginning work in the city. The application would include the solicitors' coordinator's name, phone number and address — or, if the sales team is part of a corporation, the names of all officers and directors. The current ordinance requires door-to-door solicitors to obtain a permit from the city before going knocking. Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said the proposed amendments would be coupled with better enforcement. If a solicitor went to a house on the no-knock list, the resident would be responsible for calling police. The police would respond to the neighborhood to try to round up any solicitors operating illegally, Schultz said. The quickness of the response would depend on how aggressive the solicitors were, he said. "If they're physically trying to get into the home, if they're sticking their foot in the door, that would be a bigger response," Schultz said. The coordinator would also have to provide, written, sworn statements that all the sales team members had undergone background checks and would conduct business "lawfully, honestly and fairly without resort to duress, coercion or harassment." Quick enforcement is critical, because traveling solicitors are often in town for only a few days. "They come into town; they're knocking on doors; and they're usually gone before authorities have a chance to take action," Schultz said. Because of sales teams' nomadic nature, it is difficult to tell how many come through Albuquerque, he said. Charitable organizations such as church groups, political fund-raisers and Girl Scouts, as well as anyone under 17, would be exempt from the ordinance, city attorney Robert White said.
By Caleb Fort
Albuquerque Journal
abqjournal.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Read This Story


Albuquerque, New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 17, 2007
ABQ mayor proposes 'No-Knock' list
Posted at: 12/17/2007 07:04:39 PM
Updated at: 12/17/2007 07:24:12 PM
By: Stuart Dyson KOB-TV, and Joshua Panas KOB.com
A crackdown on door-to-door salespeople could be in the works for Albuquerque in the wake of the double murder involving two magazine salesmen. The two men are accused of killing an elderly Korean couple, after getting in their house with a sales pitch. Now the mayor wants the city council to set up a “No-Knock” list for people who don’t want to be bothered by salespeople. "Similar to what's done with telephone solicitors, you can put yourself on a list and no one can solicit you formally on that line," said Mayor Chavez. Salespeople who ignore the list, or “No Solicitors” sign, would face fines and even jail time. The law would not apply to charitable, religious, or political groups.
By: Stuart Dyson KOB-TV, and Joshua Panas KOB.com
Eyewitness News 4
kob.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 14, 2007
Autopsies Show Couple Beaten
By T.J. Wilham
Journal Staff Writer
Albuquerque Journal
Friday, December 14, 2007
The prominent Korean woman who was killed in her Northeast Heights home earlier this month was beaten, strangled and suffocated, according to preliminary autopsy reports released Thursday. The reports also show that Pung Yi, 69, and her husband Tak Yi, 79, had been dead in their home in the 6900 block of Avenida la Costa NE for a day before they were discovered by their son on Dec. 4. Tak Yi was beaten to death, according to the reports. Police Chief Ray Schultz said Thursday the killings were some of the most brutal he has seen since the March 1996 Hollywood Video murders in Albuquerque that left five people dead. "This was an unusually violent crime scene," Schultz said. "It's a brutal case, and what compounds it is the age of our victims. These were two senior members of our community that were beaten for no reason." Three days after the Yis were discovered, police arrested Travis Rowley, 23, and Michael Lee, 21, in connection with their deaths. Rowley and Lee were traveling salesmen for Integrity Program LLC, a company that hires independent contractors to tour the country selling books and magazine subscriptions. The two were arrested after a sketch was released of Rowley. Rowley had been spotted the same day the Yis were killed trying to sell magazines. One homeowner reported to police that Rowley tried to talk his way into his home. Rowley was spotted by Rio Rancho police after they received complaints from Northern Meadows residents about a magazine salesman in the area. When questioned, Rowley told investigators that Lee went into the home with the intention to steal something when the two beat the couple. He also said Lee had suffocated Tak Yi. Police declined to say exactly how Pung Yi was strangled, although Schultz said police have an object they believed was used to kill her.
By T.J. Wilham
Journal Staff Writer
Albuquerque Journal
abqjournal.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 14, 2007
Slam the City's Door On Itinerant Salesmen
Editorial
Albuquerque Journal
Friday, December 14, 2007
Door-to-door sales. It's a business model few think about in an era of bustling malls, online sales and overnight shipping. But in light of two traveling magazine salesmen being charged in the brutal killings of Albuquerqueans Tak and Pung Yi, it's a business model that has no business here. Several alert Metro-area residents were bothered enough by aggressive salesmen last week to call police. Their tips— about a man in the Northeast Heights trying to talk his way into a home, and another in Rio Rancho— led to the arrests of Michael Joseph Lee, 21, and Travis R. Rowley, 23, in the Dec. 4 slayings. According to police, Integrity Program LLC of Las Vegas, Nev., dropped the pair off in the Yis' neighborhood that Tuesday, where they forced their way into the elderly couple's home, robbed, beat and killed them. Since 1933 some municipalities have banned door-to-door sales. Called Green River ordinances after the Wyoming town that took on the Fuller Brush Co., the laws have been upheld as long as they don't include religious and noncommercial solicitations. Albuquerque should consider enacting one. Meanwhile, residents solicited at the door should ask to see a city permit. They should emulate the folks who called police to report suspicious or scary behavior. Or, when they hear the knock, they should consider the Better Business Bureau's advice: Don't buy from door-to-door magazine salesmen. Don't open up to an obsolete business model that's still trying to jam its foot in the door.
Editorial
Albuquerque Journal
abqjournal.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Bismarck, North Dakoda
Magazine Sales Company Banned In North Dakota !!!

December 14, 2007
Company Ordered to Stop Selling
Magazine Subscriptions in ND
KFYR-TV
12/14/2007
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says he has ordered a Nevada company to stop selling magazine subscriptions in North Dakota. Stenehjem said Las Vegas-based Southwest Subscriptions, doing business as New Horizon Sales, did not have a transient merchant`s license in North Dakota. Stenehjem said the business also failed to notify people ages 65 and older of their 15-day right of cancellation. The attorney general said the company`s salesmen sold magazine subscriptions door-to-door, claiming they were in a contest to earn points to win a trip.
KFYR-TV
kfyrtv.com
Bismarck, North Dakoda
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Houston, Texas
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Scam Alert !!!

December 14, 2007
Scam ripping neighborhood residents off
KTRK ABC 13 Houston, Texas
Friday, December 14, 2007 | 10:38 PM
HOUSTON -- Some residents in Bellaire and the Meyerland area say they've been ripped off by door-to-door scam artists. The young con artists claim to be selling magazines to raise money for a sports program. Once they receive a check they take off. Most of the victims have been taken for between $50 and $100 a piece. Police are warning residents not to open their door to anyone they do now know.
KTRK ABC 13
abclocal.go.com
Houston, Texas
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Springfield, Missouri
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Scam Alert !!!

December 13, 2007
Man charged for falsely soliciting Springfield businesses
By SBJ Staff
Springfield Business Journal
Missouri
12/13/2007 11:11:43 AM
A man accused of falsely soliciting donations from Springfield businesses in September is now facing five counts of unlawful merchandising practices. Attorney General Jay Nixon and Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Darrell Moore have jointly charged Timothy C. Connor, 37, according to a Nixon news release. He is believed to be a peripatetic – someone who moves about frequently – and his home address is unknown, according to the release. Connor allegedly entered several Springfield businesses in mid-September and told employees that he was selling magazine subscriptions or seeking donations to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters or Boys and Girls Clubs, the release said. He was allegedly given between $25 and $35 at some of the businesses. Unlawful merchandising practices is a class D felony in Missouri and is punishable by up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
By SBJ Staff
Springfield Business Journal
sbj.net
Missouri
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Torrance,California
Door-To-Door Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

December 11, 2007
`Salesman' likely just a thief, police say
By Larry Altman, Staff Writer
larry.altman@dailybreeze.com
Daily Breeze - Torrance,CA,USA
Article Launched: 12/11/2007 11:28:41 PM PST
A man purporting to be a door-to-door magazine salesman robbed a San Pedro woman of $400, sparking concern that the rest of his sales are crooked, police said Tuesday. Detectives at the Los Angeles Police Department's Harbor Division are trying to identify the man, whose picture was snapped during a Saturday visit to a victim's bank in an Albertsons supermarket, Detective Maurice Graham said. The blond-haired, blue-eyed man went from house to house on streets near Paseo del Mar on Saturday, pitching magazines for sale and saying the money would help him go to college, Graham said. He told people they could subscribe to magazines or make donations to reading material that would be sent overseas to troops in Iraq. "We believe it's all fake," Graham said. "It's just a ruse to get the money and the checks." One person gave him $200 cash; another gave him $50 cash and a $200 check; and another handed him $80, Graham said. His last victim said she had no money, but asked him to go with her to her bank so she could withdraw money. She put the money in an envelope and stuffed it into her sun visor of her car. When they returned to her house, he hesitated, but then grabbed the money and ran, Graham said. The young man gave receipts to his donors that said "Youth Incentive Marketing Inc." Graham said detectives are working with the company to try to figure out if he indeed worked for them. Police do not know if the man was legitimately working and "went astray," Graham said. The man is white, 18 to 20 years old and about 5-foot-8. His jacket in the surveillance photo appears to say "Hollister." Anyone with information about the man is asked to contact Detective Christopher Giles at 310-522-2028. Anyone seeing him should contact 911.
larry.altman@dailybreeze.com
By Larry Altman, Staff Writer
larry.altman@dailybreeze.com
Daily Breeze
dailybreeze.com Torrance,CA,USA
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D.M.P.G. Info Clip
December 21, 2007

Research into the above magazine sales crew - Youth Incentive Marketing Inc. uncovers the following info:

Website:
american cash award
List of Magazine Sales Crews:
Coast to Coast Circulations, Inc
Gemini Subscriptions
No Limit Sales
Face to Face Technologies, Inc
Performance Clearing Services, Inc
Rollout Promotions, Inc
Dynasty Technologies, Inc
Love Technologies, Inc
Great Lakes Circulation, Inc
Magazines, Inc
Fun Sales, Inc
Youth Incentive Marketing, Inc
Creative Marketing, Inc
Prolific Marketing, LLC
Gold Coast Circulation, Inc
New Image Sales, Inc
Rainbow Sales, Inc
Southern Marketing Group, LLC
Yoli and Associates, Inc
Editorials International, Inc


Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 11, 2007
Watch groups say door-to-door sales crews like indentured servants
By Maggie Shepard (Contact)
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
About three times a month, on average, traveling magazine sales crews commit crimes ranging from petty theft to homicide, according to a parent-organized watch group founded by a man whose daughter was killed during her stint with a sales team. "In the last eight years, we've logged 280 high-profile cases," said Phil Ellenbecker, the watch group's founder. His Web site, travelingsalescrews.info, keeps court records, corporate lineages, testimonials and a chronology of crimes attributed to or suffered by members of the traveling sales groups. The latest additions to the list are two homicides in Albuquerque's Northeast Heights, though suspects Travis Rowley and Michael Lee have not been indicted, much less convicted, on the murder charges on which they were arrested. The list, which Ellenbecker said is culled from media reports — including a lengthy New York Times investigation of the industry in February —along with first-person accounts, paints a picture of roving bands of bandits, murderers, rapists, kidnappers and swindlers. Industry officials told the New York Times they don't condone violence or drug use and don't abuse their workers. The stories persist, however, and especially vulnerable, Ellenbecker's list suggests, are female crew members, who have been assaulted or killed in secluded areas. In December 2006, a 19-year-old crew member was found in the woods outside Memphis, Tenn. She was last seen selling subscriptions at a gas station in Arkansas, according to media reports and Ellenbecker's list. That same month, a 27-year-old crew member was arrested and charged with dragging a 16-year-old boy into some bushes and attempting to rape him in Vista, Calif. The two incidents were among dozens of homicides the list attributes to magazine sales crews and the lifestyle that accompanies them. The list also details assaults, petty larceny arrests and crew members found with numerous outstanding warrants. In New Mexico, the 2005 slaying of Benjamin Suazo outside a Santa Fe bowling alley is attributed to a traveling magazine sales team. One of the crew members who is no longer facing charges in Suazo's death was recently charged with kidnapping a fellow crew member in California when the member tried to leave the crew, according to news reports. That, Ellenbecker said, is another dirty detail of magazine sales crews, which he calls a type of indentured servitude. Crew members earn about $20 a day, far less than is promised by their employers, Ellenbecker said. When Rowley was booked into jail Saturday, he had $1.55 to his name, according to Metro Detention Center documents. Lee had none. Without sufficient earnings, members who want to leave the crew are stuck without money for a bus ticket home, Ellenbecker said. Another group, parentwatch.org, provides free bus tickets to any crew member who calls seeking help, Ellenbecker said. "Some crews are better than others, but buying something from any of these groups promotes crime," Ellenbecker said. "The kids are exploited."
By Maggie Shepard (Contact)
Albuquerque Journal
abqjournal.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 11, 2007
Magazine Firm Known for Exploitation
By Olivier Uyttebrouck
Journal Staff Writer
Albuquerque Journal
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
A Las Vegas, Nev., firm that employed two salesmen charged in the killings of an elderly Albuquerque couple is a troubled firm in an industry notorious for scams and exploitation of young workers, business watchdogs said Monday. Integrity Program LLC, a book and magazine sales company, has racked up 125 customer complaints in the past 36 months, according to the Nevada Better Business Bureau. Only last week, Texas Children's Hospital in Houston issued a consumer alert warning that Integrity Program was running a phony fundraising scheme that purported to benefit the hospital, according to a hospital spokeswoman. A similar warning was issued by the Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation in April. A phone number listed for Integrity Program was not in service Monday. E-mail requests sent to the firm's agent, Terra Robbins, were not returned. On Monday, City Council President Brad Winter said councilors need to re-examine the city law that regulates the activities of door-to-door sales with an eye toward strengthening enforcement. But the problem is complicated by the stealthy nature of sales groups that often enter the city and leave before authorities learn they are here, he said. "They need to be registered and get a photo permit, but it's not being done," Winter said. "They come and they leave. They're basically in here incognito." Michael Joseph Lee, 21, and Travis R. Rowley, 23, were arrested Friday by Albuquerque police. Each faces two counts of murder in the Dec. 4 deaths of Tak Yi, 79, and his wife, Pung Yi, 69. Each remained jailed Monday in lieu of $2 million cash-only bonds. Under Albuquerque's ordinance, door-to-door salesmen are required to have a permit that includes a photograph. City officials remained uncertain Monday whether Lee and Rowley had an ID. The Better Business Bureau has issued an "unsatisfactory" record for Integrity Programs due to a large volume of complaints. Door-to-door sales companies have a history of exploiting young people they recruit to sell books and magazine subscriptions, said Jerry Shipman, president of the Better Business Bureau of the Southwest based in Albuquerque. "Usually, these people make so little money, they have no options," Shipman said of the sales recruits. "They have limited contact with their families. It's hard for them to get out of that situation." In the case of Integrity Program, the firm racks up three to five customer complaints a month, ranging from nondelivery and false billing to product misrepresentation, the business group reported. "That's a very large number of complaints," Shipman said. He advised consumers to reject any efforts to sell books or magazines on the doorstep. "The customer who buys from them must be aware that they're sustaining a practice that's harmful both to customers and the sales people — the teenager recruited to do this," he said.
By Olivier Uyttebrouck
Journal Staff Writer
Albuquerque Journal
abqjournal.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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San Antonio, Texas
Integrity Program
Sales Fraud !!!

December 11, 2007
Door-To-Door Sales Group May Be Preying on San Antonio Generosity
Reported by: Kim Fischer
Email: kimfischer@woai.com
WOAI News 4
Last Update: 12/11/07; 7:26 am
News 4 discovered the track record behind a sales company is enough to make you not want to open your door. (News 4) A traveling sales group is in San Antonio, and they may be preying on your generosity. College age kids may come to your door say they're raising money for a school trip, and sending magazines to the troops. News 4 found out that may not be the truth. The kids are clean cut and say they live in your neighborhood. But News 4 discovered the kids live nowhere near San Antonio, and the track record behind the company they work for is enough to make you not want to open your door. "I opened the door, and it was a young kid, bout 18-years-old, blonde hair," explained homeowner Michael, who didn't want to give his last name. He told News 4 he got an uneasy feeling about the young man named "Travis" from the beginning. "He said he was a UT student, and that he's selling magazine subscriptions to sell to the troops," said Michael. But Michael said when it came time to pay, Travis changed his story. "He said that I could make it out to the school in the beginning of the conversation. Then he changed it to make it out the Integrity Program" explained Michael. Michael wrote a check, but quickly got online to investigate Integrity. His search pulled up countless negative blogs and reports on the company. "So, I put my shoes on and walked outside, and he had already begun giving the spiel to a neighbor that was standing outside," Michael said. Michael demanded his money back, called police, and then called News 4. News 4 found out that the Integrity Program is based in Las Vegas and does not have a good reputation there. "Certainly, this company has an unsatisfactory record with us here in Las Vegas," said Sylvia Campbell of the Las Vegas Better Business Bureau. But it doesn't stop there. Two men were arrested in Albuquerque Saturday for the brutal murder of an elderly couple. "These two were affiliated with Integrity Program out of Las Vegas, Nevada," said John Walsh of the Albuquerque Police Department. The Albuquerque Police Department said the motive was theft. The two men were also in the same group that's in San Antonio now. Police say no matter how convincing, when it comes to solicitors like this, it's best to just say 'no thank you,' and send them away. If you want to give to the troops, they say it's best to find an organization on your own.
Reported by: Kim Fischer
Email: kimfischer@woai.com
WOAI News 4
San Antonio, Texas
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San Antonio, Texas
Integrity Program
Sales Fraud !!!

December 11, 2007
Be Wary Of Door-To-Door Magazine Sales
Some Door-To-Door Salespeople May Use Unsavory Tactics
KSAT 12
POSTED: 3:39 pm CST December 11, 2007
UPDATED: 3:53 pm CST December 11, 2007
SAN ANTONIO -- Mike Chapa had a visitor at his door one day and now he’s warning you to be on the lookout. The young man, “Travis,” he introduced himself as, claimed to be a student at the University of Texas at Austin and was going door-to-door in an attempt to sell magazine subscriptions for a trip to London. The young man told Chapa he lived down the street and said that Chapa likely had seen his mother walking their golden retriever through the neighborhood. That’s when the sales pitch came. Chapa was offered the opportunity to purchase magazine subscriptions at discounted prices, and even if he didn’t want the magazines he paid for, they could be sent to troops serving overseas. “So I figured I could help him out and help the troops out with reading material,” Chapa said. Chapa wrote the young man’s company – Integrity Program – a check for $25. “Something didn’t feel right, but I trusted him because he said he was the neighbor’s kid,” Chapa said. After having second thoughts, Chapa found the young man at another home down the street and asked for his money back. KSAT 12 attempted to contact Integrity Program at its offices in Las Vegas, but the number is disconnected. The company’s Web site read that the contractors are self-employed. A report from the Better Business Bureau lists more than 120 complaints for dishonest sales and non-delivery of products ordered. Other consumer Web sites list multiple stories from unsatisfied customers of Integrity Program including claims of dishonest sales tactics such as vacation prizes for contractors and relation to neighborhood residents.
KSAT 12
ksat.com
San Antonio, Texas
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 11, 2007
Door-to-Door Salesmen Based in Las Vegas Kill Elderly Couple Edward Lawrence, Reporter 8 HD CBS lasvegasnow eyewitness news
Updated: Dec 11, 2007 08:32 PM CST
Two magazine salesmen in Albuquerque are accused of murdering an elderly couple. Now it's been learned the company claims to be based in Las Vegas. The crime highlights a problem both Metro police and the state's attorney general's office have been working on in Nevada. This neighborhood like many others in Las Vegas sees its share of door-to-door salespeople. We've all had them. A knock around dinner time, there's a younger looking person at the door giving a story about a school trip or charity. The pitch is -- just buy a magazine to help the cause. Vincent Barajas feels safe walking through his neighborhood. He takes a couple of his dogs for a walk almost every day. Those dogs also make sure the wrong people stay away from his front door. "I have two pit bulls and the German shepherd and people -- they sense that in people because there are some people they just don't like at all," said Barajas. Last week in Albuquerque, police say two door-to-door magazine salesmen murdered an elderly couple. According to Albuquerque police reports, the two were dropped off with 15 other salespeople. Instead of selling, the police reports say Michael Lee and Travis Rowley robbed the couple. Then the report says Lee suffocated the wife and stomped on the husband's head until he died. Both Lee and Rowley worked for Integrity Program, LLC, based in Las Vegas. The Better Business Bureau lists the company address near the intersection of Maryland and Sahara. The phone number has been disconnected and the office was not at the address. Metro police officer Bill Cassell says this crime highlights the need to be cautious when anyone comes to the door. "Ask them to show you their identification. They should have some type of ID. Usually it's a hand badge," said Cassell. Cassell says call the company to verify the salesperson is who they say they are. He adds always talk through the door while it's locked. "If you do feel you want to take them up on their solicitation, buy a magazine or whatever it is they are selling -- and you are home alone, wait until there is someone else with you," he said. That means asking them to come back later or use Barajas' plan to weed out the bad element. "My dogs, yeah. They do let us know," said Barajas. The bottom line is be cautious. The state's attorney general's office says there have been more than 20 complaints against Integrity Program in Nevada. The state Consumer Affairs division is also taking action against another company for selling subscriptions to another 20 people and never delivering. The recommendation from the state is not to buy anything at your door because too many bad apples outweigh the honest dealers. Las Vegas Metro police put tips for preventing home invasion from someone knocking at your door on YouTube.
Edward Lawrence, Reporter
8 HD CBS lasvegasnow eyewitness news
lasvegasnow.com
Las Vegas, Nevada
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 10, 2007
Alleged killers latest linked to door-to-door violence
Reporter: Addie Knowlton | Web Producer: Bill Diven
KRQE NEWS 13
Posted: Dec 10, 2007 11:15 PM CST
ALBUQUERQUE - The two traveling salesmen accused of murdering an elderly Albuquerque couple had not applied for city permits to be selling magazines door-to-door in the city. Travis Rowley, 23, and Michael Lee, 21, are accused of beating the couple to death during a daytime robbery while out selling magazines last week. It's not the first time salespeople have been implicated in crimes in New Mexico. It's happened before in Albuquerque and in Santa Fe where door-to-door salespeople who become violent. In January 2004, Amber Armitage told KRQE News 13 two 20-year-old women came to her door selling magazines. When she refused to buy, she said one woman pushed her inside the house and then beat her against a wall. Then in October 2005, Santa Fe police reported four magazine salesmen in an SUV ran over and killed a man in a bowling alley parking lot. Then last week Tak Yi, 79, and his wife, Pung Yi, 69, were found dead in their home, and within days Albuquerque police arrested Rowley and Lee. The city of Albuquerque requires door-to-door salesmen to get permits by paying a fee, providing photographs and proving they have not been convicted of a crime in the past 10 years. But city officials conceded the ordinance is difficult to enforce. "It's hard for us to tell if someone just comes into town one day with a van full of folks," Ed Adams, the city's chief operations officer, said. "We're not going to know that if somebody doesn't give us some help." Adams said he would encourages citizens to call the city's 311 help linveif approached by salespeople. City officials said there is little the city can do to completely eliminate door-to-door sales. Some cities have tried, but recent decisions by the U. S. Supreme Court found total bans to be unconstitutional. It's a misdemeanor crime to violate the ordinance punishable with a fine of up to $500 and 90 days in jail.
Reporter: Addie Knowlton | Web Producer: Bill Diven
KRQE NEWS 13
krqe.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 10, 2007
Boston native a suspect in couple's killing
Man faces charges in New Mexico
The Boston Globe
By Associated Press | December 10, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE - Two traveling salesmen, including one born in Massachusetts, robbed an elderly Albuquerque couple before beating and suffocating the wife and fatally stomping on the husband's head, according to criminal complaints. Michael Lee, 21, who was born in Boston, and Travis Rowley, 23, a native of Glendora, Calif., have been charged with two open counts of murder and tampering with evidence in the killings. Tak Yi, 79, and his 69-year-old wife, Pung Yi, were killed in their home Tuesday. Lee and Rowley worked for IntegrityPGM, a Las Vegas-based company that contracts young people to sell magazine and book subscriptions nationwide. The two men, who were booked as transients, arrived in Albuquerque Dec. 2 with about 15 salesmen, who have since left town. They are being held on a $2 million bond. Family members told investigators that jewelry, several cameras, and credit cards were missing from the home. According to the criminal complaints, Rowley and Lee were dropped off in the Yis's neighborhood to sell the subscriptions when they saw Tak Yi working in his backyard. Rowley told police that Lee said he was going to "steal an item from the home." Lee allegedly punched an elderly woman who fell to the floor, and Rowley reportedly dragged her into the home. Then, Tak Yi entered the home and tried to call police, Rowley told authorities. After punching the man twice, Rowley said Lee suffocated the woman and then walked over to the man and stomped his foot on his head, the complaint said. Rowley said he believed the "blow was fatal."
The Boston Globe
By Associated Press | December 10, 2007
libertypost.org
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Original URL: boston.com
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 10, 2007
Door-to-Door Salesmen Charged in Death of New Mexico Couple
foxnews.com
Monday, December 10, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE — Two traveling salesmen robbed an elderly Albuquerque couple before beating and suffocating the wife and stomping on the husband's head, according to criminal complaints. Michael Lee, 21, who was born in Boston, and Travis Rowley, 23, a native of Glendora, Calif., have been charged with two open counts of murder and tampering with evidence in the killings. Korean immigrants Tak Yi, 79, and his 69-year-old wife, Pung Yi, were killed in their home Tuesday. Lee and Rowley worked for IntegrityPGM, a Las Vegas, Nev.-based company that contracts young people to sell magazine and book subscriptions nationwide. The two men, who were booked as transients, arrived in Albuquerque Dec. 2 with about 15 salesmen, who have since left town. They are being held on a $2 million bond. Family members told investigators that jewelry, several cameras and credit cards were missing from the home, the complaints showed. According to the criminal complaints, Rowley and Lee were dropped off in the Yis' neighborhood to sell the subscriptions when they saw Tak Yi working in his backyard. Rowley told police that Lee said he was going to "steal an item from the home." Lee allegedly punched an elderly woman who fell to the floor, and Rowley reportedly dragged her into the home. Then Tak Yi entered the home and tried to call police, Rowley told police. After punching the man twice, Rowley said Lee suffocated the woman and then walked over to the man and stomped his foot on his head, the complaint said. Rowley said he believed the "blow was fatal."
foxnews.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 9, 2007
New Details Uncovered In Double Homicide Investigation
KOAT-TV
KOAT 7
POSTED: 4:31 pm MST December 9, 2007
UPDATED: 12:40 pm MST December 10, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New details have emerged in a double homicide investigation in northeast Albuquerque. Tak and Pung Yi, prominent members of Albuquerque's Korean community, were found dead in their home on Tuesday. Immediately, Albuquerque police began piecing together clues. Since that time, APD took Michael Joseph Lee and Travis Rowley into custody. The men now face two open counts of murder. Court documents allege Lee and Rowley were going door-to-door in the Yis neighborhood selling magazines and books. When first questioned by police, Lee said he went to the Yi home, but never went inside, according to police. When police questioned Travis Rowley, they said they learned something different. Court records allege Rowley said Lee told him that he was going to go into the Yi home and steal something. Rowley alleges Lee slipped in through the home's garage. Rowley said he only went into the home after hearing Lee yelling obscenities. Rowley alleges he saw Lee punch a woman in the head, then hit a man and stomp on his head. "I'm glad we know who did it and why. But it is a sad, sad thing," said Kyong Lee, a friend of the Yi family. "They were a lovely couple. They loved each other. They loved their family." Lee and Rowley are both in custody on a $2 million bond.
KOAT-TV
KOAT 7
koat.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 9, 2007
Police: Robbery motive in couple's slayings
By | The New Mexican and wire services
12/9/07
santafenewmexican.com
ALBUQUERQUE — Two traveling salesmen robbed an elderly Albuquerque couple before beating and suffocating the wife and stomping on the husband's head, according to criminal complaints. Michael Lee, 21, who was born in Boston, and Travis Rowley, 23, a native of Glendora, Calif., have been charged with two open counts of murder and tampering with evidence in the killings. Korean immigrants Tak Yi, 79, and his 69-year-old wife, Pung Yi, were killed in their home Tuesday. Lee and Rowley worked for IntegrityPGM, a Las Vegas, Nev.-based company that contracts young people to sell magazine and book subscriptions nationwide. The two men, who were booked as transients, arrived in Albuquerque on Dec. 2 with about 15 salesmen, who have since left town. They are being held on a $2 million bond.
By | The New Mexican and wire services
santafenewmexican.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 9, 2007
Slain Couple Had Big Hearts
Sunday, December 9, 2007
By Caleb Fort
Journal Staff Writer
A memorial for a slain Albuquerque couple drew about 250 people to the Korean United Methodist Church on Saturday. Some of the mourners travelled from Korea to provide support to the family of Tak and Pung Yi, who were found dead Tuesday at their Northeast Heights home by their son. John Hampton, a relative of the couple, said the family is having a hard time dealing with the deaths but appreciated the sympathy. "They're touched and moved by the reaction of the community," he said. "Both the Korean community and others have been amazing." The church parking lot quickly filled, and late-comers had to park on the dirt shoulder. Pung Yi was a member of the church. Harold Walling , also one of the couple's relatives, described them as sweet, gentle people who would "give the shirt off their back" to help someone in need. Hampton said they were "slight in stature, big in heart." Two travelling magazine salesmen, Travis Rowley, 23, and Mike Lee, 21, have been charged with two open counts of murder.
By Caleb Fort
Journal Staff Writer
Albuquerque Journal
abqjournal.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 9, 2007
Criminal complaint details Yis' murders
Reporter: Mike Paluska | Web Producer: Todd Dukart
KRQE NEWS 13
Posted: Dec 9, 2007 06:52 PM CST
ALBUQUERQUE - Two men accused of beating an elderly Albuquerque couple to death allegedly entered their home through the garage, according to a criminal complaint. Travis Rowley, 23, and Mike Lee, 21, were arraigned today. Each is charged with two open counts of murder and tampering with evidence. According to a criminal complaint, Rowley and Lee allegedly entered the home of Tak Yi, 79, and Pung Yi, 69, last Tuesday through the couple's open garage. While in the home, the men allegedly stole cameras, jewelry and credit cards, and allegedly severely beat the Yis to death. Both men told police they were transients and had only lived in the area for about a week, selling magazines door to door. A state background check showed no felony convictions for Rowley. Lee had admitted to a lengthy juvenile criminal record - two felony convictions and four misdemeanors. Each is being held on a $2 million cash-only bond.
Reporter: Mike Paluska | Web Producer: Todd Dukart
KRQE NEWS 13
krqe.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Read This Story


Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 8, 2007
Magazine salesmen held in Yi murders
Reporter: Addie Knowlton | Web Producer: Bill Diven
KRQE NEWS 13
Posted: Dec 8, 2007 12:25 AM CST
ALBUQUERQUE - Albuquerque police said they're confident they've found the two men who murdered an older couple earlier this week. Late today at a news conference police announced they have taken into custody two men who were selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door. They were identified as Travis Rowley, 23, and Mike Lee, 21. Investigators said Rowley matches the man in a composite sketch police released Wednesday. Investigators also said it was tips from the community that helped find the suspects. Today Albuquerque Police Department Chief Ray Schultz thanked the community for calling in tips. He said police were inundated with calls after releasing the sketch and description Rowley was taken into custody in Rio Rancho after police acted on tips that he was in the area selling magazines. Lee was picked up on the Westside today. Police said the men are transients from Dallas who travel all over the country selling magazines for a company called Integrity Program Sales. The two are accused of murdering Pung Yi, 69, and her husband, and Tak Yi, 79, who were found dead in their northeast Albuquerque home Tuesday. They'd both suffered head trauma. Police said there was no forced entry into the Yi's home, and it wasn't ransacked. Investigators are still looking for a motive. "This investigation is still in the beginning," Schultz said. "A lot of work needs to be done tonight, this weekend, and into next week." Police are trying to put together a timeline of Tuesday. They're asking anyone who may have come in contact with the two men Tuesday night to call Crime Stoppers at 843-STOP (843-7867). Police said Rowley and Lee will both be charged with an open count of murder, tampering with evidence, and conspiracy.
Reporter: Addie Knowlton | Web Producer: Bill Diven
KRQE NEWS 13
krqe.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Read This Story


Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 8, 2007
Tip from Rio Rancho resident helped trip two charged in Yi slayings
By Maggie Shepard (Contact)
Albuquerque Tribune
Saturday, December 8, 2007
A tip from an alert Rio Rancho resident led to the arrests of two men suspected in the slaying of a Northeast Heights couple. The tip came Thursday, and by Friday afternoon, police had charged traveling magazine salesmen Travis Rowley, 23, and Michael J. Lee, 21, with murder. Both men are being held in the Metropolitan Detention Center in lieu of $2 million bond. Rowley and Lee, members of a sales team, were set to leave the Albuquerque area today, police said. The cascade of events began when a resident at one of the homes where Rowley stopped in the Enchanted Hills area of Rio Rancho called Rio Rancho police with a tip Thursday afternoon, about 48 hours after the bodies of Tak Yi, 79, and his wife, Pung Yi, 69, were were discovered. Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said when Rio Rancho police arrived in the area they found a man walking down the street, confronted him, then decided he so closely matched an artist's sketch of a "person of interest" developed earlier that they took him into custody. The man, Rowley, was held overnight at Sandoval County Jail and was turned over to Albuquerque police Friday. An interview Friday tied Rowley to the home where the Yis were killed. Detectives say Rowley also told them of an accomplice. Lee was then picked up on the West Side, doing what he was doing when police say he and Rowley killed the Yis: selling magazine subscriptions. Homicide Sgt. Carlos Argueta said the motive in the killings isn't clear, and police have yet to say how the Yis were killed. Schultz said he expects more details about the deaths to be available Monday or Tuesday. But what was made clear at a news conference announcing Rowley and Lee's arrest Friday evening was that the young men are not from Albuquerque and were selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door in the city and in Rio Rancho. A man matching Rowley's description was seen Tuesday about a block from the Yis' house on the 6900 block of Avenida la Costa Northeast. Witnesses said the man appeared to be in his teens and that he said he was telling residents he needed money for a school project. A sketch of the man developed from the witnesses' statements eventually led to Rowley's arrest. Tak and Pung Yi were found late Tuesday afternoon when one of their sons checked in on them. Both suffered severe head trauma, though police have not said whether they were beaten, shot or stabbed. Police said the home had not been ransacked and officers didn't find a gun or other obvious weapon. Schultz said trace evidence in the case, which might be tracked through DNA testing, is extremely important. He has also said keeping key details confidential is important to the "sanctity of this case." Detectives hoped to find where the two men were staying and to conduct interviews with about 20 people, including some of the men's magazine sales team members. The men worked for a company called Integrity PGM, a Las Vegas, Nev., company featured in several news reports and numerous blogs as a scam company exploiting dangerous and wayward youths by forcing them to peddle subscriptions in city after city while withholding money and decent living condition. No phone contact is available for Integrity PGM, but pictures of salespeople and a company description are available on their Web site (integritypgm.com). Detectives on Friday night had not figured out where Rowley or Lee are from originally or whether either has a criminal record. Argueta said detectives learned that the team canvassing Albuquerque and Rio Rancho in the past week had been planning to leave the area today, and that without the tips from the public the two suspects might not have been located. "They'd been out in the public since Tuesday," Argueta said. "And they were headed West." His team of about 25 detectives plan on searching nationally for related crimes. Lee and Rowley are charged with an open count of murder, conspiracy and tampering with evidence.
By Maggie Shepard (Contact)
Albuquerque Tribune
abqtrib.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 7, 2007
Suspect talks in double murder investigation
By: Eyewitness News 4
kob.com
Posted at: 12/07/2007 06:36:31 PM
Updated at: 12/08/2007 07:34:41 PM
The suspects, Mike Lee and Travis Rowley, wore hooded jump suits as they were escorted by police FridayPolice say they have a confession in the double murder of an elderly couple. Travis Rowley, 23, said he only wanted to sell a half order of books to Tak and Pung Yi when his sales partner, 21-year-old Mike Lee decided to steal something from their home. According to an arrest warrant, Rowley said he saw Lee punch and then kill both victims. He told police shortly after his arrest Lee “suffocated the female to death, walked over to the male victim and stomped his foot on the male victim's head." Police took Lee and Rowley into custody Friday afternoon. The men were selling magazine subscriptions in the northeast heights neighborhood when they came to the victims' home. Tak Yi, 79, and his wife Pung Yi, 69, were found dead in their house with what police call massive head trauma. The suspects are not Albuquerque natives. Police say they are from Dallas, Texas. APD has acquired several search warrants and is continuing its investigation. Rowley and Lee are both being held on an open count of murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy.
By: Eyewitness News 4
kob.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 7, 2007
Arrests Made In Double Homicide
KOAT 7
POSTED: 6:57 pm MST December 7, 2007
UPDATED: 9:37 am MST December 8, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Two arrests have been made in the double murder of an elderly northeast Albuquerque couple. Police said Travis Rowley, 23, and Mike Lee, 21, were arrested Friday in connection with the deaths of Tak and Pung Yi, who were found found dead in their home earlier this week. Police said the victims suffered massive head trauma. The death was a shock to Albuquerque's Korean community. Police said Rowley and Lee were transients from the Dallas area. They were working in Albuquerque selling magazines door-to-door for a company called Integrity PGM Sales. Police said the Albuquerque community was very helpful, contributing up to six tips per hour. Police said a circulated artist sketch matched Rowley's appearance. Rowley and Lee will be transported to the Metro Detention Center Friday evening and charged with two open counts of murder. Both are being held on a $2 million dollar cash only bond. If you have information or if the two men came to your house trying to sell magazines, you are asked to call rime Stoppers at 843-STOP.
KOAT 7
koat.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Durango Colorado
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Alert !!!

December 7, 2007
Police cite solicitors for selling in the city
December 7, 2007
By Shane Benjamin | Herald Staff Writer
The Durango Herald
The Durango Police Department is warning residents that door-to-door solicitation in city limits is illegal. On Tuesday, police cited Integrity Subscriptions for selling magazine subscriptions to residents on Delwood Avenue, said Sgt. Tony Archuleta. Police responded to the neighborhood after receiving a couple of complaints from residents, he said. It was unknown how many sales people were going door-to-door. In the past, as many as 12 individuals have been dropped off in town to solicit products for any one company, Archuleta said. "You can't go door-to-door like that at all," he said. Those caught soliciting can be fined as much as $1,000 in municipal court. Residents who want to report unwelcome solicitation can call police at 385-2900. Archuleta warned residents not to give cash, checks or credit-card information to solicitors, with the exception of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. "You really have no guarantee that you're going to get your magazine subscription, even if you give them a check," he said.
By Shane Benjamin | Herald Staff Writer
The Durango Herald
durangoherald.com
Durango, Colorado
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Albuquerque New Mexico
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
Double Homicide

December 6, 2007
Albuquerque police seek man of interest in double homicide
By Maggie Shepard (Contact)
Albuquerque Tribune
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Albuquerque police released this sketch of a man they say is of interest in the double homicide. Invoking the specter of the infamous 1996 Hollywood Video murders, Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said his department will be handling information in the city's latest homicides with the same hyper-caution. Tak Yi, 79, and his wife, Pung Yi, 69, were found dead in their home on the 6900 block of Avenida La Costa Northeast on Tuesday afternoon by their son, who had stopped to check on them. The two suffered massive trauma to their heads, but police aren't releasing whether that trauma was a beating, shooting or stabbing. That is just one of the details that needs to be managed to keep control of "a very complex case," Schultz said at a news conference Wednesday. But unlike in the Hollywood Video murders, when news media were criticized for releasing too much information, Schultz did provide the public with some details. He also asked for publicity of a sketch of a man police are calling a person of interest. The man, believed to be white, in his teens or early 20s and about 5 feet 11 inches tall, had earlier in the week approached a home about a block from the Yi household. The man had a conversation with the homeowner and asked to come inside the home, Schultz said. The man is being targeted as a person of interest because of his "very unusual behavior" in the neighborhood on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, but Schultz would not say what he had done beyond the conversation with the neighbor. Police say there seems to be no sign of forced entry into the Yi home. And Schultz said detectives are working with the Yis' four children to determine whether items are missing from the home. "There does not seem to be a clear motive," Schultz said. "We are pulling all the stops out on this case." The couple's son told police he had not heard from them for a day and checked on them around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. He called police for help, police spokesman John Walsh said. Officers found one of the victims in a hallway and the other in the kitchen. Autopsies performed Wednesday are expected to determine what killed the couple. Meanwhile, Schultz said he plans to control the release of information in this case the way it was controlled in the 1996 homicides of five people that began at a Hollywood Video store. Police and then-District Attorney Bob Schwartz railed against local media for releasing too much information, claiming that it jeopardized police efforts to verify thousands of tips from the public.
By Maggie Shepard (Contact)
Albuquerque Tribune
abqtrib.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Houston Texas
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Scam Alert !!!

December 6, 2007
Hospital has warning of fundraising scam
Local
ABC 13 EYEWITNESS NEWS
Thursday, December 06, 2007 | 5:35 AM HOUSTON -- Texas
Children's Hospital wants to warn you about a scam.
The hospital says someone is going door-to-door trying to sell books and magazines on behalf of the hospital. The scam artists claim the proceeds from the sale will help the 'Magazine for Kid's' program at the hospital. It turns out there is no such fundraising program. A hospital spokesman told Eyewitness News that Texas Children's does not solicit door to door and the 'Magazines for Kids' program does not exist.
ABC 13 EYEWITNESS NEWS
abclocal.go.com
Houston, Texas
Read This Story


Southwest, Florida
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Scam Alert !!!

December 5, 2007
Investigators: scam artists are canvassing Southwest Florida
By WINK News
Story Created: Dec 5, 2007 at 9:20 PM EST
Story Updated: Dec 6, 2007 at 10:46 AM EST
Lee County, Fla. - Investigators say scam artists are out and about this holiday season. Some people are going door to door, asking residents to buy magazines and books, even study abroad trips, to support a charity. Deputies say, don't fall for it. WINK News received reports scam artists were out Tuesday night in the Matera neighborhood in Fort Myers. Investigators believe multiple groups are out there with the same goal - to separate you from your cash, for what you think is a good cause. Kim Dider says her family was watching television Tuesday night, when the scammers knocked on her door. "We hollered for them to come in because we thought it was a friend, and they came in wanting to sell us books to fund a trip to Italy," says Dider. Lee County Sheriff's Investigators say it's a story they're hearing more and more. "You're going to see these people come up with clipboards and some fliers and stuff that looks very official, very professional, but don't let that fool you," says Sgt. Larry King with the Lee County Sheriff's Office. Investigators also say beware of the high pressure tactics the scam artists use. "They wanted cash, they were going to give me nothing in return and I just felt very uncomfortable," says Dider. She turned the men away, but others have fallen prey to similar scams, thinking they were helping U.S. troops. "They said since we didn't need a magazine we could buy one for someone overseas, so we bought one and it turned out it was a scam," says Lillian Newman of Fort Myers. As for who to look out for, deputies say it's not just adults. Some of the door to door solicitors are children. "They prey on people's goodwill I think," says Newman. WINK News called Florida State University's International Studies Program, one of the establishments the scammers are claiming to be with. FSU says they in no way support students raising money this way. If you still feel compelled to give, investigators ask you do your research and ask for a receipt.
By WINK News
winknews.com
Southwest Florida
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Madison, Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Journal editorial

November 29, 2007
Shady crews, stay away
Wisconsin ought to trumpet this warning:
A Wisconsin State Journal editorial
THU., NOV 29, 2007 - 5:21 PM
From now on, the owners of shady door-to-door sales businesses had better steer their traveling crews away from Wisconsin. Thanks to a Dunn County court decision, this state has pierced the corporate veil these unscrupulous operators hide behind to escape responsibility for assaults and other crimes committed by members of their crews. They can no longer let their crews loose in Wisconsin without sweating over the risk of personal liability.

By highlighting Wisconsin as a state for shady traveling sales businesses to avoid, the court decision protects the safety not only of Wisconsin consumers but also young people recruited to join the crews.

The list of horror stories involving traveling sales crews across the country includes a 1999 van crash near Janesville that killed seven young crew members. The van was driven by a 20-year-old serial traffic offender whose license was suspended. The company employing the crew was cited for nearly 100 violations of employment and wage laws.

The Dunn County case began, as all too many traveling sales crew stories begin, with a crime. In July 2005, Brandon Green, a Minnesota resident with a criminal history, was selling magazines door-to-door in Menomonie when he violently beat and sexually assaulted a woman in her home.

Green was convicted of second-degree sexual assault.

In such cases the out-of-state business operators in charge of the sales crews count on being able to claim a protection from responsibility that most businesses lack. Shady sales crew operators erect barriers between them and their crews to escape the reach of the courts. With no legal liability, the operators are free to be unscrupulous. Victims trying to sue for damages are out of luck.

That's where this fall's Dunn County case turned in favor of Wisconsin's law-abiding citizens.

With Madison lawyers Jim Olson and John Carlson Jr. from Lawton & Cates making the argument, Judge William Stewart ruled that the corporate veil was no defense.

The decision, upheld by the court of appeals, cleared the way for the victim's lawsuit against corporate officials from three traveling sales crew businesses, all in Florida.

The shady operators are now personally at risk.

Wisconsin should follow up the ruling with improved regulation of traveling sales crews. The state Senate has passed a bill, now awaiting a hearing in an Assembly committee.

Meantime, Wisconsin should advertise its reputation as a state that has put out an unwelcome mat for shady traveling sales crews -- a message that sales crew operators can now ignore only at their own risk.

• Senate Oks Rules For Traveling Sales (April news story)
Read This Story


• Learn more about traveling crews at parentwatch.org
• Learn more at travelingsalescrews.info

A Wisconsin State Journal editorial
madison.com
Madison, Wisconsin
Read This Story

For More Information On This Rape Case Click Here




Okaloosa County, Florida
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Alert !!!

November 27, 2007
Magazine salesman robbed at local apartments
Tom McLaughlin
Northwest Florida Daily News
Tuesday November 27th, 2007
A magazine salesman told deputies he was mugged as he went from door to door at a local apartment complex. Michael Leonard, 25, said two men jumped him and grabbed the satchel he was carrying as he made his way from one apartment to another at the Royale Apartments at the corner of Denton Boulevard and Mayflower Avenue. He said he was pushed down and his magazine order form case and its contents were stolen, an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office report said. Leonard said the two men who attacked him split up as they fled through the apartment complex on foot. The Texas native, who said he was employed by a company called LSS Inc., claimed he’d lost four checks made out to the company, order forms, a price list, a “hot list” with magazine names on it and the case itself, valued at $64. He told deputies the case and its contents could only be replaced by LSS Inc., at a cost of $1,000.
Tom McLaughlin
Northwest Florida Daily News
nwfdailynews.com
Northwest Florida
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Madison, Wisconsin
Door-to-Door Sales Legislation - SB-80
Malinda's Traveling Sales Crew
Protection Act

November 24, 2007
Jon Erpenbach: Traveling sales crews need oversight
Jon Erpenbach, guest columnist — 11/24/2007 11:37 am
Editorial Column - Section A8
The Capital Times
Madison, Wisconsin
While the state budget was crawling forward this fall, an appeals court decision made major headway for victims of traveling sales crews. The decision, which upheld a Dunn County court ruling, held liable a traveling sales crew company for hiring an individual the firm knew was a risk with a criminal history. While working on the traveling sales crew, the employee forced his way into a Hudson woman's home and raped her. Traveling sales crews can often be safe harbor for criminals moving from state to state. This decision has highlighted a string of crimes committed by traveling sales crews. Many of the same companies have crews in Wisconsin going from door to door. For information on the criminal activity of over 250 members of traveling sales crews, visit www.travelingsalescrews.info. In September of this year, six individuals were arrested in Mequon for violating solicitation laws. They were warned by police but still went back to work in Mequon the following day. The 43-year-old crew chief was wanted on a felony warrant in Colorado and had a record with 15 known aliases. His extensive criminal history includes several drug offenses, assault with a deadly weapon, domestic abuse and battery. The traveling sales crew bill was first introduced in the 2001-2003 session and has been introduced in subsequent legislative sessions -- only to die at the end of the session in an Assembly committee. There is no excuse for the continued opposition to a bill to simply require traveling sales crews to register with the Department of Workforce Development. The Assembly has no reason for delaying basic human protections for employees of traveling sales crews, like the right to be paid for their work. Every day people with a known criminal history go from door to door in this state. Our neighbors, family members and baby sitters who answer the door are at risk. Some members of the Legislature call themselves tough on crime, yet the simple registry of sales crews cannot move forward in the Assembly. The traveling sales crew bill has languished in the Assembly Small Business Committee chaired by Rep. Terry Moulton since April. We need to know what companies are in our state going door to door, and we need to know who they employ. Without this information we do not have the ability to find and arrest crew members with outstanding warrants or the ability to go after a company that is negligent in its actions by hiring dangerous criminals. It is time for opposing legislators to step up to the plate on this issue. The only registered organization in opposition to Senate Bill 80, Malinda's law, is the door to door sales company, Southwestern Co. In support on the Web site are Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, Wisconsin Independent Business Inc., Wisconsin Merchants Federation, and the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. On the interstate in Janesville in March of 1999, seven children and young adults died and five more were seriously injured in a van crash. The driver of the vehicle was operating without a license and attempted to switch driving with a passenger when the vehicle passed a police officer on the highway. His action caused the crash and tragic death of members of the traveling sales crew. One of those members was Malinda Turvey, daughter of Phil Ellenbecker from Verona. Since the crash Ellenbecker has worked tirelessly to regulate traveling sales crews and give employees of the crews basic employee rights. Phil and Malinda are the inspiration for this legislation. It is my hope that Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls, and the rest of the Assembly Small Business Committee will stand up for safety in our communities and pass out of committee the simple regulation of traveling sales crews in Wisconsin.
For more information on Malinda's law, contact my office at 266-6670.
Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, serves in the state Senate.
Jon Erpenbach, guest columnist — 11/24/2007 11:37 am
Jon Erpenbach, guest columnist — 11/24/2007 11:37 am
Editorial Column - Section A8
The Capital Times
madison.com
Madison, Wisconsin
Read This Story




Green Bay, Wisconsin
Door-to-Door Sales

November 18, 2007
Bill may place limits on door-to-door sales
New legislation would require stricter application processes
By Karen Lincoln Michel
Press-Gazette Madison bureau
kmichel@greenbaypressgazette.com
greenbaypressgazette.com
Posted November 17, 2007
Amy Dart was at home with her young daughters last summer when a door-to-door salesman propositioned her with more than a magazine offer. Dart remembers him standing at her doorstep, explaining how his subscription sales would help him afford a trip he could use toward college credit. Suddenly his sales pitch turned flirtatious; he offered to take her on the trip with him. "I'm like: 'Excuse me? What are you talking about?'" Dart said. "You don't come to someone's house and make inappropriate advances like that, especially if you're in sales. I just was not comfortable." Luckily, a neighbor called police a short time earlier, after the same salesman pulled similar tactics with her, Dart said. Police tracked him to Dart's home, where he was arrested for selling without a permit. A bill in the state Legislature would require employers that manage traveling sales crews to undergo a more stringent application process for obtaining an operating permit from the state Department of Workforce Development. The bill would require sales crews to get a municipal stamp on the permit, which would be valid for one year. Each salesperson would be required to carry a DWD identification card. Employers also would have to notify local law enforcement authorities that their crews will be soliciting in their community. State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, a Middleton Democrat who is lead sponsor of the bill, is pushing for a hearing on the legislation. The DWD currently issues a house-to-house employer certificate, valid for one year. Local municipalities also have their own permitting process, but there is no coordinated effort to track and regulate operations. The issue has received more interest since last year's conviction of a door-to-door magazine salesman who beat and raped a Menomonie woman. A judge ruled this fall that the magazine company is liable. Phil Ellenbecker is the director of a national organization that tracks the door-to-door sales crew industry called the Dedicated Memorial Parents Group. He is a strong supporter of the legislation. Ellenbecker, a Madison-area resident whose daughter was one of seven magazine sellers killed in an accident near Janesville in 1999, says his group has documented the deaths of 28 homeowners nationwide in connection with magazine sales crews since his daughter's death eight years ago. "One of the things the bill does is it makes the kids ... employees of the companies as opposed to independent contractors, which then gives the kids rights, which they don't have now," Ellenbecker said. Without it, he says they are "indentured servants." Brown County Sheriff's Deputy John Flannery said most of the problems on the local level deal with selling without a permit. Flannery responded to the call at Dart's home, and also was threatened by a magazine seller in a separate incident in May in which the seller was arrested for disorderly conduct.
By Karen Lincoln Michel
Press-Gazette Madison bureau
kmichel@greenbaypressgazette.com
greenbaypressgazette.com
Green Bay, Wisconsin
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D.M.P.G. Info Clip
November 17, 2007

Wisconsin
On July 1, 2005 Brandon Green (a traveling magazine salesman employed by Gemini Subscriptions and Palmetto Marketing) brutally beat and raped a Menomonie, Wisconsin woman.

Dunn County District Attorney Criminal Complaint:
Read PDF Criminal Complaint

Lawsuit Filed Against Vincent Pitts and Palmetto Marketing
by Wisconsin Lawfirm Lawton and Cates:
Read The Civil Lawsuit Against Vincent Pitts

Dunn County Court Judge Stewart's Decision:
Read Court Decision

Wisconsin Court Of Appeals Denies Vincent Pitts Appeal:
October 30, 2007
Read PDF Wisconsin Court of Appeals Decision

Vincent Pitts is currently president of the
National Field Selling Association.
The NFSA (NFSA) is a trade group that represents many of the traveling magazine sales companies and magazine clearinghouses across the country.

The Magazine clearinghouses clear magazine subscriptions from the magazine sales crews and magazine sales companies up to the magazine publishers (Magazine Publishers of America: MPA).

Read Letters To The Publishers



Madison, Wisconsin
WISPOLITICS.COM
Wisconsin's Premier Political News Service
PRESS RELEASE

November 09, 2007
Press Release
11/9/2007
Sen. Erpenbach:
Safe neighborhoods:
Renewed call for Traveling Sales Crew Regulation
While the state budget was crawling forward this fall, a Dunn County court decision made major headway for community victims of traveling sales crews, which was recently upheld by an Appeals Court. The decision held liable the traveling sales crew company for the hiring of an individual they knew was a risk with a criminal history. While working on the traveling sales crew, a member of the crew forced his way into a Hudson woman’s home and raped and beat her. Traveling sales crews can often be safe harbor for criminals moving from state to state. This decision has highlighted a string of crimes committed by traveling sales crews, many of the same companies that have crews in Wisconsin going from door to door. For information on the criminal activity of over 250 high profile members of traveling sales crews visit www.travelingsalescrews.info.

In September of this year, six individuals were arrested in Mequon for violating solicitation laws, they were warned by police but still went back to work in Mequon the following day. The 43 year old crew chief had a felony warrant from Colorado and a record with 15 known alias names. His extensive criminal history includes several drug offenses, assault with a deadly weapon, domestic abuse and battery.

The traveling sales crew bill was first introduced in the 2001-2003 session and has been introduced in subsequent Legislative sessions only to die at the end of session in an Assembly Committee. There is no excuse for the continued opposition to a bill to simply require traveling sales crews to register with the Department of Workforce Development. The Assembly has no reason for delaying basic human protections for employees of traveling sales crews, like the right to be paid for their work.

Every day people with known criminal history go from door to door in this state. Our neighbors, family members, and baby sitters that answer the door are at risk. Some members of the Legislature call themselves tough on crime, yet the simple registry of sales crews cannot move forward in the Assembly. The traveling sales crew bill has languished in the Assembly Small Business Committee chaired by Representative Moulton since April.

We need to know what companies are in our state going door to door and we need to know who they employ. Without this nexus of information we do not have the ability to find and arrest crew members with outstanding warrants or the ability to go after a company that is negligent in its actions by hiring dangerous criminals. It is time for opposing Legislators to step up to the plate on this issue.

The only registered organization in opposition to Senate Bill 80, Malinda’s Law, is the door to door sales company, Southwestern Company. In support on the website are: Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, Wisconsin Independent Business Inc, Wisconsin Merchants Federation, and the Wisconsin State AFLCIO.

On the interstate in Janesville in March of 1999, seven children and young adults died and five more were seriously injured in a van crash. The driver of the vehicle was operating without a license and attempted to switch driving with a passenger when the vehicle passed a police officer on the highway. His action caused the crash and tragic death of members of the traveling sales crew. One of those members was Malinda Turvey, daughter of Phil Ellenbecker from Verona. Since the crash Ellenbecker has worked tirelessly to regulate traveling sales crews and give employees of the crews basic employee rights. Phil and Malinda are the inspiration for this legislation.

It is my hope that Representative Moulton, R – Chippewa Falls and the rest of the Assembly Small Business Committee will stand up for safety in our communities and pass out of committee the simple regulation of traveling sales crews in Wisconsin. For more information on Malinda’s Law Senate Bill 80 please contact my office at 608-266-6670.

Julie Laundrie
Office of State Senator Jon Erpenbach
608-266-6670
WISPOLITICS.COM
Wisconsin's Premier Political News Service
wispolitics.com
Madison, Wisconsin
Read This Story

Read This Press Release On Senator Jon Erpenbach's Website

Visit Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach's Website



Denver, Colorado
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Fraud !!!
Integrity Sales

November 09, 2007
Complaints Against Magazine Sales On The Rise
CBS4 Investigates Door To Door Sales Crews
Contact reporter Brian Maass at bmaass@cbs.com
Brian Maass
Reporting
Nov 9, 2007 5:04 pm US/Mountain
(CBS4) DENVER There has been a 25 percent increase in the number of consumer complaints during the last year about door to door magazine sales companies working along the Front Range, the Denver/Boulder Better Business Bureau said. A CBS4 Investigation talked to some people in door to door magazine sales who admit they'll do whatever it takes when they go to a person's home. CBS4 sent a producer in undercover with one sales crew and talked with unhappy consumers who have been allegedly scammed by the teams that often criss-cross the country. "If we run a list of companies, our top 30 for three years, we've got four magazine subscription companies on that list," said Susan Liehe of the Denver BBB. The sales crews are typically made up of young people who move from town to town and state to state. One Colorado based crew called "Fit for Life" hired an undercover CBS4 producer after she filled out a short application. During the brief job interview, the magazine sellers tell the CBS4 producer not to lie. "We try to be an honest group," said one member of the team. "Now there are a lot of crews out there that lie, cheat and steal. Magazine agents in general kind of have a bad reputation." One worker suggests the 22-year-old producer might have more success if she acts even younger. "So I'm talking to you as Stephanie, but when I'm in contests, I'm trying to act more like a kid so my voice is going to change a little bit and I act more kiddish (sic)." "Just so they like you?" the CBS4 producer asks. "No just so it's more convincing." The crew manager said most people aren't interested in what they're selling, but can be convinced. "Most people don't want magazines," the manager said. "You go to the door and say 'hi I'm Jesse and I'm in a contest. I'm trying to get 30,000 points to get me a trip for two to the Bahamas." The contest and the trip are real, the crew said. Plus they said it is a better technique than actually asking someone to buy magazines. "Fit for Life" is a relatively new magazine sales company. The Better Business Bureau lists no complaints against it. Scott Fly worked for a different, roving magazine crew, first in Utah, then in Colorado before he said he quit in disgust. "And I saw very few people making any money and the people who were making money were lying to the people they were speaking to at the doors," Fly told CBS4. "They were going away from the script the company had given us." He said the hours were long and the chances of making much money were limited, which he claimed led to deceptive sales pitches. "They would lie to people," Fly said. "They would just tell them that they were a kid from school. That maybe they played for a soccer team or they were part of a study abroad program and just to get a relating point with the people and flat lie to their face." Fly added that there were no repercussions from his company for lying to consumers. Back in August, door to door magazine salesmen Kenneth Davenport and Brian Flynn were working in Kenny Wertsbaugh's Fort Collins' neighborhood. Both told Wertsbaugh they went to the University of Northern Colorado. "One of the kids said their parents lived down the block," he said. Wertsbaugh bought $54 worth of magazines. Deputies later arrested Davenport and Flynn. Davenport told them he was from Missouri and didn't go to UNC. Flynn said he was a transient. The men told deputies the lies were part of their sales pitch for a company called Integrity Sales. Both were charged with fraud. "It's just how they were dishonest with you that really gets me," said Wertsbaugh. "They are taking advantage of you." Many people who buy subscriptions from door to doors sales people later complain they never got the magazine or they overpaid. Consumers might have more luck subscribing to magazines by simply filling out the forms that often are found in the middle of the magazines themselves.
Brian Maass
Contact reporter Brian Maass at bmaass@cbs.com
CBS4
cbs4denver.com
Denver, Colorado
Read This Story

For More Information On Integrity Sales Click Here


Savannah, Georgia
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Agents
Arrested !!!

November 06, 2007
Police arrest 4 more magazine salespeople
By DANIEL BROWNSTEIN
dbrownstein@islandpacket.com
islandpacket.com
843-706-8125
Published Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Another six people were fined over the weekend for violating solicitation laws by selling magazine subscriptions and collecting donations for a Christian organization at a busy intersection, according to the Bluffton Police Department. The arrests follow a busy week of tracking down young adults who posed as college students selling subscriptions to raise money for a class trip. Bluffton Police tracked down and fined 11 employees of Xtreme Marketing in Georgia a total of $2,800 on Friday and told them to leave town. The pushy salespeople told residents they earned points for selling the subscriptions on behalf of area colleges. That was not true, authorities have said.

Related Content
Scam alert! Beware door-to-door sales people in Bluffton
11 fined, told to leave town in Bluffton magazine sales scheme

Instead, the companies cater to young adults looking to make money and travel the country. There are widespread stories of unethical business practices by such companies posted on several scam-related Internet sites. On Saturday afternoon, a fresh batch of salespeople were back in town with the same shtick, this time from Great Lakes Circulation in Colorado, said Sgt. Bryan Norberg, spokesman for the Bluffton Police Department. "For some reason, they didn't read the paper," said Norberg, referring to the publicity garnered by the first 11 arrests. Four of the door-to-door employees were arrested in neighborhoods along Buckwalter Parkway. Each were fined $257. Two others were fined Saturday afternoon for violating a state solicitation law that prevents people from soliciting on state highways. The pair was collecting cash donations from motorists, allegedly for a Christian organization, at the intersection of U.S. 278 and Simmonville Road, said Norberg. He said he did not know the name of the organization. In Bluffton, people selling items or services in public must have a business license and a permit to go door-to-door. Charities collecting in public must also have a license. Norberg hopes the town gets a reputation for its zero tolerance toward door-to-door salespeople. That's the only way to keep them from coming back. "It's a quality of life issue," he said. "If you let the small stuff in, eventually you'll get some real professional scam artists who come in."

Protect yourself, Bluffton from scams
If you have bought magazine subscriptions from either company, experts recommend calling your financial institution to stop payment on the check.
Are they knocking on your door?
Call the Beaufort County Dispatch Center at 843-524-2777.
Authorities say it's important to call when they're in your neighborhood. That way officers can at least check them out.
By DANIEL BROWNSTEIN
dbrownstein@islandpacket.com
islandpacket.com
Savannah, Georgia
Read This Story


Savannah, Georgia
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
SCAM !!!

November 03, 2007
11 fined, told to leave town in Bluffton magazine sales scheme
By RENEE DUDLEY
rdudley@islandpacket.com
islandpacket.com
843-706-8138
Published Saturday, November 3, 2007
Bluffton Police arrested 11 people Friday in connection with a magazine sales scheme plaguing Bluffton earlier this week. The suspects, four females and seven males ranging in age from 19 to 26, were fined a total of $2,800 and asked to leave Bluffton. All 11 are employees of a firm called Extreme Marketing based in Georgia. Bluffton Police Chief David McAllister said the group pays its employees to travel around the country to sell products. McAllister said none of suspects had prior criminal records. "Most of them were fairly naive," he said. "They were just looking for a job that let them travel the country while making pretty good money." The suspects are from Washington, Oregon, Illinois and Florida. Extreme Marketing provided Bluffton police with documents proving it is a legitimate business. The official told police the employees were not authorized to lie to customers about being university students or about the company being a charity. McAllister urged Bluffton residents not to buy anything from door-to-door salesmen. "It's just not a good way to do business and it's not legal in this town," he said. Officials from Extreme Marketing told Bluffton police they would give full refunds to anyone who has made a cash purchase. Otherwise, McAllister said, customers should cancel their checks if they feel they've been misled. "This is a quality of life issue," McAllister said. "We've got to deal with the small stuff so Bluffton doesn't become a place for more dangerous solicitors." Extreme Marketing officials could not be reached for comment.
By RENEE DUDLEY
rdudley@islandpacket.com
843-706-8138
islandpacket.com
Savannah, Georgia
Read This Story



Google Search: United Family Circulation
United Family Circulation
Xtreme Marketing
Ultimate Empire Sales

Research: United Family Circulation on edumacation.com:
edumacation.com/UnitedFamilyCirculation

June 9, 2004
DMPG INFO CLIP:
Johnson County, Kansas Wins Civil Lawsuit Against
Ultimate Power Sales, Inc. And United Family Circulations, Inc.

Read The Judgment


Research United Family Circulation on Criminal Profiler:
Criminal Profiler



Savannah, Georiga
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
SCAM !!!

November 03, 2007
11 magazine hawkers arrested, fined
Arek Sarkissian II | Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 12:30 am
Savannah Morning News
Eleven members of a group selling magazine subscriptions in the Bluffton area were arrested Friday morning, said Bluffton Police Chief David McAllister. The 11 men and women - all employees of Xtreme Marketing based in the Atlanta area - were cited with violating town ordinances and were fined more than $250 each, McAllister said. The group began knocking on local doors about a week ago, claiming to be students at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, Bluffton High School and other educational institutions. McAllister said the group members said they were selling magazine subscriptions for a number of reasons - from raising money for scholarships to European internships. Officials at the college confirmed Thursday that the school would never send its students door-to-door for any reason. Bluffton police caught up with the sales group Friday when a parent told an officer at H.E. McCracken Middle School in Bluffton that two men fitting the description of the salespeople were walking near Buckwalter Parkway. Officers made a string of arrests that led them to the Days Inn off Ellis Square on Bay Street in Savannah, where the group was staying. The group's manager, Stephanie - who declined to give her last name - told investigators her employees were not authorized to pose as students. "We don't condone any of that," Stephanie said of the allegations. "We've already fired four people." She could not confirm whether any of those arrested in Bluffton would be terminated. Stephanie said her salespeople work on cash and travel prize incentives. According to a report from the Better Business Bureau office in Atlanta, Xtreme Marketing has received 19 similar complaints in the past three years. The company has an "unsatisfactory record" with the BBB because its salespeople are known for misleading consumers by saying they're from a school or that they live in the neighborhood. None of the salespeople, ages 18 to 26, had criminal backgrounds, McAllister said. He urged anyone who paid the salespeople with a check to stop payment immediately. More charges could follow if the company fails to come through on the orders placed, he said.
Arek Sarkissian II
Savannah Morning News
savannahnow.com
Savannah, Georiga
Read This Story


Cleveland, Ohio
Kirby Vacuum Door to Door Sales
SCAM !!!

November 02, 2007
Money Suckers
19 Action News
19ActionNews.com
Nov 2, 2007 11:22 AM CDT
Cleveland, OH - It all starts with a knock at the door, and for some Clevelanders, it ends with their money being sucked out of their wallets!

19 Action News investigates scores of complaints about a popular vacuum cleaner that salesmen are selling door to door. From the sales pitch to the final result, what are customers really getting?
19 Action News has the inside scoop, Tonight at Eleven, right after Numbers.
19 Action News
woio.com
Cleveland, Ohio
Read This Story - Watch Videos


Savannah Georgia
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
SCAM !!!

November 02, 2007
11 Charged in Magazine Scam
Reported by: Christy Hutchings, chutchings@wtoc.com
WTOC TV
Savannah Georgia
The imposters made one big mistake; they went to the same house twice. Lynn Delarosa, who was scammed on Wednesday said, "I am just looking at her, shaking my head like are you kidding, is this a joke? Where's the camera?" Delarosa quickly realized it wasn't a joke; different girl, same sales pitch. "My first reaction was are you kidding me do you read the papers, do you watch the news?" Thursday Delarosa told us about a young girl posing as a University of South Carolina Beaufort student selling magazines trying to raise money for a school trip. See story: Possible Magazine Scam Delarosa bought one Wednesday, but not this time. "I showed her the paper, I told her she needed to leave." The Delarosa called 911, police were able to find the girl based on the description Delarosa gave. In addition Bluffton police also received a tip from the Middle School SRO and police were able to find three individuals in the Buckwalter area. After speaking with those individuals' police discovered the sales people were operating out of a Savannah Motel. When police arrived there they found the rest of the sales force along with the manager. Sergeant Bryan Norberg with Bluffton Police said, "The subjects were employed with a company called XTREME marketing out of Buford, Ga. The company claims to be a legitimate marketing firm that recruits young adults from across the country with the promise of cash payouts and vacations in exchange for selling books and magazines. Company representatives state that at no time were their employees authorized to represent themselves as local college students." Delarosa finds that hard to believe, "They both had the same story, two different girls, two different schools, yet the same story." A story that landed 11 people in custody, "in one way I am glad but more so I am upset about these kids," said Delarosa. Because of these kids other children going door to door legitimately selling things for school, will now have a much harder time. "Anybody knocking on the door for anything now, I will be skeptical which is pretty sad."
Reported by: Christy Hutchings, chutchings@wtoc.com
Reported by: Christy Hutchings, chutchings@wtoc.com
WTOC TV
wtoctv.com
Savannah Georgia
Read This Story - Watch Video


Savannah, Georgia
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
SCAM !!!

November 01, 2007
Scam sales of magazines reported in several Bluffton neighborhoods
From Staff Reports
islandpacket.com
Published Thursday, November 1, 2007
Between Monday and Wednesday, sheriff’s deputies responded to various Bluffton neighborhoods in reference to a group of young people going door-to-door claiming to be selling magazine subscriptions, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release. The group, made up of five to 10 men and women between the ages of 17 and 21, said it was raising money for a variety of causes and that it was sponsored by various local schools such as Bluffton High School and the University of South Carolina-Beaufort. Some attempted to sell magazine subscriptions, while others claimed to be selling children’s books — all to raise money for causes such as scholarships, study-abroad programs and school trips. No such sales campaign have been authorized by the schools, the release said. The neighborhoods where complaints were reported from: Edgefield, All Joy Road area, Old Carolina, Lake Linden, Sawmill Forest, Victoria Bluff and Westbury Park. The Bluffton Police Department has also responded to complaints of the same activity in a number of neighborhoods within the town. Anyone who believes that they may have been solicited by an illegitimate individual or group is encouraged to contact local law enforcement. To better protect against becoming a victim of a possible scam, research any group soliciting sales or donations before contributing funds. You may do this by contacting the organization the salesperson states they represent, contacting the company providing the goods being sold, and asking to see a business license and identification from the salesperson.
From Staff Reports
islandpacket.com
Savannah, Georgia
Read This Story


Savannah, Georgia
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
SCAM !!!

November 01, 2007
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Raise Suspicions in Bluffton
Thursday, Nov 01, 2007 - 12:29 PM
WSAV-TV
WSAV.com
The following information was released by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, November 1:
BLUFFTON, SC (November 1/10:30 am) – The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office has recently fielded a number of complaints from Bluffton residents regarding alleged door-to-door magazine subscription solicitations.

Between October 29th and October 31st, Sheriff’s deputies responded to various Bluffton neighborhoods in reference to a group of young persons claiming to be selling magazine subscriptions. The group, made up of 5-10 men and women estimated to be between the ages of 17-21 have purported to be raising money for a variety of different causes.

The salespersons have claimed to be sponsored by various local schools/colleges such as Bluffton High School and the University of South Carolina-Beaufort. Some attempt to sell magazine subscriptions, while others claim to be selling children’s books—all to raise money for causes such as scholarships, study-abroad programs, and school trips.

The Sheriff’s Office recommends exercising caution if approached by subjects soliciting door-to-door. Several complainants reporting to have placed orders with this group contacted the school/organization the salesperson claimed to be representing, only to find out that no such sales campaign had been authorized.

To date, the Sheriff’s Office has received complaints of this group soliciting in the following neighborhoods:
• Edgefield
• Alljoy Rd. area
• Old Carolina
• Lake Linden
• Sawmill Forest
• Victoria Bluff
• Westbury Park

The Bluffton Police Department has also responded to complaints of the same activity in a number of neighborhoods within the town’s jurisdiction. Anyone who believes that they may have been solicited by an illegitimate individual/group is encouraged to contact local law enforcement.

To better protect against becoming a victim of a possible scam, it is recommended that you research and/or follow up on any group soliciting sales or donations BEFORE contributing funds. You may do this by: contacting the organization the salesperson states they represent, researching and/or contacting the company providing the goods being sold, and asking to see a business license and identification from the salesperson.
WSAV-TV
WSAV.com
Savannah, Georgia
Read This Story


Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage Woman Disappears With Magazine Salesman

November 01, 2007
Woman left with salesman in July,
hasn't been seen since
'PRETTY SCARY':
The 21-year-old has had no contact with her family.
By JAMES HALPIN
jhalpin@adn.com
Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Alaska
Published: November 1, 2007
Last Modified: November 1, 2007 at 02:08 PM
Before a magazine salesman knocked on her door one July day, Darby Anne LeBrun seemed to be leading the life of a fairly normal 21-year-old, Anchorage police say. Nobody knows exactly what the man, apparently a stranger, said to cause her to walk out the door with him, according to police and LeBrun's family. A day or so later, she returned to pack a few possessions and left again. After more than three months, her family still doesn't know where she is. They don't even know if she's alive. "Foul play's not essentially suspected at this point, but I would call this a unique situation," Anchorage police Lt. Paul Honeman said. "We're turning over every leaf. If someone had heard from her recently, then we would know she's safe. We haven't heard even that." LeBrun's mother, Marcy LeBrun, said the family filed a police report last week because they thought she would have been back by now. She said she thinks her daughter is OK, but doesn't understand why she left. "We don't know what to think," Marcy LeBrun said. "One day she turns 21, we go shopping, then she's gone." LeBrun was living with her grandparents when she disappeared. They were out at a cabin on the Deshka River when the man apparently first showed up, but grandmother Caryl Wilson was home when he and LeBrun briefly came back. The man -- LeBrun never identified him -- said he helps get kids off the streets and that he had fed and sheltered LeBrun, Wilson said. He planned to teach her how to run a business and said LeBrun wouldn't be able to contact her family for two months while she was in training, Wilson said. LeBrun told her grandmother she would write postcards because she didn't know where she was going. There hasn't been a call or a card since. LeBrun last logged onto her MySpace page the day she left, and a page she had on another networking site hasn't been touched since a week before she disappeared. Cell phone records and bank transactions have similarly shown no activity, Honeman said. "By all accounts she seems to be a pretty stable person, and it seems pretty odd that she would disappear for so long," Honeman said. "It's pretty scary." LeBrun had lived with her grandparents since about February, after she broke up with a former boyfriend, her grandmother said. Wilson said LeBrun's new friend was rude and yelled at her. "He gave me to understand I was not a nice person," Wilson said. "I asked him to leave and I raised my voice. I almost pushed him." LeBrun seemed determined to leave, her grandparents said. "She was trying to find something to make her happy, and these people made her a promise so she went," said her grandfather, Steven Wilson. LeBrun's 17-year-old brother, Kevin LeBrun, said she left behind her bank debit card, computer and most of her clothes. LeBrun is 5 feet 10 inches tall and 130 pounds. She has green eyes and wears prescription eyeglasses. Her natural hair color is blonde, though she dyes it and it could be red or brown. Police described the man as in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 11 inches tall, with a stocky build and light brown hair. He drove an older model blue van. Police are asking anyone with information about LeBrun's whereabouts to contact them at 786-8900.
By JAMES HALPIN
jhalpin@adn.com
Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Alaska
Read This Story


Manchester, Connecticut
Readers Digest - QSP Inc.
Magazine Sales Fundraising ???

November 01, 2007
State Looking Into Games
School Fundraiser Used Banned Devices
By SHAWN BEALS | Courant Staff Writer
The Hartford Courant
November 1, 2007
MANCHESTER - The state's attorney general's office is investigating the use of a money wheel and other illegal gambling devices supplied by Reader's Digest Association at East Catholic High School for fundraising.

"If you participate in a program where there is a prize that depends on a game of chance, that is gambling," Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Wednesday.

Blumenthal said he received a complaint that Reader's Digest Association supplied the games to the school to raise money by selling magazines. He and Paul A. Young, executive director of the division of special revenue, have demanded details from Reader's Digest Association about the use of the games by today.

The attorney general's office learned of the games through an anonymous tip from the community in September. His office notified Manchester police, who told the school it was illegal and the program was immediately ended, Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal said the use or possession of gambling paraphernalia has been prohibited by law since 2003, and is punishable with a fine, or in very rare circumstances, jail time.

"The school clearly was unaware of the prohibition," Blumenthal said Wednesday. "We are not planning to take legal action against East Catholic since they cooperated fully and understandably had no knowledge of the law."

The school took part in a fundraising program in which students could sell subscriptions to magazines, and the school would get a portion of the money, Blumenthal said. Once a student sold a set number of subscriptions, the student could spin the money wheel for a chance to win a prize. Blumenthal also said the school used devices that resembled slot machines.

East Catholic Principal Christian Cashman could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

William Adler, a spokesman for the Reader's Digest Association, said the company recently received a letter from the attorney general's office about the magazine subscriptions sold from QSP Inc., of which Reader's Digest Association is the parent company.

"We contacted them and requested a meeting to better understand their concerns," Adler said. "It is always our practice to operate within the law."

"The goal was good, the means were unfortunate, but the end was laudable," Blumenthal said. "For better or worse, these devices are banned regardless of the cause."
Contact Shawn Beals at sbeals@courant.com.
By SHAWN BEALS | Courant Staff Writer
The Hartford Courant
courant.com
Hartford, Connecticut
Read This Story


Lexington, Kentucky
Magazine Sales Agent Attacks Homeowners Daughter !!!

November 1, 2007
Business Selling Door to Door Could Get the Boot
By Erika Harsh
Action News ABC 36 WTVQ Investigation
Thursday, Nov 01, 2007 - 06:12 PM Updated: 07:00 PM
A business that has been selling magazines door to door could lose their license to sell in Jessamine County. The Nicholasville City Commission could vote to revoke Unity Management’s license Thursday night. After police received quite a few complaints about sales people being pushy and rude, they asked the commission to take a vote. Laura Huffman says a saleswoman actually attacked her and her daughter after they refused to buy magazines. “She walked up to my daughter nose to nose and said I’m going to kick your you know what…. that girl just wailed on her, she had her down on the ground, she pulled her back down by her pony tail, she was kicking her, punching her in the ribs,” Huffman said. A couple of streets over from the Huffman’s home police arrested 21-year old Raquel Perkins of Atlanta, Georgia and charged her with terroristic threatening. Huffman says her daughter is also pressing charges. Action News 36 contacted a spokesperson for Unity Management who implied the incident was isolated and not a reflection on the business. The Better Business Bureau in Lexington has received complaints recently regarding door to door sales people. Action News 36 attempted to check-out Unity Management with The BBB but found there were several businesses listed at their address in Washington D.C. . We have been unable to confirm whether this is the same business under a different name. The other business, which also sell magazines, have more than 100 complaints filed against them.
By Erika Harsh
Action News ABC 36 WTVQ Investigation
wtvq.com
Lexington, Kentucky
Read This Story - Watch Streaming Video Coverage


Phoenix, Arizona
Door to Door Magazine Sales Fraud !!!

October 26, 2007
Police warning: Con artists strike locally
By Doug Murphy
Ahwatukee Foothills News
October 26, 2007 - 10:58AM

Door-to-door sales girls have been roaming Ahwatukee Foothills in the last week with a story about selling magazine subscriptions to help fund their soccer team’s out-of-state travel for a tournament. The only problem is, it’s a scam, according to Phoenix police. There is no soccer team, there is no tournament, the girls don’t live in Ahwatukee Foothills or even Arizona and, in at least two cases, the teenage girls also take blank checks when they distracted trusting homeowners. According to Officer Jared Charley, at least three girls were going door-to-door last weekend, from Equestrian Trail to the East Ranch Circle and Ray Road areas, saying they were players on a local soccer team that was raising money. The girls, who appear to be between 15 and 18 years old, would then play on the emotions of the homeowners by pushing magazine subscriptions or donations for the “team.” In two instances the girls said they lived nearby and that their father was a Phoenix police officer. Both lies, according to police. And if that weren’t enough, Charley said that after getting a check, they would then often ask for water or a Band-Aid and while left alone, in two instances, stole blank checks out of the checkbooks of unsuspecting victims. “Just because they are kids doesn’t mean they aren’t part of a scam,” Charley said. “Scammers come in all shapes and sizes.” The key to not being a victim of a door-to-door con is to keep from being rushed into paying, he continued. Feel free to ask for information and an address where you can mail a donation or order a magazine or product, but only after thinking about it. "Real business people will understand,” Charley said. But scammers want the check or cash immediately, before you have a chance to think about it. “And don’t let them inside your house, where valuable items, cash or a checkbook may be laying around,” Charley warned. According to the American Association of Retired People (AARP), con artists often will use tricks to get into your home, will approach you while you’re outside so you can’t close the door on them, and often want cash so that victims can’t stop payment on a check. And in all cases, they play on the victims sympathy to help a neighbor or a local team, to assist children or to help the con artist who is working to gain “points” towards a trip or a scholarship. If you think you may have been a victim of this type of scam, call the Phoenix Police at (602) 262-6151 or the Arizona Attorney General’s Consumer Information and Complaints section, (602) 542-5763.
Doug Murphy can be reached at (480) 898-7914 or dmurphy@aztrib.com.
By Doug Murphy
Ahwatukee Foothills News
ahwatukee.com
Phoenix, Arizona
Read This Story


Lexington, Kentucky
Door to Door Magazine Sales Fraud !!!

October 24, 2007
Questions for Door-to-Door Salesmen
By Tom Kenny
WTVQ-TV/DT Action News 36
Wednesday, Oct 24, 2007 - 08:30 AM Updated: 08:51 AM
Door-to-door salemen are making the rounds in central Kentucky. Most are selling books and magazines. The Better Business Bureau of Central and Eastern Kentucky has heard from several people who wanted to know if some of the offers were legitimate or potential rip-offs. The BBB reported that a resident in Boyle County was concerned because two solicitors from a Washington, D.C.-based company asked her some personal questions about the kind of job she had. One of the sellers told a homeowner that he was selling magazines to get out of his bad neighborhood, and made comments about the homeowner's upscale neighborhood. A Jessamine County man bought from a young man who represented a magazine and children's book sales company out of Las Vegas. He was told the company would donate purchases to the local children's hospital. He wrote a check to make a purchase. Later, the customer called the local children's hospital to see if they had a relationship with the company he bought from and was told they did not. The BBB in Las Vegas has given the company an unsatisfactory record due to unanswered and unresolved complaints. Complaints alleged dishonest sales practices and non-delivery of products. Previous complaints to the BBB stated that the sellers claimed to be attending or selling on behalf of nearby universities and schools, when they were not; that products never arrived; and that high pressure tactics were used. The BBB offers this advice on dealing with door-to-door salespeople:
Get the complete name, address and phone number of the company the seller represents.
Check out the company with the BBB by calling toll-free, 1-800-866-6668 or online at www.ky.bbb.org.
Kentucky law requires every door-to-door solicitor to have a transient merchant's license in each Kentucky county in which they sell. Ask to see the license. Base your decision to buy on the merit of the magazine(s) offered and their prices, rather than on "pity" pleas. If you decide to buy, pay by check; NEVER with cash. Make checks out to the company, not an individual. Get a receipt. Don't be afraid to say "no" if you're not interested. Don't allow a stranger into your home. If high-pressure tactics or abuse are used, call the police. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides a three-day "cooling off period" on most door-to-door sales transactions involving a purchase of $25 or more. This allows consumers 3 business days from the date of purchase to cancel their contract if they choose. The contract should include instructions on how to cancel. Should you decide to cancel, be sure to follow those instructions. It is best to send your notice of cancellation by certified mail in order to obtain proof that it was received by the company. You can get more information from the FTC's Web site at www.ftc.gov.
By Tom Kenny
WTVQ-TV/DT Action News 36
wtvq.com
Lexington, Kentucky
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Madison Wisconsin
Former Magazine Sales Agent Guilty Of Murder

October 20, 2007
Langlois guilty of murder
By Sandy Cullen And Deborah Ziff
SAT., OCT 20, 2007 - 1:15 AM
Wisconsin State Journal
Britney Langlois was convicted Friday night of first-degree intentional homicide and armed robbery for the November shooting death of Henry C. Lee Jr. A Dane County jury deliberated for about 10 hours before returning the verdicts against Langlois, 21. Langlois ' sobs pierced the courtroom as Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser read the guilty verdict. Langlois will receive a mandatory life sentence for first-degree murder. A date for a sentencing hearing has not been set for the armed robbery conviction and to determine whether she will eligible for early release on extended supervision. She will then also be sentenced for being a felon with a firearm, which she pleaded guilty to earlier this week. Lee 's mother said she was relieved by the verdict even as she mourns the fact that she will never see his "pretty smile " again. "My baby 's gone, but that 's OK, " Lee 's mother, Marilyn Butler cried into her family 's arms. "I wanted the person that killed my son to be responsible, " she said. Lee had ambitions, Butler said. He wanted to be a mechanical engineer and was working toward a GED when he died. Butler said her "heart really went out " to Langlois ' family, but "you have to pay for what you 've done. You can 't go around killing people. " Prosecutors said that on Nov. 21, Langlois shot Lee, 22, in his car in a parking lot of the Wexford Ridge Apartments and took his money, which she had seen him count, and his marijuana. "She executed him with a shot at point-blank range to the back of Henry Lee 's head, " Assistant District Attorney Timothy Kiefer said Friday in his closing argument. Langlois ' grandmother, Brenda Preston, testified that when she picked up her granddaughter that night across from the apartments, Langlois said she thought she had shot someone after being hassled by a group of men. Langlois handed her the gun, Preston said, and she threw into Lake Monona along with a pair of panties used to wipe it clean of fingerprints. The gun and panties were later recovered by police. Preston also said she put the clothes Langlois was wearing that night into various dumpsters. Police found Langlois several days later in Chicago, where she identified herself as Puree Hill, a friend whose identification and birth certificate she had. Langlois testified that another man, Vincent Lowe, shot Lee, then gave her the gun he used and told her to get rid of it. She said she told her grandmother that a man had been shot but did not say she had done it. She also denied that her grandmother disposed of her clothes, saying her grandmother had made up details thinking she was protecting her. In his closing argument, Langlois ' attorney, Paul Schwartz, said prosecutors "created a tangled web, a web of deception " with "mind-boggling major discrepancies " that "made no sense whatsoever. " Schwartz said key prosecution witnesses admitted they lied to police both in the past and during the investigation into Lee 's death and that they also lied in their testimony. "These people can 't get their stories straight. They 're lying to you, " Schwartz told jurors. Prosecution witnesses included Nicole Black, at whose Wexford Ridge apartment Langlois met Lee the night he was killed, and Black 's friend, Nicole Williams, who was also at the apartment that night. Lowe and his girlfriend, Altisha Rodgers, who live in another Wexford Ridge apartment building near Black 's, also were key witnesses. Black testified that she saw a gun and panties in Langlois ' purse, and she and Williams said Langlois told them she wanted to rob somebody. Lowe and Rodgers also said they saw the gun in Langlois ' purse, and Lowe said that while he watched out a hallway window, he saw Lee go toward his car, which was parked behind a tree, moments before he saw Langlois follow him. He and Rodgers both testified that they heard a shot, and that Langlois then came to their apartment and told them she shot Lee. Langlois maintained that it was Black who talked about wanting to rob Rodgers and that Lowe became angry when Langlois told him of Black 's intention, saying he would "whack " anyone who tried to rob his house. Langlois said Lowe went to Black 's apartment, and when he returned, he got out the gun and later left his apartment and shot Lee.
By Sandy Cullen And Deborah Ziff
Wisconsin State Journal
madison.com
Madison Wisconsin
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D.M.P.G. Info Clip
October 23, 2007

Britney Langlois was a former employee of Trinity Public Relations

Dane County Court Case Number: 06 CF 2830
Read PDF Court Document


Madison Wisconsin
Former Magazine Sales Agent Guilty Of Murder

October 20, 2007
Woman guilty in drug murder
Mike Miller — 10/20/2007 9:18 am
The Capital Times
Madison Wisconsin
After listening to a week's worth of testimony and deliberating for 9 1/2 hours, a Dane County Circuit Court jury late Friday night found Britney Langlois guilty of both first-degree intentional homicide and armed robbery for the shooting death last year of Henry C. Lee Jr. in the parking lot of the Wexford Village apartment complex on the city's west side. Langlois, 21, broke into sobs as the verdict was read and began wailing when she was immediately given the mandatory life sentence for the murder by Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser. Moeser also ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be completed before he finishes the sentencing for Langlois; he will then determine whether Langlois can apply for extended supervision and when. Members of both Langlois' family and Lee's family began crying as Moeser read the guilty verdicts at about 10:30 p.m. -- the Langlois group because she faces life in prison, the Lee group because they heard the verdict they had prayed for. Marilyn Butler, Lee's mother, said some of the tears she shed were out of sympathy for the Langlois family. "My heart really went out to her family," she said. Butler said she was pleased with the verdict, but "I can't have my son back." Butler said her son was "a good kid" despite his dealing marijuana. She said she was proud of his many accomplishments and thought he'd been doing better in life when he was killed. Ironically, she said she told him once if he didn't straighten out his act, "either you're going to be institutionalized or you're going to be dead. You have a choice." He is dead, and his killer now is institutionalized. Lee, 22, known as J.R., was shot in the back of the head after he got partially into his Buick in what prosecutors said was a robbery for drugs and money. Rodney Butler, Lee's brother, said the family was going through "many emotions, but mostly joy. We got someone put behind bars that really needed to be put behind bars." "We stood strong in prayer," Rodney Butler said. "We were looking for a guilty verdict, and we prayed for it." He thanked police and prosecutors for "really putting together a solid case." The jury of 11 women and one man had to sort through wildly divergent accounts of who did the shooting and decided it was Langlois, and not Vincent "Nitty" Lowe, whom the defense said was the killer. Lowe was the key witness for the state. He described how he stood in the hallway of his apartment in the same complex and watched Langlois leave his building and walk to the building that housed the apartment of Nicole Black, where Langlois had been earlier in the evening and where she had seen Lee, Black and Nicole Williams. Others testified that Langlois saw that Lee had a bag of marijuana and a wad of money and had talked about "hitting a lick," a street term for robbing someone. Lowe and his girlfriend, Altisha Rodgers, testified that Langlois had a gun and said she was going to get Lee's "stuff," a reference to the drugs and money. Lowe said he watched Langlois go into Black's apartment and then come out again with Lee at her side. He said they split and Lee walked toward his car in the parking lot while Langlois appeared to be heading back to the apartment of Lowe and Rodgers. Then she suddenly stopped, Lowe said, and went toward Lee's car. Lowe said he heard a gunshot, then saw Langlois coming to the apartment. "I just domed the guy," he quoted Langlois as saying. Rodgers supported that testimony. But defense attorney Paul F.X. Schwartz claimed it was Lowe who shot Lee. While most of those who were involved in the events leading up to the shooting had criminal records that included four or five convictions for mostly minor offenses, Lowe had 17 prior convictions, Schwartz told jurors. Langlois testified Thursday that she had been selling magazines in Louisiana and Texas in the months before coming home to Madison for Thanksgiving in November of last year. After Nicole Black called her, she went to Black's apartment and was there with Lee and Black and Williams. But Langlois said she had no gun with her, a statement that was contradicted by Black and Rodgers and Lowe. Williams and Black said Langlois talked of robbing someone because she was broke, but Langlois said she had money and didn't plan to rob anyone. She said Black wanted to rob Lowe and Rodgers, because she thought they had money because Rodgers was selling marijuana. Langlois went on to say that she went to the Lowe apartment and told him that Black planned a robbery, which made Lowe so angry he rushed over to Black's apartment to confront her. Others testified that Lee and Lowe had a conversation in the hall in which Lee told Lowe that Black was "talking crazy" about robbing Lowe. Langlois said Lowe then returned to his apartment, left and walked down the hall, returning with a gun, then left the apartment again. "We heard a shot, what sounded like a gunshot," Langlois said of herself and Rodgers. "He came in and said he shot dude," Langlois said of Lowe. She said she tried once again to call her grandmother for a ride away from the area and said Lowe then wiped off the gun and gave it to her with orders to get rid of it. Lowe also warned her, she said, telling her "you ain't seen nothing. You don't know nothing." And he warned her that he knew where she and her relatives lived. Much of Langlois' defense sought to paint the prosecution witnesses as liars. "These people can't get their stories straight," Schwartz said, pointing out that Lowe and Rodgers gave distinctly different versions of how they saw Langlois with the gun. There was no doubt what happened to the gun. After someone killed J.R., Langlois met her grandmother, Brenda Preston, in the Memorial High School parking lot, got into the car and gave Preston the gun. Preston testified that Langlois said "I just shot someone," but Langlois said what she told her grandmother was that someone had been shot. As they were driving along John Nolen Drive, Preston pulled her car over, wiped the gun with a pair of pink panties, and threw the panties and the gun in Lake Monona. Preston admitted to police what she had done; police found the panties, while a dive team from the sheriff's department found the gun in the lake. The State Crime Laboratory determined that a single cartridge found in Lee's car was fired from that gun. At one point during her testimony Langlois said, "I'm so nervous, this is my life." She was right. The conviction for first-degree intentional homicide carries the automatic sentence of life in prison, with the judge having the option of setting a parole eligibility date after 20 years, setting that date later, or denying parole eligibility at all. She would also face a maximum sentence of 46 years on the armed robbery charge, and another 14 years on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm to which she pleaded guilty before the trial started. She also faces the possibility of probation revocation and sentencing on a charge stemming from another shooting in 2001, when she was part of a gang who raided a Brooks Street apartment hoping to rob the occupants of drugs and money. She was 15 at the time and was given a sentence of three years in a juvenile prison, to be followed by probation until age 30. After serving her prison time, she was at a halfway house in Wausau when she cut off her electronic monitoring bracelet and fled. She could face revocation and re-sentencing in that case as well.
Mike Miller — 10/20/2007 9:18 am
Mike Miller — 10/20/2007 9:18 am
The Capital Times
madison.com
Madison Wisconsin
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Madison Wisconsin
Former Magazine Sales Agent Charged With Murder

October 19, 2007
Sobbing Langlois says man killed Lee and gave her the gun
Mike Miller — 10/19/2007 12:03 pm
The Capital Times
Madison Wisconsin
Britney Langlois took the witness stand Thursday to tell jurors, sometimes tearfully, other times through sobs, that she was not the one who shot and killed Henry Lee Jr. in a parking lot of the Wexford Ridge Apartment complex last November. "Me and Tish was in the apartment when Nitty went out and shot the victim," Langlois said in explaining the death of Lee, killed by a single shot to the back of the head. Langlois' testimony put her at odds with several other witnesses who testified at the trial, including Altisha Rodgers and Vincent "Nitty" Lowe, the man Langlois claims shot and killed Lee. "I'm so nervous; this is my life," Langlois said as she began her testimony. She was dabbing tears from her eyes as she took the stand and she cried often during her testimony. At times she broke down completely, as when she told jurors that although she was not the one who killed Lee, she felt partially responsible for his death because she told Lowe about plans others had to rob him and Rodgers, with whom Lowe lived. Jurors are scheduled to begin deliberations after closing arguments today. Langlois is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and armed robbery in the case. Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard has contended that Langlois was broke, so she decided she had to rob someone. She allegedly chose Lee because she saw Lee had a bag of marijuana and a wad of cash. Langlois said that was not true. "I didn't see him have marijuana and I didn't see him have any money," she said under cross-examination by Blanchard. In fact, she said, she had over $400 on her at the time because she was successfully selling magazines in Louisiana and Texas before coming to Madison last November to spend Thanksgiving with her family. She said she got a call from Nicole Black, a former friend, and went to visit her at her Wexford Ridge apartment, a decision which she admitted led to the death of Lee. She was at Black's apartment when Black said she wanted to rob Rodgers, partly because Rodgers was making money selling marijuana and partly because of a rift between Black and Rodgers over Lowe. Lee and Nicole Williams were also at the apartment. Langlois said she later went to the apartment Lowe and Rodgers shared, in the same apartment complex, and told them of Black's plans. "He instantly started to go crazy," she said of Lowe. Lowe went to Black's apartment, Langlois said, came back to his own apartment, and then went down the hall and got a gun. After pacing through the apartment, Langlois said, Lowe left. Moments later, she said, "we hear a shot, or what sounded like a gunshot." She said Lowe returned to the apartment and "he said he shot a dude," Langlois said, describing Lowe as "erratic in movements and behavior." Langlois said she told Lowe and Rodgers she was leaving. She called her grandmother and told her to pick her up at Memorial High School, near the apartment complex. She said Lowe then "looked at Trish and looked at me," then wiped off the gun "and gave it to me," telling her to get rid of it. "You ain't seen nothing. You don't know nothing," she said Lowe told her. Langlois said she then left the apartment and found her grandmother, Brenda Preston, in her car at Memorial High School, got in and gave her the gun. "I think someone was shot over there," she said she told Preston. Preston testified earlier in the trial that Langlois told her she had shot someone, but Langlois said that is not what she told her grandmother. Both women testified that as they were driving on John Nolen Drive, Preston stopped the car, wiped the gun with a pair of pink panties and threw the panties and the gun into Lake Monona. Both items were recovered, and the gun was shown to be the one that fired the single cartridge casing found in Lee's car. Langlois insisted she had no gun until Lowe foisted the murder weapon on her with orders to dispose of it, but others said they saw the weapon in her purse and heard her talk of robbery plans. In his cross-examination, Blanchard asked Langlois why she didn't call police to say a man had been killed, she knew who did it, and she had the murder weapon. Langlois replied that she was on supervision and feared going to police. That was as close as the jury came to hearing anything about Langlois' past. At age 15, she shot and wounded a man as she and three men attempted an apartment robbery. After spending three years in juvenile prison, she was in a Wausau halfway house when she cut off her electronic monitoring bracelet in 2005 and fled. After Lee's death, she said she left for Chicago to be with the father of her unborn child. She was arrested there, and gave birth in custody over the summer as she awaited trial.
Mike Miller — 10/19/2007 12:03 pm
Mike Miller — 10/19/2007 12:03 pm
The Capital Times
madison.com
Madison Wisconsin
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Arizona

October 19, 2007
Arizona Daily Wildcat
University of Arizona
Police Beat
By: Eric Schwartz Issue date: 10/19/07 Section: Extra!
A student filed a suspicious activities report with police Tuesday after buying a magazine subscription he believed to be fraudulent. A woman claiming to be selling magazines for Alliance Services Company Inc. gained access to Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall, 922 E. Fifth St., and sold the student a $40 magazine subscription to Maxim, convincing him to withdraw the money from an ATM. The student looked up the magazine company afterward and discovered that several employees of the company have defrauded customers, leading him to file a report the next day. When speaking to police, he reported that his friends had seen people selling magazines at other dorms.
University of Arizona
Police Beat
By: Eric Schwartz
media.wildcat.arizona.edu
Arizona
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Camden, Virginia

October 19, 2007
Door-to-door magazine sales lead to arrest in Camden
The Virginian-Pilot
© October 19, 2007
One man was arrested here and another warned after they were found Wednesday trying to sell magazine subscriptions door-to-door without a permit. Both had criminal histories and neither had identification, said Sheriff Tony Perry. Douglas Glenn Jarrell, 25, of Gulfport, Miss., was charged with violating the county's peddlers ordinance. He had already been warned to stop by a deputy earlier. The other man stopped selling after his first warning and was not charged, Perry said. Jeff Hampton, (252) 338-0159, jeff.hampton@pilotonline.com
The Virginian-Pilot
Camden, Virginia
content.hamptonroads.com
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Tulsa, Oklahoma
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Scam !!!

October 19, 2007
Watch Out For Door-To-Door Scam
The News On 6
KOTV 6
KOTV - 10/19/2007 4:02 PM - Updated 10/19/2007 7:25 PM
A scam warning is out for everyone in Green Country. This one doesn't come in the mail or over the internet. This one is face-to-face and being done by teenagers going door-to-door. News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports the teens claim to live nearby and say they’re raising money to attend a sports tournament, often in Hawaii. They also claim part of the money they collect will help provide books for children. Jack Sharp doesn't look or act like your typical 84 year old. He rides his bike three times a week, lives on his own and has been quite successful. Still, he was taken in by a couple of polite, clean-cut teenage boys who knocked on his front door. They said they lived in the next neighborhood and were raising money for a trip to Hawaii to play in a baseball world championship. They said Jack could help them and charity at the same time. "Part of the money went to buy books for Ronald McDonald and various similar organizations, and of course, that touches a person's heart,” said Tulsan Jack Sharp. Jack was a bit overwhelmed by their fast talking approach and wrote them a check for $96 and received a receipt that said Quality Subscriptions. After Jack had time to think about it, he did the smart thing and went online where his suspicions were confirmed. He found plenty of information about the company. The AARP issued a warning about the company. The Better Business Bureau received complaints. And, others reported similar stories "I've been had. No, it wasn't the money really. It was the disappointment in being conned by two young men who I think need to be stopped at this point," said Tulsan Jack Sharp. Jack stopped payment on his check and now wants to warn others. Still, the whole thing makes him sad. "I came from an era that, it didn't even occur to us to do something like this and yet, this is very common place today,” said Tulsan Jack Sharp. The scam serves as a reminder. You should never buy anything over the phone. And, only buy something from someone at your door, if you know them or their family personally. The people who took advantage of Jack Sharp now have his checking account number, name and address. They could use that information to steal his identity. If you fall victim to con artists, don’t get embarrassed. Instead, take action. Stop payment on your check, change your account numbers, call the police, and report it to the Better Business Bureau.

Watch the video: Watch Out For Door-To-Door Scam
For more information on the Tulsa Better Business Bureau, click here
KOTV 6
kotv.com
Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Wisconsin

October 15, 2007
Guest editorial
Judge’s decision sends powerful message to door-to-door industry
By Phil Ellenbecker, Special to The News
October 15, 2007
The recent court decision made on Sept. 24 by Dunn County Circuit Court Judge William Stewart — regarding the July 1, 2005 brutal beating and rape of a Menomonie woman by a traveling magazine salesman — brings victory out of tragedy for not only the victim of this horrendous crime, but also for the entire state of Wisconsin. This decision sends a very powerful message to the door-to-door sales industry. If your sales agents commit a crime in the state of Wisconsin, you’re going to be held responsible. The company involved with this lawsuit knew their employee was a dangerous criminal, but they still sent him knocking on front doors in our state. This decision sends an equally powerful message to the Wisconsin State Assembly, specifically to Rep. Carl Van Roy, who has sided with out of state door-to-door sales companies against SB-80. Authored by Wisconsin State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton), SB-80 bill — also known as “Malinda’s Traveling Sales Crew Protection Act” — could be effective by requiring sales crew members and companies to register with the state, effectively keeping criminals out of Wisconsin. SB-80 also gives rights to sales agents who currently are nothing more than indentured servants for a totally out-of-control, corrupt and immoral industry that is not regulated at the state or federal level. Wisconsin was the first state in the union to enact child labor laws. Let us continue this great tradition by passing Malinda’s Traveling Sales Crew Protection Act and giving the kids and homeowners of our state the safety and protection they so deservingly need. We are asking the Assembly — who has held up this Legislation for three consecutive sessions — to consider the recent court decision and please pass Malinda’s Traveling Sales Crew Protection Act. We are also asking opponents of this anti-crime legislation in the Assembly to look beyond this out-of-state company’s special interests and to do in their hearts what they already know is right by passing SB-80. The Dedicated Memorial Parents Group would like to sincerely thank Judge Stewart and the law firm of Lawton and Cates for their outstanding efforts in this monumental court decision as well as Sen. Jon Erpenbach and his staff for their dedication to Malinda’s Traveling Sales Crew Protection Act. For more information visit: www.travelingsalescrews.info or www.dedicatedmemorial.org.
Erpenbach can be reached at www.legis.state.wi.us/senate/sen27/news.
Phil Ellenbecker is the father of Malinda Turvey, a 1999 victim of a traveling sales crew.
The Dunn County News
dunnconnect.com
Menomonie, Wisconsin
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Colorado
Door-to-Door Sales Fraud

October 14, 2007
Police Believe Woman Is Scamming Elderly Out Of Money
Posted: 7:09 PM Oct 14, 2007
Last Updated: 10:50 AM Oct 15, 2007
Reporter: Lauri Martin
Email Address: lmartin@kktv11news.com
Springs Police said a woman is conning senior citizens out of hundreds of dollars. Apparently, she’s going door-to-door selling books for Children's Hospital in Denver. The woman was last seen in a neighborhood near Flintridge and Academy. Brenda and Peter Cortese paid $162, thinking they were buying books for sick children and in return, Brenda said, "Barnes and Noble would give us a $72 gift certificate." That’s exactly what Darlene Hinton was promised. She lives across the street from the Corteses. The saleswoman told both families she works for a company called Integrity, which police believe is a scamming business. "Intergrity. That’s a good name. You’d think they'd have some integrity," said Peter, Brenda’s husband. The so-called scammer calls herself Ashlie Seymour, but police believe her name is Audrey Murphy. "So far, we know of 7 victims, but there are probably countless more who have not come forward because they don’t know it's a scam," said Detective Greg Wilhelmi with the Springs Police Department. Darlene realized it was a scam in time to cancel her check. "How dumb can I be? I was upset." The Corteses won't see their money, though. "It was the first time and the last time," Peter said about buying from a door-to-door salesman. Police believe another woman is pulling the same trick in the area of Fort Carson. One way to keep from getting scammed is if you want to donate to a non-profit, go straight to the organization yourself.
If you have any information about Audrey Murphy who may also go by the name Ashlie Seymour, call Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP.
Reporter: Lauri Martin
KKTV 11 News
kktv.com
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Read This Story


Research:
Magazine Company:
Integrity Sales/Integrity Program
Integrity Sales Website: integritysale.com
Integrity Program Website: integritypgm.com
Arizona Secretary of State Corporation/LLC Website:
Az. S.O.S. Corp/LCC
Arizona Secretary of State: Integrity Sales:  Integrity Sales
Criminal Profiles: Search For: Integrity Sales
Magazine Scams: Integrity Sales
Consumer Advocacy: Edumacation.com: Integrity Sales
BBB Report Phoenix, Az.: unsatisfactory
Rip Off Report: Integrity Sales
Magazine Company/Sales Crews as of 05/13/06:
Magazine Fulfillment Services - Operated by Robert Spruiell
Integrity Sales, Inc. - Operated by Robert Spruiell
Integrity Program, Inc.- Operated by Robert Spruiell
Circulation I - Operated by Karkeen Hillery
Circulation II - Operated by Karleen Hillery
SERVICES UNLIMITED PLUS - Operated by Karleen Hillery Spruiell/Robert Spruiell
National Community Clearing, INC - Operated by Karleen Hillery
TEAM X-TREME
DYNASTY SALES
POWERHOUSSE SALES
KAYS NATURALS - Karleen Hillery Crew
Kay's Naturals website: ournaturals.com
Crew Name: 029
Crew Name: 032
IP MARKETING
IMPACT PUBLICATIONS
Subscriptions Plus - Operated by Karleen Hillery
(old mag. company name - may be in use again)

Google Search: Karleen Hillery
Google Search: Karleen Spruiell
Google Search: Robert Spruiell

Integrity Sales is a Member of National Field Selling Association: nfsa.com
National Field Selling Association is a member of:
Magazine Publishers of America: magazine.org

RIP-OFF Report.com
Integrity Sales ripoff
Phoenix Arizona *Consumer Comment ..New Info
Read This Rip-Off Report On Integrity Sales

Lookup: Karleen Hillery on Profiler:
Karleen Hillery Profile

Lookup: Karleen Hillery - Janesville Wisconsin Van Crash March 25, 1999
Karleen Hillery Profile

View Recent Criminal Activities of Karleen Hillery Spruiell:
Karleen Hillery Spruiell
(NOTE: for search on Arizona State Supreme Court Criminal Records
Enter: Last Name: Spruiell, First Name: Karleen in search box.

View Wisconsin DOJ Civil Lawsuit Against Karleen Hillery (case # 00-CV-0852)
State of Wisconsin V. Karleen Hillery

View Illinois Magazine Sales Fraud Lawsuit Against Karleen Hillery (case # 02-CH125)
State of Illinois V. Karleen Hillery

Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer: DMPG Disclaimer


Wisconsin
Court Decision Has Major Impact
On Door-to-Door Sales Industry

October 10, 2007
Court Ruling Could Revive Push To Regulate
Traveling Sales Crews
Judge Rules Woman Can Sue Parent Companies
Linda Eggart
Channel 3 TV CBS
Channel3000
UPDATED: 7:27 am CDT October 10, 2007
MADISON, Wis. -- The latest ruling by a Wisconsin court has the potential to shake up the magazine-selling industry, and specifically the controversial traveling door-to-door sales crews. Some lawyers are hailing the court's decision as a victory for all consumers. Late last month, a Dunn County judge opened a can of worms and potentially the deep pockets of the magazine-selling industry, which relies on door-to-door sellers. The industry, which first made headlines with a horrific van crash in 1999 that killed several people, has seemingly been legally off-limits until now, WISC-TV reported. Verona resident Phil Ellenbecker, whose daughter Melinda was killed in the March 1999 crash, has been on a quest for corporate accountability ever since. His daughter was part of a traveling sales crew and was riding in the van in Janesville when one of its recruiters, who didn't have a driver's license, tried to switch seats with a passenger and the van flipped over. Seven people were killed and five were hurt in the crash. About eight years later, Ellenbecker now has the court's ruling in his favor. "This is monumental," Ellenbecker said. "It ties into everything else that's happening here." He said he's is rejoicing about the ruling. "It sends a message to the magazines sales companies and the clearinghouses all across the country," he said. "It puts responsibility on the people who need to be responsible." The court ruling involves Brandon Green, a convicted sex offender and door-to-door magazine seller, who brutally beat and raped a homeowner. The victim is suing Green and the companies who used him. The Dunn County judge said that's perfectly legal, WISC-TV reported. The Dunn County court ruling said that Florida-based companies "Gemini Subscriptions and Pitts sales ... exercised sufficient control over Brandon Green's actions to hold them liable for his conduct." The judge also ruled that "Palmetto Marketing Inc. exercised sufficient control over the actions of both Gemini ... and Pitts … to hold it liable." John Carlson Jr., who is the attorney for the victim, said that he thinks the companies should be held accountable. "This industry has a track record of allowing very dangerous employees to work for it," he said. "And traditionally, the companies have not exercised significant responsibility in screening out dangerous individuals that they hire." Carlson said that the Florida companies knew Green had a felony conviction for burglary but hired him anyway. Ellenbecker said that his Web site has tracked about 280 crimes in the door-to-door industry since 1986 with the vast majority of victims being homeowners. A bill exists in the state Legislature to regulate the sales crews and their parent companies and backers said that they hope this ruling will give it the boost it needs to finally pass. The bill would force companies and their workers to register with the state, WISC-TV reported. WISC-TV tried to reach some of the companies involves in the lawsuit but were unsuccessful. Officials said that the owner of the parent company was out of town all week. The companies have long argued their door-to-door sellers are independent contractors and not employees.
Linda Eggart
Channel 3 TV CBS
Channel3000
www.channel3000.com
Madison, Wisconsin
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D.M.P.G. Info Clip
October 14, 2007

Wisconsin
On July 1, 2005 Brandon Green (a traveling magazine salesman employed by Gemini Subscriptions and Palmetto Marketing) brutally beat and raped a Menomonie, Wisconsin woman.

Dunn County District Attorney Criminal Complaint:
Read PDF Criminal Complaint

Lawsuit Filed Against Vincent Pitts and Palmetto Marketing
by Wisconsin Lawfirm Lawton and Cates:
Read The Civil Lawsuit Against Vincent Pitts

Dunn County Court Judge Stewart's Decision:
Read Court Decision




Tennessee
Attempted Burlary

October 10, 2007
Watchful neighbors interrupt burglars posing as magazine salesmen
By SARA McCARTY
The Lebanon Democrat
October 10, 2007
Two men claiming to be magazine salesmen got more than they bargained for when they attempted to burglarize a house on East Blairmont Drive Monday afternoon. The individuals, Clifton D. Buckner, 21, of Jackson, Miss., and Arthur C. Love, 20, of Bolton, Miss., were both arrested on charges of aggravated burglary after a run-in with one of the victim’s neighbors. A resident in the area saw Buckner and Love looking in the back window of a neighbor’s home. The resident informed another member of the household, who walked over to the house and saw Buckner inside, holding a laptop. The individual entered the home and confronted Buckner, who swung at him. The individual grabbed Buckner and punched him in the left side of the face, at which point Buckner ran out the garage door and went over the fence in the back yard. Neither of the witnesses saw Buckner after this, though they did identify Love as the other suspect when police arrived and apprehended him. Through investigation, Buckner was later identified as the suspect who had entered the home, and police arrested him. Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen said the arrests came about through “good police work” and citizens providing information. “The citizens gave the information, and the police were able to take it and apprehend the first individual and then locate the second,” Bowen said. However, while no one was injured in this incident, Bowen cautioned citizens against confronting people engaged in criminal activity. “We don’t recommend people confronting other people like that,” Bowen said. “In this case, unfortunately, a physical altercation broke out ... We do not recommend that people try to apprehend people like that.” Bowen said no charges were filed against the man who struck the burglar as he was acting in self-defense at that point. As for the “magazine salesmen,” Bowen said investigation into the matter revealed neither Buckner nor Love was registered with the city to sell magazines.
Staff Writer Sara McCarty may be reached at 615-444-3952 ext. 45
or via e-mail at sara.mccarty@lebanondemocrat.com.
By SARA McCARTY
The Lebanon Democrat
lebanondemocrat.com
Lebanon, Tennessee
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Seattle Washington
Magazine Salesman
Threatens To Kill Seattle Woman

October 5, 2007
Magazine Salesman Threatens Seattle Woman
Darren Dedo, Q13 FOX News
October 5, 2007, 8:48 PM PDT
Seattle police are looking for a door to door salesman who threatened to kill a 62-year-old woman if she refused to buy magazine subscriptions from him. Agnes Noreiga spoke exclusively with Q13 Fox News Reporter Darren Dedo about her encounter with the man. "He told me he was going to come and blow me away, that's what he told me, I'm gonna come and get you, I'm gonna blow you away," said Noreiga. The Grandmother that was verbally attacked is undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. She told Darren Dedo that she fears the magazine salesman more than her cancer. "I don't want to get hurt, I don't want to get raped, I don't want to badly hurt, and end up in the hospital dead," said Noreiga. Investigators say the salesman was going door to door Wednesday night in the area around Jackson Park Golf Course in North Seattle. Officers aren't sure what company the man works for, or if he has a gun. Police say the aggressive salesman is an African American man in his 20's, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 160 pounds. He has brown hair, brown eyes, and a slim build. He was wearing a yellow jacket with black sleeves, green pants and a white T-shirt. Police say if this man comes to your door call 911 right away.
Darren Dedo, Q13 FOX News
Q13 Fox News
KCPQ
q13.trb.com
Seattle, Washington
Read This Story


Spokane Washington
BBB Alert INTEGRITY SALES !!!

October 5, 2007
Integrity Sales LLC Targeted Region This Past Summer:
Company Has Unsatisfactory BBB Record
Date: October 5, 2006
BBB Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana
Spokane, WA. - October 5, 2006 - This past summer, a company called INTEGRITY SALES, LLC located at P.O. Box 10025, Glendale, AZ 85318, Principal: Robert Spruiell, Member, Phone Number: 877- 249-9075, Web Site Address: www.integritysale.com was targeting the region with door-to-door magazine sales. Thus far, we've heard from Eastern Washington consumers regarding this company, however, there are items posted online from unresolved Western Washington customers who were lodging complaints online. Complaints we heard from locals was that they may have received one of their magazines, but not a second, or a third. When they called the magazines directly to confirm and verify that they did, indeed, have a subscription that was turned in by Integrity Sales, the magazine companies are telling consumers that they have no such subscription, or that no one ever turned in an order for them, and they never received payment. This raised the red flag and made TheLocalBBB realize that this company was fairly active throughout the state this past summer and that ethics surrounding sales tactics and processing was in question. This is what we know about this company, which seems to have a PO Box as an address, but doesn't have its phone number on its receipts. (A phone number is available above from the Phoenix BBB report for this company). Based on BBB files, this company has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau due to unanswered complaints and a pattern of complaints. Complaints are concerning selling practices. Specifically, customers allege oral misrepresentations were made during the company's sales presentations. Complaints also concern customer service issues and difficulty obtaining refunds. Mr. Robert Spruiell is the owner of several other companies in BBB files. The Bureau has a separate report for each company. The companies are Magazine Fulfillment Services, SKS Services, Services Unlimited Plus, Credit Recoveries and NRA Construction. For full reports, go to: www.phoenix.bbb.org
TIPS
1. If you have an unresolved issue concerning this company, file a formal complaint with the Phoenix BBB at: www.phoenix.bbb.org as well as your State Attorney General's Office.

2. RESEARCH such companies with the BBB before signing, agreeing to or paying ANY door-to-door merchant or salesperson. Go to: www.bbb.org to look up their report.

3. Be VERY WARY of letting strangers into your house or dwelling. If you feel there is suspicious activity occurring or the salesperson won't properly disclose who they are, who they are with, and some form of identification, contact your local police department and report them. Give a description, etc. of people and/or vehicles they are driving. More than likely, they are clover-leafing your neighborhood.

4. Checks should be made payable to the company, NOT to ANY individual's name!

5. Consumers are advised to not let anyone walk away from a transaction without getting the proper info on the company. Obtain and keep a record of the company's name, address and phone number as well as the date of the transaction and the names of the ordered magazines.

6. Consumers should exercise caution in giving credit card numbers to unfamiliar persons or companies.
BBB Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana
thelocalbbb.com
Read This Story


Wisconsin
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales
'Corporate Veil' Broken By Wisconsin Judge

October 03, 2007
Judge pierces ‘corporate veil’ -
Stewart finds corporations responsible
for door-to-door salespeople
By Barbara Lyon, Editor
The Dunn County News
Menomonie, Wisconsin
A decision made last week by Dunn County Circuit Court Judge William Stewart has been described as a major victory that will protect the public. According to Jim Olson of the Madison law firm of Lawton & Cates, S.C., “The traveling magazine sales business has been responsible for hundreds of violent crimes, including rape, sexual assault and murder. Innocent victims are often deprived of any remedy because the owners hide behind a labyrinth of legal defenses available to corporations.” And hide is precisely what the owners of three corporations attempted to do in the case of a Menomonie woman who was beaten and sexually assaulted by Brandon Green, a magazine salesperson for the companies.

How it all started

According to the criminal complaint, on July 1, 2005, Green — a Minnesota resident with a history of felony offenses — knocked on the door of a Menomonie woman’s mobile home and attempted to sell magazines to her. He was working for Gemini Subscriptions, Inc. as part of traveling magazine subscription sales crew. The woman told him that she was not interested, but gave him a couple of dollars to buy himself a soda because she said she felt sorry for him. Green is reported to have thanked her and kissed her hand before leaving. After smoking some “white widow” — the street name for marijuana laced with cocaine — Green returned to the woman’s home and forced his way inside. Trapping her in her bedroom, he violently beat and sexually assaulted her. After her attacker left, the woman called the police to report the incident and was treated at the hospital for her injuries. She provided them with the company brochure Green left during his first visit as well as a picture of an unusual tattoo she had noticed on his right forearm. Green was arrested the following day walking on Douglas Street in Menomonie. Pleading no contest, he was convicted of second-degree sexual assault involving the use of force on June 13, 2006. He was sentenced to 21 years in prison, followed by 15 years of extended supervision.

Holding them accountable

A week later, the victim, along with several other plaintiffs, sought damages arising from the assault in a civil lawsuit against Vincent Pitts, owner of both Palmetto Marketing, Inc. and Pitt Sales, Inc. and, among others, Tina Cecil, owner of Gemini Subscriptions, Inc., and Robert Cecil, manager of Pitt Sales. All three companies are Florida corporations that share the same business and mailing address in Coral Springs. The defendants claimed that the suit should be dismissed, arguing that they could not be held liable for Green’s actions because Wisconsin courts lacked personal jurisdiction over them. Olson, the plaintiff’s attorney, argued that the state’s courts do indeed have jurisdiction “because the corporations involved are alter-egos of their shareholders.” He pointed out that the defendants all operate as a single entity, controlled by Pitts. According to the memorandum opinion of Judge Stewart’s decision, “To determine whether the Wisconsin courts have personal jurisdiction over each of the defendants, the Court first must determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support piercing the corporate veils and holding the shareholders liable for the activities of their respective corporations.” In his decision, Stewart found that the “corporate veil” does not protect the corporate officials. He determined that the businesses named had sufficient contacts in Wisconsin to give the state jurisdiction in the matter. “Judge Stewart’s decision cut through the facade,” Olson stated. “The decision will send a needed message to the owners of these businesses that they must exercise reasonable care in hiring and supervising their door-to-door salespeople.”
Barbara Lyon can be reached at barbara.lyon@lee.net.
By Barbara Lyon, Editor
The Dunn County News
dunnconnect.com
Menomonie, Wisconsin
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New Jersey
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Fraud
Theft by Deception and Conspiracy to Commit Theft

October 3, 2007
Arrests lead police to sound alarm
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
By MICHAEL J. FEENEY
STAFF WRITER
NorthJersey.com
North Jersey Media Group
It's the latest scam: A knock on the door, a brief introduction, a quick magazine sales pitch and a request for a cash donation. And police are using the occasion of recent arrests to once again warn residents about the fast-talkers preying on them right at their doorsteps. Last week, Ringwood police arrested three people for allegedly engaging in a door-to-door scam. They purported to be selling magazine subscriptions and also asked for cash donations for charities and other causes, said borough police Sgt. Paul Rothlauf. In such scams, the money never goes to the promised destination, and residents never even receive magazines. "They are taking advantage of people who would graciously give to people who really need it and using it for themselves," Rothlauf said Tuesday. "It makes the people who want to give second-guess themselves the next time they are approached." Such scams are a reoccurring problem for local police and have evolved from door-to-door solicitations to phone calls and e-mails. They include the freelance chimney cleaner, the bogus utility inspector, phone calls guaranteeing contest winnings, and e-mails promising large amounts of money for a minimal cash advance. Rothlauf asked residents to contact police immediately about approaches that seem suspicious. "Anybody who peddles anything needs to have a solicitor's permit from the borough," he said. "Call the police when you're in doubt and we'll figure it out for you." If someone is caught selling door-to-door without a permit, they could get a summons for violating a borough ordinance. Charitable organizations, schoolchildren and religious groups may go door-to-door without permits, but should notify police beforehand, officials said. Andrew Bower, 23, and Jonathan Coon, 18, both of Florida, and Treena Dominguez, 22, of California did not have a permit to sell magazines, and because of their "deceptive practices" they were arrested Thursday and charged with theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft, Rothlauf said. He said police collected $549 in donated cash and checks from the trio and returned most of it to about 10 victimized residents. Bower and Coon said they attend Rutgers University, Rothlauf said, and Dominguez also portrayed herself as a college student, but didn't say where. None was able to provide evidence they attend any college, Rothlauf said. He said they told police they were selling magazines for Georgia-based Xtreme Marketing. Police said they called the company, did not get a live response and left a message. The Record also left a message with a Georgia company's number listed on a Web site, but it was not returned as of Tuesday evening. The trio allegedly told some residents that the beneficiaries of cash donations included a children's research hospital, a hospice, a shelter for abused children, funding for a college trip and Rutgers rugby team uniforms. Rothlauf said such groups usually come in from out of state for about a week, saturate neighborhoods and then leave. The last occurrence in Ringwood was about two years ago, he said, but no one was caught. Pompton Lakes Lt. Dave Struyk said that in the magazine scam, out-of-state college students are dropped off by van and then go their separate ways collecting money. "They figure they can do it for a couple hours until police chase them out and go into the next town," Struyk said. "Just say, 'No, thank you,' call police, give a description and say what direction they are heading in." Struyk and Rothlauf both say they've also seen an increase of Internet scams as well: An effective one has been an e-mail from a desperate foreigner asking for money to help them and promising a large sum in return for the assistance. Struyk also advises people to be wary of listings on popular Web sites and even newspaper advertisements. "You're not going to get something for nothing," he said. "Ask a lot of questions and don't send any money. Any legitimate prize is not going to ask you to send money." In Little Ferry, Police Chief Ralph Verdi warned, "A couple minutes it takes to check could save you a whole lot of headaches." Verdi recalled several scams, such as the insurance inspector offering to check homes. "If you didn't talk to your insurance company, don't let them in," he said, noting such scams seem to kick up around this time of year. He said other scams involve phone calls seeking confidential information such as Social Security and bank account numbers. "It's mind-boggling that these people think these things up," Verdi said. "If these people put that brain power to use, they could probably find a cure for cancer."
E-mail: feeney@northjersey.com

* * *
Protect yourself

• Ask to see a solicitor's permit, which would be issued by your hometown.

• Ask to see personal identification.

• Be wary: If the offer's too good to be true, it probably is.

• If the individual raises your suspicions, record his or her description and that of the vehicle, if any, and contact police immediately.

Call police when in doubt in any case; they will determine if the solicitation is legitimate.

• Don't let anyone into your home.

• Be mindful of diversion scams, in which someone engages you in conversation at the door while someone else sneaks inside through other entrance ways.

Source: Police departments
7202912
By MICHAEL J. FEENEY
STAFF WRITER
NorthJersey.com
North Jersey Media Group
Read This Story


Kokomo, Indiana
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Scam Alert !!!

October 3, 2007
Scam threatens Western fundraiser
From staff reports
Kokomo Tribune
Published: October 03, 2007 04:46 pm
A story in Wednesday’s Kokomo Tribune warned of a current scam involving magazine sales in Howard County. The scam was uncovered after a local woman reported that she was approached at her home by a teenage male who was selling magazine subscriptions and children’s books and claimed the fundraising was connected with Western High School. Howard County Sheriff detectives later located the suspect, who was working with a company named Integrity Programs LLC, based out of Arizona. The business has no connection to any local school. According to Western High School Principal Rick Davis, juniors at the school are currently selling magazines to raise money for prom and graduation. Davis said Western students have been instructed to identify themselves by full name. Western students are selling the magazines through QSP Reader’s Digest, and their sales flyers will have QSP labels.
From staff reports
Kokomo Tribune
kokomotribune.com
Kokomo, Indiana
Read This Story


Oregon
Sexual Assault Accusation in Gresham Against Magazine Salesman !!!

September 28, 2007
Magazine salesman arrested in Gresham
Man faces assault charges in Seattle
By Mara Stine
The Gresham Outlook, Sep 28, 2007
Updated 12.2 hours ago (1 Reader comment)
Although police have arrested a magazine-subscription salesman working in Gresham on accusations of assaulting a female customer in Seattle, police report no complaints of aggressive magazine sales in the Gresham area. Detectives, however, are investigating a sexual assault accusation in Gresham waged against a different magazine salesman who works for the same company. Seattle police tracked Antonio M. Smokes, 25, who was wanted on an assault and burglary warrant for allegedly trying to strangle a female client, to a Gresham motel in the 2700 block of Northeast Hogan Drive. There, with help from Gresham police, they arrested the man without incident Tuesday, Sept. 11, said Sgt. Jeff Hansen, Gresham police spokesman. According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Smokes sold a 27-year-old Seattle woman two magazine subscriptions on Aug. 29, and returned to her apartment two days later saying he’d lost the paperwork and needed to reprocess the order. After she let him inside, he reportedly grabbed the woman by the neck and choked her unconscious. The woman later reported a stolen cellular phone and a laptop computer. The newspaper also reported that Smokes was recently released from a Florida prison after serving two years for an armed robbery in which he threatened a Florida man with a butcher knife and stole $1,000 while selling magazine subscriptions, according to published reports. In addition, he has a criminal history in Utah and Pennsylvania of assault, robbery and eluding police charges. At the time of the Seattle attack, Smokes was selling magazines for Urban Development Solutions, based in Gross Pointe Farm, Mich. The company cooperated with police and helped locate Smokes in Gresham, where he was getting into a van to sell more magazines when arrested. Multnomah County jail officials have since transported Smokes to Seattle. Gresham police Lt. Marv Madtson said local police have received no complaints of aggressive or hostile sales tactics. However, an unnamed salesman working for the same company Smokes worked for stands accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a Gresham motel about a month ago, Hansen said. The alleged attack did not happen in the woman’s home and was not committed during the course of the man’s sales activities. The same company Smokes was working for when police arrested him in Gresham obtained a business license Sept. 4 in Lake Oswego for door-to-door sales, said Don Forman, operations captain with the Lake Oswego Police Department. Gresham has no business permit for the company on file. Lake Oswego police also arrested a Tennessee woman Sept. 12, on charges of theft by deception in connection with her door-to-door magazine sales. The 27-year-old woman reportedly told customers a variety of stories ranging from being a college student looking to study in London or Italy to trying to win a trip to Europe. They are investigating whether the woman is connected to the group of salesmen Smokes was associated with. Gresham police caution people to be careful whenever a salesperson knocks on the door or rings the doorbell. “Be careful who you let into your home or talk to with an open front door,” Hansen said. “If alone, don’t answer.” Another tactic is to keep the door closed, but explain through it that you never buy from door-to-door salespeople.
By Mara Stine
The Gresham Outlook
theoutlookonline.com
Gresham, Oregon
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Oregon
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Scam Alert !!!

September 27, 2007
Deceptive sellers return
The Lake Oswego Review, Sep 27, 2007
In recent weeks, the Lake Oswego Police Department has received a slew of complaints about door-to-door magazine sellers. Earlier this month, police arrested Kathryn Ozsoy, 27, of Tennessee, for suspicion of second-degree theft by deception, according to Lake Oswego Police Department Capt. Don Forman. Oszoy was selling magazines door-to-door and apparently using an assortment of deceptive tactics. Suspected ruses included being a junior at the University of Oregon looking to study in London, being a student at Rice University, asking for personal contributions to study abroad, trying to win a trip to Europe and looking for help to study architecture in Italy. She was believed to be traveling with a larger group selling magazines door-to-door in the metropolitan area. A vehicle associated with the group is a white Ford Econoline Van with the Georgia license plate AGH 6777. Forman said police noticed that Oszoy’s company receipts and other identifying information are associated with the same organization that visited the metropolitan area in April. The suspicious sales pitches in April included being local school cheerleaders and raising money for non-existent baseball teams. “Although we have not identified any of the same solicitors as in April, it appears, at least with this solicitor, the game is the same,” said Forman.
The Lake Oswego Review
lakeoswegoreview.com
Lake Oswego, Oregon
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Illinois
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Scam !!!
Magazine Sales Company:
Integrity Program

September 27, 2007
Urbana police investigate potential magazine scam
By Martha Spalding
The Daily Illini
Posted: 9/27/07 Section: News
Wednesday Urbana police began to investigate a potential magazine scam conducted by young people, according to an Urbana Police Department press release. These young people, ranging in age from 20 to 25, claimed to be part of an organization called, "Integrity Program." They claimed to be from Urbana neighborhoods and solicited for money by selling magazine subscriptions. The salespeople would claim to be trying to earn money for their college education, a school trip or another worthy cause, according to the release. Dave Smysor, an Urbana police investigator who is not investigating this specific case, said these scam groups typically work door-to-door. He does not believe they will approach people on the street. The salespeople claimed the "Integrity Program" was affiliated with the bookstore chain, Barnes and Noble. If this did not work, they would request donations. Police have attempted to verify the legitimacy of the program, but phone calls to the organization have not been returned. A source at Barnes and Noble denied any affiliation with the program, and it has not been filed with the Urbana City Clerk's Office or the Illinois General's Office. To guard against potential scams, Smysor said people should ask for identification. An ordinance in Champaign-Urbana requires salespersons to apply for a permit if they are more than 13 years old. While Sysmor said these scams are not uncommon, it is best for residents to contact police with any suspicions.
Bridget Maiellaro contributed to this report.
By Martha Spalding
The Daily Illini
media.www.dailyillini.com
Champaign, Illinois
Read This Story


Research:
Magazine Company:
Integrity Sales/Integrity Program
Integrity Sales Website: integritysale.com
Integrity Program Website: integritypgm.com
Arizona Secretary of State Corporation/LLC Website:
Az. S.O.S. Corp/LCC
Arizona Secretary of State: Integrity Sales:  Integrity Sales
Criminal Profiles: Search For: Integrity Sales
Magazine Scams: Integrity Sales
Consumer Advocacy: Edumacation.com: Integrity Sales
BBB Report Phoenix, Az.: unsatisfactory
Rip Off Report: Integrity Sales
Magazine Company/Sales Crews as of 05/13/06:
Magazine Fulfillment Services - Operated by Robert Spruiell
Integrity Sales, Inc. - Operated by Robert Spruiell
Integrity Program, Inc.- Operated by Robert Spruiell
Circulation I - Operated by Karkeen Hillery
Circulation II - Operated by Karleen Hillery
SERVICES UNLIMITED PLUS - Operated by Karleen Hillery Spruiell/Robert Spruiell
National Community Clearing, INC - Operated by Karleen Hillery
TEAM X-TREME
DYNASTY SALES
POWERHOUSSE SALES
KAYS NATURALS - Karleen Hillery Crew
Kay's Naturals website: ournaturals.com
Crew Name: 029
Crew Name: 032
IP MARKETING
IMPACT PUBLICATIONS
Subscriptions Plus - Operated by Karleen Hillery
(old mag. company name - may be in use again)

Google Search: Karleen Hillery
Google Search: Karleen Spruiell
Google Search: Robert Spruiell

Integrity Sales is a Member of National Field Selling Association: nfsa.com
National Field Selling Association is a member of:
Magazine Publishers of America: magazine.org

RIP-OFF Report.com
Integrity Sales ripoff
Phoenix Arizona *Consumer Comment ..New Info
Read This Rip-Off Report On Integrity Sales

Lookup: Karleen Hillery on Profiler:
Karleen Hillery Profile

Lookup: Karleen Hillery - Janesville Wisconsin Van Crash March 25, 1999
Karleen Hillery Profile

View Recent Criminal Activities of Karleen Hillery Spruiell:
Karleen Hillery Spruiell
(NOTE: for search on Arizona State Supreme Court Criminal Records
Enter: Last Name: Spruiell, First Name: Karleen in search box.

View Wisconsin DOJ Civil Lawsuit Against Karleen Hillery (case # 00-CV-0852)
State of Wisconsin V. Karleen Hillery

View Illinois Magazine Sales Fraud Lawsuit Against Karleen Hillery (case # 02-CH125)
State of Illinois V. Karleen Hillery

Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer: DMPG Disclaimer


Kittanning, Pennsylvania
Door-to-Door Sales Scam Alert !!!

September 27, 2007
Police Report
Leader Times
Thursday, September 27, 2007
The following reports were issued by the West Kittanning Police Department:
• Police are warning residents of a book scam in the borough after a resident complained that a group of people, claiming to be college students, arrived at her residence on Sept. 8 to sell books from a company known as "Mags - R -Us" or A.M. Press Associates of Miami, Fla. Police said the woman gave the group $160 and received four receipts for books, but has yet to receive the books. Police said an investigation into the company revealed that this incident and the offer are a scam. Residents are advised not to give money to door-to-door sales people and to not let strangers into their homes. West Kittanning Borough requires sales people to acquire a solicitation permit to do business. Police said their investigation is ongoing in the case.
Leader Times
pittsburghlive.com
Kittanning, Pennsylvania
Read This Story


Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Scam Alert !!!

September 26, 2007
Magazine Scam
WHP CBS 21
Last Update: 9/26 3:33 pm
In Dauphin County, police in Swatara Township are warning residents about a possible magazine scam. Cops say there are people going door to door selling subscriptions for a phony fundraiser. Police received word about this from police in Northumberland County. The suspects could be staying in a hotel in Swatara Township. They are also driving around in white Ford vans with Florida license plates. If you are approached to buy a magazine subscription or have seen these vans, call police.
WHP CBS 21
whptv.com
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Read This Story


Missouri
Magazine Salesman Wanted For
Assault/Attemped Rape !!!

September 26, 2007
Teen Baby Sitter Fights Off Attacker
Attempted Rapist Described As Having Bad Acne
KMBC-TV
TheKansasCityChannel.com
POSTED: 9:46 pm CDT September 26, 2007
UPDATED: 10:26 pm CDT September 26, 2007
WESTON, Mo. -- Police are searching for the magazine salesman who tried to rape a teenage baby sitter. The baby sitter was looking after an 8-month-old girl at a home in the 800 block of Ashley Street. She said there was a salesman who knocked at the door; she told him she wasn't interested. About an hour later, a different salesman came to the door, but he wouldn't take no for an answer. "I've always had my door unlocked. Now I can't trust anybody," said Lacey, the mother of the 8-month-old. She didn't want her last name used. Lacey said she wasn't worried about leaving her baby in the care of Heaven, a teenage baby sitter. And Heaven said she hadn't been worried about opening the door to a pimple-faced magazine salesman. "He didn't have any papers or anything like that. I said, 'I'm not interested.' I went to close the door and he slammed it back open," Heaven said. The teen said the man forced his way through the doorway into the home. "We wrestled on the ground for a little bit. I got up again, he kept pushing me into the corner," Heaven said. "I'm sure his intentions were to rape me -- he had my pants down, he had his pants down, he tore my underwear." She said she never let go of the baby during the attack. And for some reason, the man decided to stop. "I was screaming my head off, the baby was screaming, the dog was barking -- I don't know what startled him, but all of the sudden he got up and ran out of the house," Heaven said. She said she doesn't feel comfortable baby-sitting at the home anymore. And Lacey said she won't feel comfortable until the attacker is arrested. "I'm hoping they find him, put him away," Lacey said. Weston police said they're investigating the assault and attempted rape. The teen described her attacker as in his late teens, thin, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and with bad acne.
Anyone with information in the case can call the Crime Stoppers TIPS hot line at 816-474-TIPS
KMBC-TV
TheKansasCityChannel.com
thekansascitychannel.com
Kansas City, Missouri
Read This Story


California
Magazine Sales Warning !!!

September 24, 2007
CBS 2 EXCLUSIVE: Magazine Subscribers Hell
CBS 2 News
Studio City, California
Sep 24, 2007 11:00 pm US/Pacific
(CBS) REDONDO BEACH, Calif. Subscribing to magazines has led to some people's claims that they've been overcharged hundreds of dollars. And when they try to cancel they get nowhere. Investigative reporter David Goldstein went to the magazine's headquarters in Redondo Beach to try and get answers.
"Leave that camera alone. Now!"
"Back off! You back off!"
"We're documenting this right now. You are pushing us."
"Where's John? Why doesn't he want to talk, huh? Why doesn't he want to talk?"
That's what happened when we made our house call to a company that makes big bucks by calling you at home. "We collect, monthly, $30,000 out of my mouth." $30,000 a month is what one former employee says he just he collected. The company is called Worldwide Preferred Publishers. Their business is selling magazine subscriptions over the phone. "It's a rip-off. They're out to make money." Frank Haas's 79-year-old mother suffers from dementia. But she was paying $1200 for agazines sold to her by Worldwide Preferred Publishers. When he found out he tried to put a stop to it." "I said do not call her. Do not send her anything anymore," Frank Haas said. But just one month later, "They called her again and sold her four magazines -- three of which she already gets," Haas said. When he called to cancel, "They said, 'well you can't cancel the order, but if you want to cancel it, it's going to cost you $400.'" "Almost every phone call was a complaint." This former employee who would only talk if we concealed his identity. He says the company lured people into buying magazines at a low price -- only to be hit with big bills. And it was his job to get them to pay. "These people were crying, saying stop harassing me. Here's my credit card number. Just stop it." Bill Mitchell of the Better Business Bureau says Worldwide Preferred Publishers has racked up more than 200 complaints in the last three years alone. Some claim they agreed to buy one magazine but were billed for several. "Their whole business is based on deception." "I'm David Goldstein. I'm a reporter with Channel 2 News." We went to their headquarters in Redondo Beach. Company president John Daly didn't want to come out of his office.
"I'll wait for you here."
But we saw employees inputting names of magazine subscribers in the computers. "What are you doing"
Others reading from scripts while on the phone. But it wasn't long before we were shown the door. "Leave that camera alone."
"I didn't touch the camera."
"You don't have the authority to get us out of here.
What are you doing here, man? Back off of me."
"Where's John? Why doesn't he want to talk, huh? Why doesn't he want to talk?"
Two days later we caught up with Daly arriving for work in his Jaguar. "Mr. Daly, I'm David Goldstein with CBS 2 News."
"Sir, I want to talk to you about your magazine practices, sir."
"You have nothing to say"
"It's just terrible what they're doing. I'm sure they're doing it to other people" To its credit the company has made good on some refunds when customers complained to the better business bureau. But our insider says many others are still stuck with a huge bill when that ends up being referred to a collection agency if people don't pay up.
CBS 2 News
cbs2.com
Studio City, California
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Seattle Washington
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Warning !!!

September 19, 2007
Fear and loathing dogs magazine salesmen
By Russ Zabel
Beacon Hills News & South District Journal
09/19/2007
The magazine salesman who allegedly choked an Eastlake woman till she was unconscious, then stole her phone and laptop computer on Aug. 31 is in jail. He was arrested Sept. 12 in Oregon with a crew of magazine-subscription salesmen working for Michigan-based Urban Development Solutions. It's not the first time the 25-year-old salesman has been in trouble with the law. He had recently gotten out of jail in Florida after spending a two-year stint for an armed robbery he pulled off while selling magazine subscriptions, according to published reports. Urban Development Solutions officials cooperated with police in the case, according to Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson, and an Internet search turned up no record of legal problems with salesmen from the company. But Urban Development wasn't the only subscription company with sales crews in Seattle recently, according to numerous Seattle police reports. Most of the reports do not list a company the troublesome, high-pressure salesmen work for, but one report from Queen Anne about the arrest of two magazine-subscription salesmen identifies Indiana-based D&T Connections as their company. D&T has no history of complaints, according to the Indiana Better Business Bureau. However, D&T Connections is one of 11 companies listed under American Community Services Inc., and American Community Services does have a poor record with its salesmen, according to the Indiana BBB and press accounts. Among the offenses, one of their salesmen was jailed in 2004 after trying to sexually assault an 80-year-old woman in Menlo Park, Calif., and a 76-year-old retired beautician was stabbed to death in 1990 in a Boston suburb by another company salesman who had a prior rape conviction, according to press accounts. A call placed to D&T vice president Tekeba Swift last week was not returned by press deadline this week, but the Indiana BBB had a lot to say about American Community Services. For one thing, the company is no longer in business, according to BBB records, which also note the company generated almost 50 complaints in the past three years, 25 of those within the past 12 months. According to BBB records, one complaint was about customer-service issues, two were about contract issues, nine were about sales practices, 11 were for refund or exchange issues, and 26 complaints concerned delivery issues. The BBB record also indicates American Community Services did not respond to those complaints. But judging from Seattle police reports, it might just be a matter of time before a complaint file is generated for D&T. A Sept. 6 report indicates that complaints increased recently about subscription salesmen in Queen Anne. The salesmen, who wear dark pants, dress shirts and ties, are verbally hostile to customers, and they return several times each day, according to the report, which notes the men have been spotted at the sides of houses and in back yards. One victim told police he looked out through the mail slot when a salesman showed up at his front door, and he asked the salesman what he wanted a couple of times. The salesman didn't reply and just stood there with a scowl on his face, according to the police report. One of the D&T salesmen approached another house in the neighborhood, and he didn't say anything when the teenage daughter of the woman who lives there asked what he wanted. At one point, though, he yelled at the girl to let him in, and he also started flirting with the girl, according to the report. There were other incidents in the area, and a common theme was that it took the victims asking several times for the pushy salesmen to leave before they finally did. Police caught the pair on Upper Queen Anne Hill, and they were arrested and booked for harassment, trespassing and not having a city business license. Several residents in the Madison Park area also complained to police Sept. 7 and 8 about door-to-door salesmen in dark slacks, dress shirt and ties. Elsewhere, a woman in Sandpoint had an encounter with a subscription salesman on Sept. 7. The man matched the description of the Eastlake assault suspect and said he was from Florida, as the assault suspect also said he was. The salesman raised the woman's suspicions when he asked her who was home, asked about her dog and requested a drink of water, according to the report. Still, the woman gave the man a check for $80 for a subscription and noticed only later that the receipt had only his signature on it; there was no contact or company information. Only the two men operating in Queen Anne and the Eastlake assault suspect were arrested, but police urge that Seattle residents use caution when approached by a door-to-door salesman. Among the suggestions, look for proper identification that includes the seller's name, photo and the name of the company the seller works for before opening the door. Also, if the salesman refuses a request to leave or asks to use the bathroom, make a phone call or to get a drink of water, again tell the person to leave. Police should be called if the resident feels intimidated, pressured or threatened at any time. Finally, police recommend residents not give in to high-pressure sales tactics - and never be afraid to say "NO!!"
Staff reporter Russ Zabel may be reached via rzabel@nwlink.com.
By Russ Zabel
Beacon Hills News & South District Journal
pacificpublishingcompany.com
Seattle, Washington
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Pennsylvania
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Scam Alert !!!

September 19, 2007
Door-to-door magazine sellers a scam, police say
Collegian Staff Writer
Posted on September 19, 2007 12:59 AM
When a "Penn State student" showed up at Molly Thomas' door selling magazines two weeks ago, yet couldn't name a single class in her own major, the Beaver Hill resident knew something was up. The woman's excuse? "She said, 'Penn State doesn't really want to know about us going around,' " Thomas (junior-nutrition) said. Standing outside Thomas' sixth-floor apartment, the woman pressed a ratty laminated pamphlet into her hands, pressuring Thomas to buy subscriptions, so the seller could win a competition. Thomas declined. The woman asked again, adding that she was currently in third place out of 2,100 people. Thomas still refused. "She really wanted to sell this to me," Thomas said. "She was just really cheesy. She mentioned how she would have fundraised for Girl Scout cookies, but said she'd eat them before she sold them. I just wanted to laugh in her face." Thomas wasn't the only student to receive a visit from strangers bearing magazines. Multiple downtown residents and neighboring municipalities have complained of unlicensed door-to-door solicitors, the State College Police Department said. On Aug. 30, police cited Jeremy Gatlin, an Austin, Texas native, for selling magazines at Meridian Apartments, 636 E. College Ave. Police said they have since received additional complaints from residents at other apartment complexes. It's never the same person or story. Residents have described visits from a heavyset blonde woman, a black woman, a man with tattoos and others, police said. Pitches follow a familiar script: Solicitors are trying to win "points" by selling magazine subscriptions, they're poor college students and they're "oh-so-close" to their goal. A woman told Nathan Hazi (junior-biochemistry and molecular biology) two weeks ago that his subscriptions would go toward her college financial aid, but she didn't mention how much it would cost him. And before he knew what was going on, "she had me signed up," the Highland Tower resident said. "She gave me a receipt, and I looked at the cost. It was over $60," Hazi, who later refused payment, said. "She didn't even mention the exact name of the program she worked for." But another man, warned by police on Aug. 31 for selling magazines without a permit, offered the name of his employer -- "Unlimited Sales." The Daily Collegian received an anonymous e-mail from a Meridian resident on the same day Gatlin was cited, also mentioning a salesman claiming to work for Unlimited Sales. Unlimited Sales Inc., a Nevada corporation, was investigated in 2001 by Wyoming Attorney General Hoke MacMillan for cheating Cheyenne, Wyo., residents out of more than $1,200, according to a press release. MacMillan's office confirmed that representatives of the company falsely claimed subscription proceeds would go toward the Boys and Girls Club of Cheyenne, according to the release. John Petrick, Patton Township Police Department chief, has heard similar complaints. Two weeks ago, Patton Township police cited two men for selling magazines without a permit, but lacked evidence to press charges. He said he thinks the State College area is being scoured by an out-of-state group, with "one team leader and a whole bunch of underlings that go out and do the magazine soliciting." "The fact that they were soliciting without a permit caused great concern," Petrick said. "They're very transient. They move from location to location on a daily basis." Tyrone Parham, Penn State University Police assistant director, said he didn't know if the solicitors had canvassed the campus, but did say the university has had trouble with magazine scam artists in the past. The best advice he can give, he said, is to trust only yourself when buying a subscription. "You write a check, it has your name, your address, your banking routing number and your account number," Parham said. "People should find their own way to a magazine subscription and not take one from a stranger."
Collegian Staff Writer
collegian.psu.edu
University Park, Pennsylvania
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Wisconsin
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Warning !!!

September 18, 2007
Out-of-state magazine sellers are ticketed
Regional News Briefs
From the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Sept. 18, 2007
MILWAUKEE COUNTY
Mequon - Police last week issued tickets to six out-of-state residents who were selling magazines door to door without obtaining a city solicitor's permit, Capt. Dan Buntrock said Tuesday. The $186 tickets were issued to people from Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arizona and California, and they each paid the tickets, he said. Police issued the citations after receiving complaints from residents, Buntrock said. The solicitors seem to come to Mequon every summer, he said.
Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
From Journal Sentinel staff and Associated Press reports
jsonline.com
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Portland, Oregon
Magazine Sales Agent Arrested For Theft By Deception

September 15, 2007
Portland Info Net
News Releases for Sep. 15, 2007 - 12:55 am.
Last night, LOPD Officers arrested Kathryn Ozsoy DOB/09-30-79 with a given address in Tennessee for Theft 2 By Deception. Ms. Oszoy, who was lodged at the Clackamas Jail, was selling magazines door to door and apparently using an assortment of deceptive tactics. Suspected ruses included being a Junior at the University of Oregon looking to study in London, being a student at Rice University, asking for personal contributions to study abroad, trying to win a trip to Europe, and looking for help to study architecture in Italy. She was contacted with two others (no business licenses) and is believed to be traveling with a larger group selling magazines door to door in the metropolitan area. A vehicle associated with the group is a white Ford Econoline Van bearing Georgia License Plate AGH6777. Troubling to officers is the fact that the company receipts used, company phone numbers, and other pertinent identifying information are associated with the same organization that visited the metropolitan area in April of this year. The sales ruses this past April included being local school cheerleaders and raising money for non existent baseball teams. Although we have not identified any of the same solicitors as in April, it appears (at least with this solicitor) the game is the same.

A SECOND POSSIBLE GROUP:
Of additional concern is the warrant arrest on 09-11-2007 of Antonio M. Smokes, by Gresham Police for Assault (an attempted strangling committed in Seattle, WA.) The Seattle Times reported details of the crime online indicating that Mr. Smokes returned two days after a successful magazine sales pitch, committed the alleged crime, then left Seattle with a group of other salesmen. The same sales organization that Mr. Smokes claimed affiliation with at the time of his arrest in Gresham on 09-11-2007 obtained a business license on 09-04-2007 from the City of Lake Oswego for door to door sales. It is unknown if the two groups identified are related to one another.
Portland Info Net
pdxinfo.net
Portland, Oregon
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Seattle Washington
Should You Open The Door ?

September 14 2007
Story of salesman sparks fears
By PHUONG CAT LE
P-I REPORTER
Seattle Post Intelligencer
Last updated September 14, 2007 9:59 p.m. PT
The door-to-door magazine salesman accused of attacking an Eastlake woman after selling her two subscriptions apparently tried to solicit other residents before he left the state. His arrest earlier this week raised alarm among Seattle residents who recall seeing him and have reported concerns about other aggressive, even hostile, magazine salespeople. What should you do to protect yourself from scams and aggressive salespeople? "You certainly do not have to open the door to anyone you don't feel comfortable with," said Mark Jamieson, a spokesman for the Seattle Police Department. "If something doesn't seem right, you should trust your instincts. If something is suspicious, call 911." In the past few weeks, Carrie, a Montlake resident who did not give her last name, said she had three different sales pitches from magazine hawkers. Two were so aggressive that she worried they'd come back and do harm. One "would not leave and would not take no for an answer, so I had to ask him to leave my property," she said. "He was quite aggressive, which made me worry a bit that he would come back and seek some sort of revenge." She said a second saleswoman kicked her front door and ran down the street when she threatened to call police. Earlier this week authorities arrested Antonio Smokes, 25, in a Gresham, Ore., hotel and charged him with first-degree burglary and second-degree assault of a 27-year-old woman. After selling the woman two magazine subscriptions Aug. 29, police say Smokes returned to her Eastlake apartment two days later, claiming he lost the paperwork. Not long after she let him inside, he grabbed the woman by the neck, choking her until she temporarily lost consciousness, police said. Smokes was selling magazines for Urban Development Solutions, based in Gross Pointe Farm, Mich., Jamieson said. The company cooperated with police and helped find Smokes, whom police arrested as he was getting into a van to sell more magazines, said Tom Lanier, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshal's Service. Door-to-door salespeople are required by Seattle law to get a "residential seller's license" and wear a photo ID when they solicit homes. But the city issues only three to five such licenses each year. The law exempts a number of people, including those who sell products to be delivered at "a future time from a place outside of state." This means most door-to-door magazine salespeople don't have to get a seller's license. Denise Movius, director of the city's Revenue & Consumer Affairs Division, said her agency has been considering whether to change the rules. "We've been looking at it for the past couple of years," she said. "This (case) has raised it to the surface again." Earlene Williams, executive director of Parent Watch, wants criminal background checks on all door-to-door salespeople as a way to protect both consumers and the youths who join these traveling magazine sales crews. "The kids are just as much at risk for harm as the homeowner," said Williams, whose national group is a clearinghouse for information on child and youth labor abuse in the door-to-door sales industry. Smokes was recently released from a Florida prison after serving two years for armed robbery. He has a criminal history in Utah and Pennsylvania, including assault, robbery and eluding police charges, according to court papers. Seattle police called out to private residences have arrested some door-to-door salespeople for aggressive behavior, threats, assaults and outstanding warrants. Homeowners shouldn't panic and be afraid of everyone who comes to their door, but Williams advises trying not to be too open and hospitable. "Don't let anyone in," she said. "If you want to buy a subscription, conduct your business with them out on the porch." Earlier this year, the local Better Business Bureau warned consumers about door-to-door salespeople who posed as high school cheerleaders and basketball players. Portland police arrested four teens in that case. "Get something in writing that states who they are and what they represent," said Marcella Kallmann, a spokeswoman for the BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. "Don't feel pressured to hand over money right then and there. And especially never hand over cash."

DOOR STOPS
Consider posting a sign that says "No solicitors," "No peddlers" or "No agents." In Seattle, residential sellers must abide by these signs.

Acknowledge the knock, since ignoring it might lead to an attempted burglary.

Before opening the door, look for proper identification. Legitimate company representatives will have it.

Use good judgment: It's safer not to allow the person into your home.

Avoid paying immediately. Find out from the seller how to order directly from the company.

Don't give in to high-pressure tactics. Don't be afraid to say no.

Get the name of the company or organization the person claims to represent and check it out.

Federal Trade Commission rules allow you a refund period of three business days on door-to-door sales of more than $25. In addition, a state law allows you to cancel a contract within three days in which payments are made in installments, such as the sales of magazine subscriptions or vacuum cleaners, the Attorney General's Office says.

Sources: Seattle Police Department; the Better Business Bureau of Western Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

P-I reporter Phuong Cat Le can be reached at 206-448-8390 or phuongle@seattlepi.com.
By PHUONG CAT LE
P-I REPORTER
Seattle Post Intelligencer
seattlepi.nwsource.com
Seattle, Washington
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Minnesota
Door-To-Door Book Salesman
Stabbed Woman To Death !!!

September 13, 2007
Two Harbors salesman arrested in slaying of Cook woman
9/13/2007 9:00:03 AM
Post-Bulliten Associated Press
EVELETH, Minn. -- Prosecutors planned to file second-degree murder charges Wednesday against a 28-year-old salesman from Two Harbors in the killing of a Cook woman who was stabbed to death at the sign company where she worked. Eveleth Police Chief Brian Lillis said at a news conference Tuesday that the suspect continued selling children's books and cutting boards in the Gilbert and Eveleth area even after Megan Ashley Anderson, 20, was killed around midday Aug. 29. The suspect was arrested without incident Monday night in Two Harbors and was being held in the St. Louis County jail, Lillis said. Anderson was found dead on the floor of Durkee Signs & Graphics in Eveleth, where she had worked since July. She had been stabbed more than 20 times. Lillis said the suspect was working with a partner that day as a salesman for Allstar Advertising of Duluth. He said the second salesman had been cooperative, and there was no evidence linking him or any others to the crime. The two salesmen were separated at times as they canvassed the city for sales, said Paul Gherardi, a special agent with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The motive had not clearly been defined, the police chief said, but added that the suspect had no connection to Eveleth or the victim. Lillis said it was premature to know if first-degree murder charges would be pursued. Also Tuesday, authorities asked for the public's help in locating items considered important to the investigation. Those items include a pink Motorola Razr cell phone, a man's full-length necktie and a folding knife.
Post-Bulliten
Associated Press
news.postbulletin.com
Rochester, Minnesota
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UK
Door To Door Crackdown In UK !!!

September 13, 2007
Ashton launches No Cold Calling Zone
wigantoday.net
Location: Wigan
Published Date: 13 September 2007
Last Updated: 13 September 2007 9:53 AM
Rouge traders are about to be shown the door in Ashton as the area prepares for the launch of its No Cold Calling Zone. From today, the area around Crossway Close and Linkway Avenue will become salesman-free as signs go up warning unwanted callers to stay away. The project is an attempt to crack down on doorstep conmen, bogus callers and distraction burglars. Wigan Council's Trading Standards team has worked closely with the police, Age Concern and other agencies to set up the zone where doorstep sellers who call on residents without an appointment will be told they are not welcome. The area will be prominently identified with high-visibility signs both on the street and on doors and windows. Residents have been told to report anyone selling door-to-door to Trading Standards once the zone is in operation. In March, the council and its partners launched the borough's first No Cold Calling Zone in Golborne. The Ashton zone has been introduced because of the success of this scheme. Wigan Council's Cabinet Champion for Neighbourhoods, Coun Keith Cunliffe, said: "Doorstep conmen and bogus callers are big cause for concern in our borough just as they are elsewhere. "They range from people calling and offering to do DIY work, which ends up being really shoddy, through to crooks posing as officials to get into people's homes and steal their belongings. "The usual target for this type of criminal is the older and more vulnerable members of the community." oun Cunliffe added: "In cases like this clearly prevention is better than cure so we're asking all traders to respect the No Cold Calling Zone." "We're not trying to obstruct legitimate businesses but legitimate traders will not mind playing by the rules and making an appointment."
wigantoday.net
UK
Greater Manchester, England
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Minnesota
Door-To-Door Book Salesman
Murder/Sexual Assault Case

September 13, 2007
Accused Two Harbors man says he can't remember killing Cook woman
Mark Stodghill
Duluth News Tribune - 09/12/2007
Jesaiah Lee Carlson told investigators he couldn’t remember if he killed Megan Ashley Anderson, but during a three-hour interview with authorities he never denied slaying the 20-year-old Cook woman. Carlson’s ambiguous statements and a knife found in his car that contained a DNA mixture that would exclude 97.8 per-cent of the world’s population -- but not Anderson -- were two of the pieces of evidence that led the St. Louis County Attorney’s office to charge Carlson today with intentional second-degree murder in Anderson’s Aug. 29 death. The salesman from Two Harbors was also charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Anderson was stabbed more than 20 times while she worked at Durkee Signs & Graphics in Eveleth. Greg Durkee found Anderson’s body about 1:10 p.m., when he returned to the business that he owned. He had last seen her alive about 10:20 a.m. The victim's partially clad body was found lying face down. Carlson, 28 of Two Harbors, was arraigned before 6th Judicial District Judge Gary Pagliaccetti. St. Louis County prosecutor Gordon Coldagelli asked that bail be sent at $1 million because of the violent nature of the crime, because Carlson is a flight risk and because the defendant claimed to have no recollection of his actions during the time frame that Anderson was slain. Pagliaccetti set bail at $1 million. The defendant is being held in the St. Louis County Jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday. In an age when forensic science laboratories around the country are backlogged with evidence to analyze for months, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was able to process some of the DNA evidence at its Bemidji crime lab in less than two weeks. “Because of the nature of this crime it was put to the forefront of the caseload,’’ said BCA Special Agent Paul Gherardi. Carlson was employed as a salesman for Allstar Advertising of Duluth. He was selling cutting boards and children’s books in the Eveleth area at the time of the slaying, Gherardi said. Northeastern Minnesota’s Chief Public Defender Fred Friedman met with Carlson. “He was very much a gentleman and he denies committing the murder,” Friedman said. “His exact words were: ‘I have no knowledge of this,’ or something close to that.’’ Ironically, Friedman said he was told by the BCA and by Carlson that the defendant had worked as a phone solicitor raising money for law enforcement in Oklahoma for five years. Friedman said the public defender he assigns to the case will be someone with a background in science and DNA. Coldagelli declined to comment on the evidence in the case, but complimented the BCA for its work. “Because of what appeared to be the random and violent nature of the offense, we felt there was definitely a significant public safety issue so the BCA really went all out as far as committing their resources to try to get as many answers as they could as quickly as possible,” Coldagelli said. Carlson told police he never entered Anderson’s place of business, but there is evidence he was there, including a text message that Anderson sent to a friend at 12:15 p.m. saying that “there’s a guy that came in here to try to sell me baby books and cutting boards.” Carlson and another man were traveling together making sales calls. The other man is not a suspect and authorities said he has cooperated with the investigation.
This version has been corrected to reflect the correct hometown of the victim.
Mark Stodghill
Duluth News Tribune
duluthnewstribune.com
Duluth, Minnesota
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Lake Oswego, Oregon
Magazine Salesman Arrested - Deceptive Sales Tactics !!!

September 13, 2007
Woman arrested for deceptive sales tactics
Posted by The Oregonian September 13, 2007 19:58PM
Categories: Breaking News
The Oregonian
OregonLive.com
Arrest of a woman selling magazines door-to-door has raised red flags in Lake Oswego. In a news release today, Lake Oswego Police said Kathryn Ozsoy used deceptive tactics to sell magazines, including posing as a University of Oregon student hoping to study in London. Oszoy, 27, also claimed to be a student at Rice University, and police said she sought contributions to study abroad, to win a trip to Europe and help to study architecture in Italy. She has been lodged at Clackamas County Jail since her arrest Wednesday night. Police advise people to call the local police department or law enforcement agency if they feel they have been victimized by Oszoy or others who appear to be employing similar practices. Police believe, Oszoy, who's listed address is in Tennessee, is part of a group selling magazines door-to-door in the metro area. The group has been associated with a white Ford Econoline van with Georgia license plate number AGH6777. "Company receipts used, company phone numbers, and other pertinent identifying information are associated with the same organization that visited the metropolitan area in April,'' the release said. "Although we have not identified any of the same solicitors as in April, it appears the game is the same.'' It is not known whether the groups are related.
The Oregonian
OregonLive.com
blog.oregonlive.com
Oregon
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Texas
Door To Door Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

September 13, 2007
A scammer's Fawlty premise
By Mitch Mitchell
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
Posted on Thu, Sep. 13, 2007
ARLINGTON -- This artist has a pretty good act -- one that could have her touring a local jail. Officials warned Wednesday that a scam artist calling herself Ashley is going door to door selling book and magazine subscriptions, claiming that she is raising money to help University of Texas at Arlington theater students go to London to do a re-enactment of the British television comedy Fawlty Towers. Officials have gotten calls from people in Keller, Grand Prairie, Azle and other areas, said university spokesman Bob Wright. "And these were from people who were just checking it out," Wright said. "I have no idea how many people might have actually given her money." UT-Arlington police are investigating, Wright said. For information, call the Police Department at 817-272-3381 or UT-Arlington Public Affairs at 817-272-2761.
By Mitch Mitchell
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
star-telegram.com
Mansfield, Texas
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Oregon
Magazine Salesman Arrested !!!

September 12, 2007
Magazine Salesman Arrested In Gresham
KPTV-Fox 12
POSTED: 5:58 pm PDT September 12, 2007
UPDATED: 6:07 pm PDT September 12, 2007
GRESHAM, Ore. -- A magazine salesman accused of attacking a woman in Seattle has been arrested in Gresham. Police arrested Antonio Smokes, 25, on Tuesday at a motel as he was preparing to leave in a van, according to the Northwest Fugitive Apprehension Task Force. He was jailed for extradition to Seattle. King County (Wash.) prosecutors filed burglary and assault charges Wednesday against Smokes. Court papers said he was identified through a phone number he gave to the victim Aug. 29 when he first contacted her at an apartment. She purchased two subscriptions and the salesman returned two days later, saying he lost the paperwork and needed to fill out the order again, according to court documents. After she let him in, she was choked until she lost consciousness, court papers say. A cell phone and laptop computer were stolen, authorities said. Police in Gainesville, Fla., said Smokes had been released just last month from prison after serving nearly two years for an armed robbery in which he entered a home while selling magazine subscriptions and demanded money at knifepoint.
KPTV-Fox 12
kptv.com
Beaverton, Oregon
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DMPG
Wanted Information
Wanted - Antonio Meleek Smokes


Seattle Washington
Magazine Salesman Arrested After Choking Seattle Woman !!!

September 12, 2007
Magazine Salesman Arrested, Accused Of Choking Woman
POSTED: 5:25 pm PDT September 12, 2007
UPDATED: 5:37 pm PDT September 12, 2007
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News
KIROTV
SEATTLE -- Police said they arrested a man in Oregon on Tuesday who is accused of choking a woman in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood while selling magazines. Authorities said the Northwest Fugitive Apprehension Task Force helped Seattle police identify 25-year-old Antonio Smokes. He was arrested in Gresham, Ore. Police said the magazine company he worked for had traveled through several states since the Aug. 31 attack. Investigators said Smokes tried to kill a 27-year-old Seattle woman who allowed him into her apartment after she bought a magazine subscription. The victim said Smokes followed her to the bathroom and choked her until she was unconscious. Investigators said they didn’t think Smokes knew he was the subject of a manhunt and believed the woman was dead. The choking victim, who survived, was able to identify Smokes in a police lineup. Prosecutors filed charges of second-degree assault and burglary against Smokes on Wednesday. Florida police said Smokes was released from jail last month after serving two years for an armed robbery charge and is currently on probation.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News
KIROTV
kirotv.com
Seattle, Washington
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Seattle Washington
Dangerous Magazine Salesman Arrested !!!

September 12, 2007
Police Arrest Magazine Salesman Suspect
KCPQ
September 12, 2007, 9:14 PM PDT
EASTLAKE — A magazine salesman accused of trying to kill a Seattle woman in her Eastlake apartment is apprehended in Oregon. The Pacific Northwest Fugitive Apprehension Team arrested 25 year old Antonio M. Smokes Tuesday morning at a hotel in Gresham, Oregon. Seattle Police started looking for Smokes back on August 31st, after a woman was choked and robbed in her apartment. On Wednesday, King County Prosecutors charged Smokes with first degree burglary and second degree assault. Neighbors of the victim like Sam Douglas say he is happy Smokes was caught. "I'm totally relieved he's off the streets, he won't be able to do it again," said Douglas. Tom Lanier with the U.S. Marshal's Office says Smokes didn't realize authorities were on to him. "Mr. Smokes believed he had killed the victim, that he was not a suspect as of yet," said Lanier. Lanier says Smokes has a violent past. "It's pretty incredible Mr. Smokes had just been released from prison in early August for a pretty violent armed robbery in Florida," said Lanier. Smokes worked for a Michigan company called Urban Development Solutions. Authorities say the company helped U.S. Marshals find smokes. The 25 year old magazine salesman is in the Multnomah County jail in Portland. His bail has been set at $750,000. If Smokes doesn't fight extradition, he could return to Seattle in the next few days.
KCPQ
q13.trb.com
Seattle, Washington
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Seattle Washington
Dangerous Magazine Salesman On The Loose !!!

September 8, 2007
'Magazine Salesman' Returned To Scene Of The Crime
Darren Dedo, Q13 Fox News Reporter
KCPQ
September 8, 2007
A West Seattle couple says the magazine salesman accused of trying to kill an Eastlake woman in her apartment on August 31st, showed up on their front door step four days later. Eddie Allen and his girlfriend Catherine Vespa said they realized it was the same man after watching Q13 Fox News that night. "I was watching the news and I saw this girl got attacked in Eastlake, the guy who came to my door, fit the description to a T," said Allen. Allen's suspicions were confirmed, after he reviewed video from his home surveillance camera system. Allen says it captured Smokes on tape trying to sell the couple magazines on Tuesday afternoon. Allen says he took the video to police in hopes of helping them catch Smokes before he hurt someone else. "My main motivation was, I don't want this guy to go our or really hurt or kill somebody. Especially, if I have his pictures and they can identify him," said Allen. Allen's girlfriend Catherine Vespa says this run in with Antonio Smokes has changed her outlook on magazine salesman forever. "Generally, in the past I've let them come inside, but, now definitely after this incident I certainly will never allow anybody in again," said Vespa. Antonio Smokes is a 25 year old African American man. He is 5'10'' and weighs 175 pounds. Police say he also goes by the name Tony. Investigators say Smokes is dangerous, if you see him call 911 right away.
Darren Dedo, Q13 Fox News Reporter
q13.trb.com
KCPQ
Seattle, Washington
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Seattle Washington
Magazine Salesman On The Run !!!

September 7, 2007
Police: Phony magazine salesman who attacked woman
may be on the run
YouNewsTV™
By KOMO Staff
Story Published: Sep 7, 2007 at 10:28 PM PDT
Story Updated: Sep 7, 2007 at 10:34 PM PDT
SEATTLE -- Police are on the hunt for Antonio M. Smokes, the man accused of posing as a door-to-door magazine salesman and nearly strangling a woman to death in her Eastlake area apartment last week. Police said Smokes, 25, is also wanted for theft of the victim's laptop and phone. On Aug. 31, officers were called to an apartment in the 2200 block of Franklin Avenue East, where a 26-year-old woman reported that a the man had strangled choked her until she lost consciousness. The woman told police that she purchased two magazine subscriptions from the man Wednesday after he came to her door. After making the sale, she told police, the man asked for her phone number, a request she declined. About 12:30 p.m. on the same day, the man returned to her apartment, claiming to have lost the sales paperwork. After being let in, the woman told police, he asked to use her bathroom. Returning from the bathroom, the man walked directly at her then said, "I'm sorry," before grabbing her around the neck in a chock choke hold, according to police reports. The man tightened his grip around her neck until the woman - believing she was going to die - fell unconscious. When she awoke about 20 minutes later, she found herself in the bathtub with various injuries. Finding her cell phone missing, police said she left her apartment and yelled for help. Investigators spoke with several neighbors who reported also seeing the salesman in the area earlier in the week. One told investigators that the salesman had approached her apartment and asked whether her boyfriend was home. Police believe Smokes may be headed east from the Seattle area, possibly to Florida. Smokes is said to be 5'10'' tall and weigh approximately 175 pounds. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call 911 or contact Seattle police.
YouNewsTV™
By KOMO Staff
komotv.com
Seattle, Washington
Read This Story


Seattle Washington
Magazine Salesman Chokes Seattle Woman !!!

September 7, 2007
Woman Choked By Man Selling Magazines
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News
KIROTV
POSTED: 8:15 am PDT September 7, 2007
UPDATED: 8:47 am PDT September 7, 2007
SEATTLE -- Seattle police said they plan to release a sketch of a man they said choked a Seattle woman in her apartment after she bought magazines from him. According to police reports, a man posing as a magazine salesman assaulted and choked a 27-year-old woman after she invited him inside her Eastlake apartment last Friday. "The salesman followed her into the bathroom and proceeded to assault her and strangled her until she was unconscious," said Jeff Kappel of the Seattle Police Department. A half hour after the attack, the victim made it outside, where a neighbor called 911, police said. Several neighbors told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News they saw the man in the area before the attack. "He was friendly and kind of strange when he came to the door," said Sam Douglas. Neighbors put up "no soliciting" signs at the apartment complex where the attack happened. The victim said the man told her his name is Antonio and that he recently moved from Philadelphia.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News
KIROTV
kirotv.com
Seattle, Washington
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California
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Warning!!!

September 7, 2007
Suspicious solicitors prompt North County warning
By: KEITH RUSHING - Staff Writer
North County Times
Last modified Friday, September 7, 2007 10:19 PM PDT
NORTH COUNTY ---- After receiving reports of suspicious solicitors, Carlsbad and Vista officials are asking residents to be wary of anyone who tries to solicit business at their homes and businesses. Police received complaints Thursday from northeast Carlsbad residents about people knocking on doors and asking residents questions such as how long they've lived in their home or whether they could use the bathroom, said Carlsbad police spokeswoman Lynn Diamond. Two sex offenders were arrested last year in the city after soliciting at residences, Diamond said. A man from South Carolina was arrested after he made inappropriate comments to a 12-year-old girl who answered the door of her Carlsbad home and the girl's relatives called police, Diamond said. In another case, she said, a Long Beach man selling magazines door to door assaulted a 14-year-old boy. The man was later charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment and attempted lewd acts on a child, police said. Vista sheriff's Sgt. Art Wager and Carlsbad fire Marshal James M. Weigand recently warned residents of people defrauding business owners by claiming to be the fire marshal or from the Fire Department. In a notice sent to Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce members, Weigand said the scammers walk around the business and then ask the owner or manager to sign an inspection form. Workers who ask for a copy of the inspection form are told the document will be sent in the mail. The solicitors then send an invoice with the worker's signature cut and pasted on the bottom. The invoices in the cases under investigation list amounts from $400 to $900 per business. Wager reported that similar methods have been used in Vista. "This may be a scam occurring all over the county," he said. North County fire departments never uses private parties to conduct business inspections, and legitimate employees are in uniform and carry badges and identification cards, Weigand said. Wager said a legitimate fire marshal will also provide a city telephone number, so business owners can confirm an alleged inspector's employment. Fire officials bearing items for sale are also a red flag, Wager said. "The Fire Department isn't selling anything," he said. Diamond said anyone approached by solicitors that seem suspicious should call police immediately. "Talking to them encourages them to stay," Diamond said. "We want people to not even engage in conversation ---- to not even open the door." Police said residents should be aware that soliciting is only legal in the city between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The department is also advising residents to:
Never give a credit card or check to any solicitor you don't know;
Never open the door for someone you don't know.
Use your peephole or window to see who's at the door.
Teach children what to do if they're alone when someone comes to the door.
Watch where solicitors are going and what they're doing, and Call neighbors if you see anything suspicious and call police at 921-2197. Victims of the Carlsbad fire inspector scam can call the city's Police or Fire departments
at (760) 602-4666. The Sheriff's Department can be reached at (858) 565-5200.
Staff writers Sarah Wilkins and Colleen Mensching contributed to this report.
Contact staff writer Keith Rushing at (760) 901-4151 or krushing@nctimes.com.
By: KEITH RUSHING - Staff Writer
Staff writers Sarah Wilkins and Colleen Mensching
contributed to this report.
North County Times
nctimes.com
California
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Seattle Washington
Door-To-Door Sales Alert
West Seattle Blog
Another door-to-door concern
September 5, 2007 at 10:03 am
Read This Story


Seattle Washington
Magazine Salesman
Strangles Seattle Woman !!!

September 5, 2007
Woman attacked in home by man posing as magazine salesman
YouNewsTV™
By Seattle P-I
Story Published: Sep 4, 2007 at 11:32 PM PDT
Story Updated: Sep 5, 2007 at 11:34 PM PDT
SEATTLE -- Police here are searching for a door-to-door magazine salesman who, officers say, nearly strangled a woman to death Friday in her Eastlake area apartment. According to police reports, the man, thought to be in his middle to late 20s, has contacted other Eastlake residents, posing as a magazine salesman. Calling the investigation "open and active," police spokesman Jeff Kappel said he was not aware of any arrests made in the case. On Friday, officers were called to an apartment in the 2200 block of Franklin Avenue East, where a 26-year-old woman reported that a the man had strangled choked her until she lost consciousness. The woman told police that she purchased two magazine subscriptions from the man Wednesday after he came to her door. After making the sale, she told police, the man asked for her phone number, a request she declined. About 12:30 p.m. Friday, the man returned to her apartment, claiming to have lost the sales paperwork. After being let in, the woman told police, he asked to use her bathroom. Returning from the bathroom, the man walked directly at her then said, "I'm sorry," before grabbing her around the neck in a chock choke hold, according to police reports. The man tightened his grip around her neck until the woman - believing she was going to die - fell unconscious. When she awoke about 20 minutes later, she found herself in the bathtub with various injuries. Finding her cell phone missing, police said she left her apartment and yelled for help. Investigators spoke with several neighbors who reported also seeing the salesman in the area earlier in the week. One told investigators that the salesman had approached her apartment and asked whether her boyfriend was home.
By Seattle P-I
komotv.com
Seattle, Washington
Read This Story


Seattle Washington
Seattle Police Searching For
Door-To-Door Magazine Salesman !!!

September 5, 2007
Salesman attacks Seattle woman in her apartment
By GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News
05:52 PM PDT on Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Neighbors along the tree-lined streets of Eastlake say they aren't accustomed to violence.
SEATTLE -- Police are searching for a door-to-door magazine salesman who attacked a customer, nearly strangling the 27-year-old woman in Seattle's Eastlake neighborhood. It happened last Friday afternoon at an apartment in the 2200 block of Franklin Avenue East. People who live on the narrow, tree lined streets of Eastlake are used to an occasional late night party but not much violence. "Well I was shocked, I mean it was a shame," said Alex Calderon. "I've lived in this neighborhood for many, many years and nothing like this has ever happened around here." The police report describes a viscous attack by the same man who was possibly seen by many neighbors going door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions. "The victim told police she actually bought two subscriptions from the suspect, but she refused to let him come in the house when he asked to use the restroom," said Seattle Police spokesman Mark Jamieson. Police say that was the right move. "If something doesn't feel right, and we all get those feelings, do the prudent thing. Don't open the door, don't invite him," said Jamieson. But the man came back two days later, saying he'd lost the paperwork and asked to come in and fill out new forms. This time, she let him in. It was while he was in there, she tells police, that he said "I'm sorry," then grabbed the woman by the throat until she passed out. The Police report says the victim awoke in bathtub and called for help. She will be OK, but police now have what they feel is a very dangerous suspect on the loose, who first apologizes then attacks for no apparent reason. The suspect is described as a light-skinned African American man, 5-feet 11-inches tall, 190 pounds. He's in his 20's and bald.
By GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News
king5.com
Seattle, Washington
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Seattle Washington
Magazine Salesman
Strangles Eastlake Woman !!!

September 4, 2007
Police seek man who choked woman in Eastlake home
By LEVI PULKKINEN
P-I REPORTER
Last updated September 4, 2007 11:49 p.m. PT
Seattle police are searching for a door-to-door magazine salesman who, officers say, nearly strangled a woman Friday in her Eastlake area apartment. According to police reports, the man, thought to be in his mid- to late 20s, has contacted other Eastlake residents, posing as a magazine salesman. Police spokesman Jeff Kappel said he was not aware of any arrests in the case. On Friday, officers were called to an apartment in the 2200 block of Franklin Avenue East, where a 26-year-old woman reported that a man had choked her until she lost consciousness. The woman told police that she bought two magazine subscriptions from the man Wednesday after he came to her door. After making the sale, she told police, the man asked for her phone number, a request she declined. About 12:30 p.m. Friday, the man returned to her apartment, claiming to have lost the sales paperwork. After being let in, the woman told police, he asked to use her bathroom. Returning from the bathroom, the man walked directly at her and said, "I'm sorry," before grabbing her around the neck in a choke hold, according to police reports. The man tightened his grip until the woman -- believing she was going to die -- fell unconscious. When she awoke about 20 minutes later, she found herself in the bathtub with various injuries. Investigators spoke with several neighbors who reported seeing the salesman earlier in the week. One told investigators that the salesman had approached her apartment and asked whether her boyfriend was home.
P-I reporter Levi Pulkkinen can be reached at 206-448-8348 or levipulkkinen@seattlepi.com.
By LEVI PULKKINEN
P-I REPORTER
seattlepi.nwsource.com
Seattle, Washington
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Florida
Door-To-Door Book Sales Scam Alert !!!

September 1, 2007
Sacred Heart warns of possible fundraising scam
Local briefs
Pensacola News Journal
Published - September, 1, 2007
Sacred Heart Health System is warning area residents of a possible fundraising scam involving people going door to door soliciting book purchases that supposedly benefit children with cancer at the hospital. "The sales representative told me that for only $75, a child suffering from cancer would receive one book every month for one year," said a Gulf Breeze woman who was a victim of the bogus solicitation effort. No book campaign is currently being conducted by Sacred Heart Foundation and no door-to-door book sale has been authorized to benefit Sacred Heart Children's Hospital or Cancer Center, officials said.
For more information, call 850-416-1600.
Pensacola Police: 850-595-1214
Investigations: 850-435-1965
pensacolanewsjournal.com
Pensacola Florida
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Maryland
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Alert !!!

August 25, 2007
Be wary of solicitors, Sykesville police urge
Woman reports unwanted advances
Ellie Baublitz
baltimoresun.com
August 25, 2007
Sykesville police are warning residents about door-to-door solicitors, primarily magazine salesmen working for a Texas company, who have been the subject of several complaints and who are working in the area without proper permits. Cpl. Dave Lewis said at least one incident of unwanted touching of a woman by a male solicitor has been reported. "It has been our experience that all of the sales persons are from out of state and almost all have criminal records," Lewis said in a news release. "They are told to dress 'clean cut' and instructed in aggressive sales techniques. Most of them are described as personable and charming." It is against the law to solicit in Sykesville without a permit. Police offer these tips for dealing with door-to-door solicitors:

• As soon as the pitch is started, give a firm, "Not interested" and shut the door.

• Never allow these people into your house.

• If you feel you must conduct business with the person, do it through a chained door or a screened door.

• Pass this information on to children who are home alone.

• Report any solicitors to the Sykesville police at 410-795-0757.

Try to give a description and a direction of travel.
Ellie Baublitz
Ellie Baublitz
baltimoresun.com
Baltimore, Maryland
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Kentucky
Door-To-Door Magazine Salesman
Attacts University Students

August 24, 2007
Man Charged With Robbing U of L Students
32WLKY.com
POSTED: 1:08 am EDT August 24, 2007
UPDATED: 9:30 am EDT August 24, 2007
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- University of Louisville police arrested a Chicago man they said accosted two female students while he sold magazines on campus this week. Jordan Fridley has been charged with a variety of crimes, including trespassing, theft by extortion, and sex abuse. Police claimed he threatened two women who refused to buy magazines from him. One victim said Fridley also groped and kissed her. "I told him I was late for practice, had to go," Megan McGraw said. "And he was like, 'If you don't buy one I will kill you.'" Fridley's arrest came as University of Louisville police teamed up with Metro police to beef up patrols in and around campus. It's the second year of the joint patrols. Police said they're trying to be as visible as possible during the first few weeks of school because that's when criminals come to campus to prey on students.
32WLKY.com
wlky.com
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky
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Mississippi
Door-To-Door Book Sales Alert !!!
Southwestern Company

August 22, 2007
Man arrested selling books door-to-door
By ROBERT LEE LONG/Community Editor
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 9:00 PM CDT)
DeSoto Times
HERNANDO - An Estonian immigrant soliciting sales for educational materials in DeSoto County was arrested Tuesday by Hernando Police and charged with disorderly conduct. Hernando Police Lt. Russell Perry said Viljo Kase, a resident of Estonia, was arrested after complaints from residents that Kase asked about the ages of their children and other personal information. "He was selling books by going door-to-door and making people feel uncomfortable," Perry said. "We told him about a week ago, back on Aug. 16, that he need to stop it (soliciting). Door-to-door solicitations are not allowed in Hernando. He did not stop and we arrested him." Southaven Police Chief Tom Long said his department also received several complaints about Kase. "They complained he was being pushy," Long said of Kase's aggressive sales pitches. However, one rural DeSoto County resident defended Kase, saying that he was polite and courteous and was being singled-out unfairly by authorities. Cecilia Witt, a Eudora resident, said Kase sold her some educational materials last week. Witt's children are home-schooled, and she is a frequent customer of Kase's company, Southwestern Company. "I hate for him to have become part of a witch hunt," Witt said. I just hate to see him as part of this mob mentality. This young man is representing his company. He has been a gentleman. He was in our home and represented his company well. He did ask the ages of my children and he would say, "I have something for a child that age,' and so forth." Wittt said because Kase stands more than six-feet tall and has a "thick European accent" that he might intimidate people. "He's not some creepy door-to-door salesman," Witt said. "I would invite him into my home now." Trey Campbell, a representative for the Southwestern Company, said Kase is an independent contractor. "We're really still learning all the facts," Campbell said. "He had been to Southaven and Horn Lake and was told he did not need a solicitation permit. He assumed this was the case in Hernando. It was his responsibility to get a permit." Kase could not be reached for comment.
Robert Lee Long can be contacted at rlong@desototimes.com or at (662) 429-NEWS, Ext. 252.
By ROBERT LEE LONG/Community Editor
DeSoto Times
desototimes.com
Hernando, Mississippi
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D.M.P.G. Information Page:
To research Southwestern Company
Southwestern Company Research



Mississippi
Door-To-Door Book Salesman Arrested !!!

August 22, 2007
Sneaky Salesman Arrested in Hernando
Contributor: News Desk
ABC24 Eyewitness News CW30
Email: newsdesk@myeyewitnessnews.com
Last Update: 8/22 9:29 am
Viljo Kase was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and failure to comply with a police officer. A door-to-door salesman selling children's textbooks was captured by police. The man was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and failure to comply with a police officer. Hernando police arrested Viljo Kase Tuesday morning and he has made bail. Several parents contacted Eyewitness News Everywhere about Kase after our story first aired Saturday, August 18. The parents were concerned because they say he was asking questions about their children. Other parents called Eyewitness News Everywhere to say they thought Kase was a legitimate salesperson. Stay with Eyewitness News Everywhere for more information on this developing story.
Contributor: News Desk
ABC24 Eyewitness News CW30
myeyewitnessnews.com
Memphis, Tennessee
Read This Story


Mississippi
Door-To-Door Book Salesman Alert !!!

August 20, 2007
Creepy Door To Door Salesman
Contributor: News Desk
ABC24 Eyewitness News CW30
Email: newsdesk@myeyewitnessnews.com
Last Update: 8/20 5:49 pm
Mid-South parents are asking police in Northern Mississippi to keep their eyes peeled for a creepy door to door salesman they say is targeting homes with young children. This is new information on a story we first told you about on Saturday, August 18, 2007. That’s when a mom in Hernando told us about the guy who came to her door selling textbooks. Two days later, we got a call from a dad in Southaven who says the same man came to his door. “He came around 7:45 in the morning and was very pushy. He wouldn’t take no for an answer and wanted to know how old our kids were and where other homes were that had young children,” says Patrick Giamportone. Eyewitnesses describe the man as 25 to 30- years old, 6’2” with a strong accent. He tells people he is from Estonia and often wears a backpack. Witnesses say he drives a beat up maroon Volkswagen. Some parents say besides selling textbooks, he also offers tutoring services. And in one case, an eyewitness says when a young child answered the door, he tried pushing it open when a neighbor ran him off. Hernando police tell us they are on the lookout for him and are patrolling near school bus stops in the afternoon. Here are the subdivisions we know this guy has been: In Hernando: Forked Creek, Green Village, Edgewater, and Forrest Hill Estates. In Southaven, Bell Point, Dicken’s Place, and Broadmore near DeSoto Central School. In Southaven, there is a transient vendor ordinance. It states you can sell door to door but cannot take payment, only an order. You can only sell 30 minutes after sunrise to 30 minutes before sunset. You do not have to have a vendor’s permit.
Contributor: News Desk
ABC24 Eyewitness News CW30
myeyewitnessnews.com
Memphis, Tennessee
Read This Story


Ohio
Door-to-Door Magazine Salesman
Alleges Abuse

August 19, 2007
Worker for magazine sales crews alleges abuse
Companies' ads promise cash, trips, fun
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Laura Johnston
Plain Dealer Reporter
The Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND.COM
They lure those who are a little lost, who need a job, who want to travel the country. The companies promise big money - and if you earn enough points, free overseas trips - just for selling magazines.

But they rarely deliver.

Youth advocates and former sales crew members talk of long days spent knocking on doors for just a few bucks. Of beatings, emotional abuse and scams on customers. Of sleeping three to a room in cheap motels and getting stranded in faraway cities.

"If you didn't sell enough magazines, you wouldn't get money to eat," said Keith Lego, 20, of Broadview Heights, who worked on a crew this summer. "They just brainwash you pretty much. You just eat, sleep, breathe magazines."

The National Field Selling Association, which denies many of the worst stories of crew life, estimates that 2,500 sales agents - typically ages 18 to 22 - go door to door across the country daily. Parent Watch, a New York City-based advocacy group, puts the number at 15,000.

Crews typically include dozens of young adults, plus older managers and "car handlers" who drive the sellers from city to city, state to state, sometimes thousands of miles away. The companies say they offer hundreds of popular titles, though major publishers deny using crews.

There's little oversight of the industry, which critics began warning about decades ago.

And recruits keep signing up.

Lego and his 18-year-old girlfriend, Brittany Kazmir, both high school dropouts, joined in June, after a crew member knocked on the door of a Brooklyn home where they were staying.

He asked if they liked to travel, if they had jobs.

So they decided to try it out.

The next day, without telling their parents, they were off, bound for Michigan to work for Threedom Sales.

As independent contractors rather than employees, they made $5 per magazine subscription they sold, Lego said. They each had to sell at least five a day to get paid. And as for the points to earn trips, he's not sure the company even kept track.

From their pay, he said, crew members had to buy their own food -- usually McDonald's for breakfast, a bag of chips and a pop for lunch and whatever they could find for dinner.

Hungry crew members who failed to reach their quota often pocketed cash without placing orders, Lego said.

Threedom paid to put them up nightly in motels that Lego called "pathetic, real nasty." Workers slept three to a room, and crew members had to sell at least six magazines that day to get a bed. Otherwise, they slept on the floor.

At night, the crew -- managers included -- smoked marijuana and drank, Lego said.

"People would get a bottle of tequila and a sack of marijuana and sit and roll," he said.

Meanwhile, Kazmir's mother, Monica Kazmir of North Olmsted, called Brooklyn police after her daughter disappeared. A detective tracked her down in Detroit and found nothing illegal about her disappearance.

But after about a week, Lego wanted to quit. His mother picked up the couple.

"It's pretty scary the way they run this operation," said Monica Kazmir.

But after a few days, Lego and Kazmir returned to crew life.

They kept in contact with a friend from the crew, and they heard about another prospect in Arkansas. So they took a bus back to Michigan. They stayed another week there, then had Threedom pay for bus tickets to Arkansas. They told Threedom they were meeting family, Lego said, but instead they went to work with a different subscription company.

They thought the Interstate Subscription Services crew would be better. Lego says it wasn't.

He said Interstate beat up a crew member and paid only $20 or $25 a day, no matter how many magazines salespeople sold. And although the company provided a free vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks, Lego and Kazmir left after a month using bus tickets bought by their families.

Interstate did not return calls for comment.

Threedom owner Rick Senner denied many of Lego's details.

The daily quota for new sellers, who knock on doors 10 hours a day, is five magazines, but even those who make no sales still earn $20, he said. And anyone who pocketed cash would be fired, he said.

Yet last year the Dallas Better Business Bureau listed hundreds of unresolved billing and delivery complaints for Entrepreneurs Across America, a company associated with Threedom and owned by Senner. Senner says those issues have since been cleared. Points Across America now serves as a clearinghouse for Threedom.

Crew members aren't forced to sleep on the floor, he said, and most are of legal age. "If they drink or do whatever, it's on their own time. We don't, like, buy everybody a six pack."

But although he acknowledged that there are shady magazine crews across the country, he maintains that his is a legitimate business.

"I've seen a lot of crazy things, but I've also seen a lot of good," he said. "It's like any business."

Still, Lego's story mirrors those told by advocates, politicians and other crew members.

"I haven't met a single magazine crew that gives a paycheck," said Parent Watch Director Earlene Williams. "That's a labor issue and it's across the board. . . . It's hard for kids to leave if they don't have their money."

Wisconsin State Sen. Jon Erpenbach has proposed a state law to regulate magazine crews. The bill was prompted by a 1999 van accident that killed seven teenage crew members.

But the National Field Selling Association believes the door-to-door business is a good one, said Dan Smith, an attorney for the organization. The scary stories represent proverbial rotten apples.

"I think it's a bad rap on the industry in general," Smith said. "I think there may be young people out there that do those kind of things. We certainly don't encourage it."

Anyone who wants to leave can, Smith said, since the association will pay for bus tickets home. He also stressed the difficulty of selling door to door.

"Walking up and down streets in the summer, rain, winter -- if you don't make sales, it can be disturbing," he said. "Therefore, the turnover is higher than you like. Sales crews are always trying to recruit."

And that's where the promises come into play.

"Are you looking for a travel job with lots of FUN, ADVENTURE and MONEY??" asks a Web site for Interstate Subscription Services.

Lego's response: "It was too good to be true."

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
ljohnsto@plaind.com, 216-999-4115
The Plain Dealer
cleveland.com
Laura Johnston
Plain Dealer Reporter
The Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND.COM
cleveland.com
Cleveland, Ohio
Read This Story


Another disturbing story out of Ohio

Who's there ?
A troubling case raises questions about solicitors
By KEN WOOD
Sun Newspapers
July 7, 2005
Cleveland, Ohio
sunnews.com
Who's there ?


D.M.P.G. Info Clip
August 26, 2006

On July, 18 2001 George Frederick Senner IV was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 5 years of probation from Vehicular Manslaughter (without gross negligence) charges that resulted in the deaths of Scott Tarwater and Crystal Mahathy. The incident happened on February 5, 2000 in Trinity County, California. To view information on this incident and to read the criminal complaint and criminal conviction:
George Senner

DMPG research into the above magazine sales company:
Magazine Company Name Change:
Formerly:
Entrepreneurs Across America
Website: Entrepreneurs Across America
Points Across America
Entrepreneurs Across America, Inc.
Phone: (940) 565-1000
Fax: 214-975-1269
401 S. Locust St. Ste. 104
Denton, TX 76201
Owner:
George Frederick Senner IV

Sales Crews:
Threedom Sales, Inc. - 333
PMA, Inc. - 037
Buckeye Sales, Inc. - 528
Schaefer Sales - 247
Titan Sales, Inc. - 046
Kenmore Sales - 057
Attitude Sales - 501
Power Plus Sales - 011
Tomohawk Sales - 094
Production Sales - 143




Google Search: Points Across America
Google Search: Entrepreneurs Across America


Mississippi
Door-To-Door Book Salesman Alert !!!

August 18, 2007
Sneaky Salesman has Parents on Alert!
ABC24 Eyewitness News CW30
Last Update: 8/18 9:50 pm
A group of angry moms in Hernando, Mississippi say a man posing as a salesman is targeting their kids. The moms say he has a list of all the families in the neighborhood with kids, and is relentless when it comes to getting closer to their children. Carla Alexander says, "I have a son. I have a daughter. I don't want anything to happen to them." Alexander says the guy usually asks for the woman of the house. Sometimes he says he is selling textbooks. Other times he says he selling tutoring sessions. The man says he is from the country Estonia and has a very strong accent. Police are now waiting at school buses in the neighborhood after school to make sure kids make it home safely. People in other neighborhoods in Desoto County have reported seeing this same man.
ABC24 Eyewitness News CW30
myeyewitnessnews.com
Memphis, Tennessee
Read This Story


Colorado
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Warning !!!

August 17, 2007
Larimer Co. Sheriff Warns About In-Home Salesmen
CBS4 Denver
Aug 17, 2007 11:27 am US/Mountain
The Larimer County Sheriff's Office told people Friday to be aware of door-to-door magazine salesmen in the area who, investigators believe, are defrauding homeowners. Two men suspected of committing the crimes were arrested Thursday. Apparently they misrepresent themselves by stating that they are college students at the University of Northern Colorado, that they live in the neighborhood and that the magazines will be given to local hospitals and/or our troops overseas. A Schwan's delivery driver, Paul Sisneros, spoke with one of his regular customers on Thursday who, he learned, had spent $300 on magazines for troops overseas and Denver Health Medical Center patients, so the salesman had said. Sisneros contacted deputies with a report of what he believed to be suspicious activity and gave the present location of the suspects in the 300 block of Diamond Drive in south Fort Collins. Deputies responded to the area, interviewed witnesses and ultimately located the subjects. Two men were arrested and transported to the Larimer County Detention Center. Kenneth Davenport, 20 of Rocky Mount, Missouri, and Brian Flynn, 19 and a transient, were booked on the charge of fraud in effecting sales, a class two misdemeanor. The salesmen have been known to make statements about "being neighbors," or "grandchildren of neighbors," investigators said. While in homes, these salesmen reportedly frequently ask for a glass of water causing the homeowner to leave the room. These door-to-door salesmen always ask for payment by check. And finally they seem to prey on the elderly, authorities said. Deputies were able to retrieve the checks that the homeowner had written on Thursday and returned them to her. They also located a van which had brought the salesmen to the neighborhood. The driver denied any knowledge of their sales' pitch. His license was revoked and suspended out of Arizona and he was cited for each violation, the sheriff's office said.
CBS4 Denver
cbs4denver.com
Denver, Colorado
Read This Story


Colorado
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Fraud !!!

August 17, 2007
Two arrested for magazine sale fraud
The Tribune
August 17, 2007
Larimer County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning today about door-to-door magazine salesman who may be defrauding customers. On Thursday deputies arrested two men who reportedly sold a woman $300 in magazines benefiting troops overseas and Denver Health Medical Center patients. The woman’s Schwan’s delivery man, Paul Sisneros, thought the sale sounded suspicious and reported it to the Sheriff’s Office. After interviewing witnesses, deputies located the men near the 300 block of Diamond Drive in south Fort Collins. Kenneth Davenport, 20, of Rocky Mount, Mo., and Brian Flynn, 19, transient, are charged with fraud in effecting sales, a class two misdemeanor. They were using the company names Integrity Programs of Las Vegas and Team Extreme, but other names may have been used. The salesmen said they were neighbors or grandchildren of neighbors, and asked for a glass of water causing the homeowner to leave the room. They always asked for checks and seem to prey on the elderly. Deputies retrieved the woman’s check and returned it to her. Since other law enforcement agencies in Larimer County have taken similar reports, Sheriff Jim Alderden warned that buying from door-to-door salesmen is risky and advised residents to buy only from companies they know to be reputable.
The Greeley Publishing Co.
P.O. Box 1690
Greeley, Colorado 80632
greeleytrib.com
Read This Story


Research:
Magazine Company:
Integrity Sales/Integrity Program
Integrity Sales Website: integritysale.com
Integrity Program Website: integritypgm.com
Arizona Secretary of State Corporation/LLC Website:
Az. S.O.S. Corp/LCC
Arizona Secretary of State: Integrity Sales:  Integrity Sales
Criminal Profiles: Search For: Integrity Sales
Magazine Scams: Integrity Sales
Consumer Advocacy: Edumacation.com: Integrity Sales
BBB Report Phoenix, Az.: unsatisfactory
Rip Off Report: Integrity Sales
Magazine Company/Sales Crews as of 05/13/06:
Magazine Fulfillment Services - Operated by Robert Spruiell
Integrity Sales, Inc. - Operated by Robert Spruiell
Integrity Program, Inc.- Operated by Robert Spruiell
Circulation I - Operated by Karkeen Hillery
Circulation II - Operated by Karleen Hillery
SERVICES UNLIMITED PLUS - Operated by Karleen Hillery Spruiell/Robert Spruiell
National Community Clearing, INC - Operated by Karleen Hillery
TEAM X-TREME
DYNASTY SALES
POWERHOUSSE SALES
KAYS NATURALS - Karleen Hillery Crew
Kay's Naturals website: ournaturals.com
Crew Name: 029
Crew Name: 032
IP MARKETING
IMPACT PUBLICATIONS
Subscriptions Plus - Operated by Karleen Hillery
(old mag. company name - may be in use again)

Google Search: Karleen Hillery
Google Search: Karleen Spruiell
Google Search: Robert Spruiell

Integrity Sales is a Member of National Field Selling Association: nfsa.com
National Field Selling Association is a member of:
Magazine Publishers of America: magazine.org

RIP-OFF Report.com
Integrity Sales ripoff
Phoenix Arizona *Consumer Comment ..New Info
Read This Rip-Off Report On Integrity Sales

Lookup: Karleen Hillery on Profiler:
Karleen Hillery Profile

Lookup: Karleen Hillery - Janesville Wisconsin Van Crash March 25, 1999
Karleen Hillery Profile

View Recent Criminal Activities of Karleen Hillery Spruiell:
Karleen Hillery Spruiell
(NOTE: for search on Arizona State Supreme Court Criminal Records
Enter: Last Name: Spruiell, First Name: Karleen in search box.

View Wisconsin DOJ Civil Lawsuit Against Karleen Hillery (case # 00-CV-0852)
State of Wisconsin V. Karleen Hillery

View Illinois Magazine Sales Fraud Lawsuit Against Karleen Hillery (case # 02-CH125)
State of Illinois V. Karleen Hillery

Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer: DMPG Disclaimer


Subscription for disaster
Portland Tribune
PART I: Door-to-door magazine sales crews ensnare young, vulnerable
By Todd Murphy
The Portland Tribune, Aug 8, 2006, Updated Aug 11, 2006
Read This Story and Others By Todd Murphy

Subscription for disaster, Part II:
www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=115525463085268000

Daughter’s death sets off father’s crusade:
www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=115525667016166000

Industry complaints aren't new:
www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=115525687461688100

toddmurphy@portlandtribune.com
By Todd Murphy
The Portland Tribune
portlandtribune.com
Portland Oregon


Colorado
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales
Fraud Advisory !!!

August 17, 2007

Larimer County News Release
CONTACT:
Eloise B. Campanella, Larimer County Sheriff's Office
(970) 498-5189
DATE: August 17, 2007
SUBJECT: Fraud Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Larimer County Sheriff’s Office is advising the public to be aware of door-to-door magazine salesmen in the area who, we believe, are defrauding homeowners. Apparently they misrepresent themselves by stating that they are college students at UNC, that they live in the neighborhood and that the magazines will be given to local hospitals and/or our troops overseas.

On August 16, 2007, a Schwan’s delivery driver, Paul Sisneros, spoke with one of his regular customers who, he learned, had spent $300 on magazines for troops overseas and Denver Health Medical Center patients, so the salesman had said. Sisneros contacted our office with a report of what he believed to be suspicious activity and gave the present location of the suspects in the 300 block of Diamond Drive in south Fort Collins. Deputies responded to the area, interviewed witnesses and ultimately located the subjects. Two males were arrested and transported to the Larimer County Detention Center. Kenneth Davenport, 092786, of Rocky Mount, Missouri, and Brian Flynn, 092187, transient, were booked on the charge of Fraud in Effecting Sales, a class two misdemeanor.

According to information deputies gathered regarding these salesmen, the company names are either “Integrity Programs” out of Las Vegas or “Team Extreme,” unknown location, although other names may be used. The salesmen have been known to make statements about “being neighbors,” or “grandchildren of neighbors.” While in the residence, these salesmen frequently ask for a glass of water causing the homeowner to leave the room. These door-to-door salesmen always ask for payment by check. And finally they seem to prey on the elderly.

Our deputies were able to retrieve the checks that the homeowner had written and returned them to her. They also located the van which had brought the salesmen to the neighborhood. The driver denied any knowledge of their sales’ pitch. However, his license was revoked and suspended out of Arizona and he was cited for each violation.

Schwan’s delivery driver, Paul Sisneros, stated, “My customers are a little like family. I see them at least every other week. I want to take care of them.”

Other law enforcement agencies in Larimer County, including Estes Park, have taken similar reports. “Buying from door-to-door salesmen or through phone solicitation is always risky,” Sheriff Alderden said. “The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office reminds citizens to deal with companies or individuals they know to be reputable.”

Larimer County Sheriff's Office
http://www.co.larimer.co.us/sheriff
Larimer County Sheriff's Office

Larimer County Sheriff's Office
Larimer County, Colorado
www.co.larimer.co.us/sheriff
Read This News Release


Kansas
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Warning!!!

August 16, 2007
Kansas Police Looking for Fake Magazine Salesmen
THE FRAT BOY NEWS
The Frat Boy News daily campus police report for Thursday:
University of Kansas (compiled by Benita Y. Williams, KansasCity.com)
Thursday, August 16, 2007
University of Kansas police are investigating reports of fake magazine salesmen on their Lawrence campus. At least two students lost money. Police said two unidentified men were selling magazines Tuesday afternoon in Lewis and Templin residence halls. However, the company they claimed to represent does not exist. University police are reminding students to report anything that seems suspicious and not to let strangers into their dorm rooms or homes. They also remind students that giving personal information to a stranger could lead to being the victim of identity theft. University officials also said solicitation is not allowed in any KU residence facility. Those selling items in other areas of the campus must have a license from the city and written permission from the university.
THE FRAT BOY NEWS
University of Kansas (compiled by Benita Y. Williams, KansasCity.com)
fratboynews.blogspot.com
University of Kansas, Lawrence campus
Read This Story
Theft By Deception August 15, 2007 - University of Kansas Crime Alert
Theft By Deception
Link to UK Crime Alert


MORRISVILLE, North Carolina
Magazine scam case grows
Magazine Sales Company: Quality Subscriptions Inc.
Magazine Sales Clearinghouse: United Family Circulation

August 15, 2007
Magazine scam case grows
Morrisville adds to the charges for a group accused of posing as college athletes
Thomasi McDonald - Staff Writer
The News & Observer
Published: Wed, Aug. 15, 2007 12:00AM
Modified Wed, Aug. 15, 2007 02:48AM
MORRISVILLE -- Police issued more charges this week in connection with a group of young people charged with going to Wake County neighborhoods and selling bogus magazine subscriptions while posing as members of N.C. State University and UNC-Chapel Hill athletic teams, police officials said.

Thomas Duane Fuller, 21, of Phoenix, and Christopher McKim, 21, no address listed, were already in custody at the Wake County jail after police arrested them and five others late last week and charged them with obtaining property by false pretenses.

Morrisville police also charged them Tuesday. Fuller was charged with two more counts of obtaining property by false pretense, and McKim was charged with one count of the offense.

Fuller was jailed Friday afternoon on two counts of the offense. McKim was charged with one count Friday after Raleigh police accused them of selling phony magazine subscriptions in the Wakefield community.

"They weren't selling magazine subscriptions in my cases, but they were telling a story that was patently false," said Detective Mike Ballard, who was investigating the case in Morrisville. "They purported to be members of the N.C. State baseball team raising money for a trip to Hawaii and Florida."

In Raleigh, police said the two men, along with five other people, had posed as members of the UNC-Chapel Hill or NCSU baseball team while going door-to-door trying to sell phony subscriptions in Wakefield. Police said the group collected about $1,000 from residents of the upscale northeast Raleigh neighborhood before a suspicious resident contacted the police.

The scam in Morrisville occurred Aug. 7 in several upscale subdivisions, Ballard said.

"It looks like they were going after the big money," he said.

Morrisville residents started contacting the police after seeing news reports about the scammers' arrest in Raleigh. Ballard said Morrisville residents gave the men checks instead of cash.

"As soon as they heard the news reports, they stopped payment," Ballard said.

When the group was first arrested in Wakefield on Friday, a Raleigh officer who investigated could not verify the company that the suspects said they were working for, Quality Subscriptions Inc. in Buford, Ga.

One consumer protection service, the Ripoff Report, has warned potential customers to be wary of the company's door-to-door salespeople. The online report also contended that Quality Subscriptions does business as United Family Circulation Inc. of Sugar Hill, Ga.

That worries Ballard, who noted that the company still has victims' checking account numbers and routing information.

"They can still do some mischief with counterfeit checks," he said.

United Family Circulation officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Fuller and McKim remained in custody at the Wake County jail Tuesday under $30,000 and $15,000 bail, respectively. The other suspects have been released from custody after posting bond, a jail spokesman said Tuesday.

Staff writer Thomasi McDonald can be reached at 829-4533 or thomasi.mcdonald@ newsobserver.com.
Thomasi McDonald - Staff Writer
The News & Observer
newsobserver.com
Raleigh, North Carolina
Read This Story


North Carolina
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales SCAM !!!

August 15, 2007
Police File More Charges in Magazine-Sales Scam
Posted: Aug. 15, 2007
WRAL.com
Durham — Durham police filed charges Wednesday against two men facing charges in Raleigh in connection with a magazine-sales scam, and more charges are possible against other suspects in the case. Denver Hensel, 21, of Raleigh, and Dustin Blount, 18, of Doylestown, Ohio, each face one count of obtaining property by false pretense. Investigators say they were part of a group of seven people posing as college athletes to raise money for false causes. After news reports, police in Durham and Morrisville received calls from people who said they gave the group money. On Monday, Morrisville police also charged Thomas Fuller, 22, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Chris McKim, 21, of Raleigh. More charges were expected against a third person, Heather Austin, 18, of Minerva, Ohio. Authorities are investigating whether they worked for Quality Subscriptions Inc. of Buford, Ga. The company is under investigation by the Consumer Protection Division of the Georgia Governor's Office. According to Georgia records, the people who operate the company are affiliated with at least four different business names. Georgia officials said most of the complaints are from other states and that they think it is a nationwide issue.
wral.com
Raleigh, North Carolina
Read This Story


Tennessee
Door-To-Door Cleaner Sales SCAM !!!

August 15, 2007
Cleaning supplies door-to-door sales include surprise bill
WATE 6
The NEWS STATION
August 15, 2007
OAK RIDGE (WATE) -- If you live in Oak Ridge, be on the alert for young salespeople going door-to-door selling cleaning supplies. There are several recent complaints against Pumppers Trust. That's the correct spelling. Investigators say the company, based in Sumter, South Carolina, quotes a price of $50 for a special cleaning solution. But when the bill comes, it's more than $50 because a sales commission has been added. The Better Business Bureau has an unsatisfactory record for Pumppers Trust, which is listed at two addresses in Sumter. In three years of reporting, the Bureau says the company has been the subject of 10 complaints alleging high pressure sales tactics and consumers' inability to receive a refund. The Bureau advises potential customers to turn the salespeople away from their doors.
WATE 6
The NEWS STATION
wate.com
Knoxville, Tennessee
Read This Story


Orange County California
Door-To-Door Sales Agent Attacked !!!

August 14, 2007
Sales rep learns the hazard way
KIMBERLY EDDS
Register columnist
kedds@ocregister.com
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
With their pigtails and toothy grins, the girl scouts are the pint-size queens of the doorstep hard sell – pushing their cookies on housewives, bachelors and just about everyone else who can fork out four bucks for a box. But the girls in green and brown are limited to daylight hours – and they have to bring an adult. Banging on the doors of strangers, flashing a smile and trying to hawk everything from magazines to vacuum cleaners and candy isn't an easy way to make a living. Outside of your own grandmother and the cat lady, there aren't too many people thrilled to see you show up on their doorstep unannounced with something to sell. And maybe you should worry about the ones who throw open their doors and invite you in. An 18-year-old woman going door-to-door selling Register newspaper subscriptions was allegedly attacked over the weekend by a man who answered the door. She made her pitch. He invited her inside and groped her while he held her down, telling her over and over again, "I love the way you sell. I love the way you sell," according to Sheriff's Department officials. He's been arrested. She's been traumatized. It happened at 2 p.m. - broad daylight. The teenager was with a sales crew, according to the vendors who contract with the Register to sell subscriptions. The salespeople often work the two sides of the street – knocking on door after door within sight of the other salesperson, Larry Riley, vice president of circulation for Freedom Orange County Information – which owns the Register. With the advent of the federal do not call list, information companies like the Register rely on door-to-door sales, marketing in front of grocery stores and staffing booths at local fairs and events to sell subscriptions. Vendors specifically coach salespeople on the do's and don'ts, including when to exercise caution during sales visits. One of those cautions – don't ever, ever enter a customers house. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children offers some door-to-door guidelines.

Children should only go door-to-door with an adult who keeps direct-line sight on a child at all times.

Only solicit in known neighborhoods.

Never reveal personal information about yourself to anyone, including your telephone number.

Instead of going door-to-door, solicit at a public place, such as a grocery store, with adult supervision.

Most people are not ax murderers masquerading as normal human beings with a 9-to-5 job and a four-door car. The only thing the guy accused of attacking the 18-year-old teenager had on his record was failing to wear a seatbelt. Not exactly America's Most Wanted material. But you never truly know what lurks behind that door until it closes behind you. That may be too late.
Contact the writer: 714-796-7829 or kedds@ocregister.com
KIMBERLY EDDS
kedds@ocregister.com
Register columnist
Orange County Register
ocregister.com
Santa Ana, California
Read This Story


North Carolina
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales SCAM !!!

August 14, 2007
Detectives Press Probe of Magazine-Sales Scam
Reporter: Kelcey Carlson
Photographer: Mark Simpson
Web Editor: Ron Gallagher
WRAL.com
Posted: Aug. 14 11:49 p.m.
Updated: Today at 11:11 a.m.
Raleigh — All but one of the people arrested in a suspected magazine-sales scheme were out of jail Tuesday night, but the case against the seven appeared to be growing. Only Christopher McKim, 21, whose address police had not been able to learn, remained behind bars in the Wake County Jail. The other six were bonded out by a man who told the bondsman he was a manager of the company for which the seven said they worked. Durham and Morrisville police started getting calls from residents in their towns following publicity about Raleigh police arresting the group Friday on charges they were selling phony magazine subscriptions. “The stories I heard were (that) they pretended to be with the North Carolina State baseball team or club, and they were trying to raise money for a trip,” Morrisville Detective Sgt. Mike Ballard said Tuesday. “And they said they’d be kind enough to donate half the proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House or the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.” The story was bogus, investigators said. Ballard said he had received six or seven calls from people who saw coverage of the story on the news and reported similar experiences. Monday, Morrisville police filed additional charges against Thomas Fuller, 22, of Phoenix, and McKim. The group claimed to sell magazine subscriptions for Quality Subscriptions, Inc., in Buford, Ga., but local investigators said they do not think any of the sales were legitimate. The bondsman who did the paperwork for the release of the six said the person who hired him brought pay stubs to verify their employment. The details in this door-to-door sales operation are similar to a common scheme. “It’s a very old ploy to use kids and send them out on the streets,” said Beverly Baskin of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina. “Frequently, these kids are jammed together and forced to live in a van or an inexpensive hotel with eight to 10 people per room,” Baskin added. The state Attorney General's Office also has had trouble with magazine sellers. In May, the office banned Charlotte-based Trinity Public Relations from doing business in North Carolina after dozens of consumer complaints. In this case, investigators want to know if this is bigger than the seven suspects. The people listed for Quality Subscriptions, Inc. are tied to at least four other business names, according to records in the Georgia secretary of state’s office and telephone directory information. Cross-checking the adddress for Quality S ubscriptions shows there is a company called United Family Circulation Inc. with the same officers as Quality Subscrptions and the same office address. Calls to the company were not returned Tuesday, however.
Reporter: Kelcey Carlson
Photographer: Mark Simpson
Web Editor: Ron Gallagher
wral.com
Raleigh, North Carolina
Read This Story


North Carolina
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales SCAM !!!

August 13, 2007
Scammers Use Magazine Subscriptions to Open Doors
Eyewitness News
abc11tv.com
(08/13/07 -- RALEIGH) - Seven people are behind bars for allegedly running a scam in Wake County. They were supposed to be selling magazines door-to-door, but police say they were selling a lie.

The Wakefield victims say the scam may start as fake solicitation but they fear it could lead to something more dangerous. "We've had people soliciting to sell magazines in the past, so I really didn't think anything of it," Wakefield resident Larry Kordon said. But now he and other residents are on alert. "We have a neighborhood watch and received an email saying beware of someone posing as an N.C. State student selling magazine subscriptions," Kordon said. Police say the seven suspects are all from different parts of the country and ranging in age from 18 to 25. Court documents show they told customers they were raising money for trips by the N.C. State baseball team and the UNC softball team. They claimed to work for Quality Subscriptions, Inc. One Google search doesn't bring up the company, instead the company was found in a rip off report posted online. Collectively, the suspects got away with nearly $1,000. This incident makes people like Larry question any kind of door-to-door sales. "Not to mention the fact that I think my house is being cased as they're coming in and selling and looking around - if I'm not here and my wife's alone," Kordon said. Police say it's always important to use caution when opening your door to strangers. Raleigh police arrested Thomas Fuller, Heather Austin, Damian Balok, Dustin Blount, Denver Hensel, Chris McKim and Jennifer Dobbs. Hensel and McKim are both from Raleigh. The seven suspects are charged with obtaining property by false pretense.
Eyewitness News
abc11tv.com
abclocal.go.com
Raleigh, North Carolina
Read This Story


North Carolina
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales SCAM !!!

August 12, 2007
Police: Suspects Posed as Local Athletes in Magazine Scam
Web Editor: Anne Leake
WRAL.com
Posted: Aug. 11, 2007
Updated: Aug. 12, 2007
Raleigh — Raleigh police arrested seven people who they say posed as student-athletes with University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University to sell fraudulent magazine subscriptions. The seven suspects collected about $1,000 from residents of Wakefield neighborhood in northeast Raleigh, according to arrest warrants filed at the Wake County Magistrate's Office. The suspects said they were raising money for trips by the N.C. State baseball team and UNC softball team, according to court records. According to the complaints, people claiming to be company representatives pose as athletes at area colleges and attempt to sell magazines to fund trips for college athletic teams. Police arrested Thomas Duane Fuller, 21, of Phoenix, Ariz.; Heather Renae Austin, 18, of Minerva, Ohio; Damion Ellijah Balok, 25, of Belleview, Fla.; Dustin Blount, 18, of Doylestown, Ohio; Denver C. Hensel, 21, of Raleigh; Chris McKim, 21, of Raleigh; and Jennifer Dobbs, 20, of Surprise, AZ. Six of the seven are charged with one count of obtaining property by false pretense and are each being held under $10,000 bond. Fuller faces an additional charge of obtaining property by false pretense and is being held under a $20,000 bond. All seven suspects were still in the Wake County jail as of Sunday evening.
Web Editor: Anne Leake
wral.com
Raleigh, North Carolina
Read This Story


Wisconsin
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Warning !!!

August 11, 2007
Police calls
ALLOUEZ
Selling without permit
greenbaypressgazette.com
Posted August 11, 2007
Selling without permit: A door-to-door magazine subscription salesman was reported by a resident to be asking inappropriate questions on Wednesday around the 600 block of Allouez Avenue. The resident reported the salesman had asked her questions about her marital status and whether or not she was usually home alone. The salesman was issued a summons for soliciting door-to-door without a permit. Further research revealed that the company the salesman was working for — based out of Whitesboro, Texas — was being investigated by the Texas Attorney General for deceptive sales practices and fraud.
greenbaypressgazette.com
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Read This Story


New York
August 8, 2007
New York Attorney General Office
Press Release
Office of the New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo

Department of Law
120 Broadway
New York, NY 10271
212-416-8060

For Immediate Release:

Department of Law
The State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224
518-473-5525
August 8, 2007

ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO SUES MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION COMPANY TO HALT EXPLOITATION OF YOUNG WORKERS
Salesforce Denied Compensation and Stranded Far from Home

NEW YORK, NY (August 8, 2007) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he is suing Jaguar Sales LLC (“Jaguar Sales”) for illegally recruiting and deceiving young workers into selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door with little or no compensation. Jaguar Sales denies wages and commissions, while requiring salespersons to remain with the company for a minimum of 30 days just to earn a bus ticket home.

“Jaguar Sales transported young recruits to work in locations far from home, where they quickly discovered that every promise made to them was a fraud,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “After being forced to endure terrible working conditions for little compensation, these workers weren’t even given a bus ticket home. The cruel deception that is the centerpiece of the Jaguar Sales business model will not be tolerated in New York -- period. With this lawsuit we intend to put a stop to it.”

Jaguar Sales, based in Gig Harbor, Washington, recruits young salespersons from across the country to sell magazine subscriptions door-to-door, with promises of hundreds of dollars per week in wages, $500 cash bonuses, paid training, and free travel. The company busses young recruits to work at locations thousands of miles from their homes. Only after they arrive to begin working do they learn the reality of the Jaguar Sales plan:

Salespersons are required to work six days a week for approximately 12 hours each day;

No earnings are guaranteed; no bonuses or paid training are provided; commissions are not paid or are withheld;

Salespersons are charged for hotels and supplies, and are fined for breaking arbitrary rules such as curfews;

Travel fare to return home is not provided until salespersons work for at least 30 days; even after this period it may still not be provided;

Salespersons are forced to work in neighborhoods where it is illegal to solicit door-to-door without a permit, and workers are repeatedly cited by the police in these towns;

Salespersons have severely limited options to quit, since their wages are withheld and they work so far from their homes.

“Clarence Darrow once said ‘History repeats itself, and that's one of the things that's wrong with history.’ The deceptive practices of Jaguar Sales take us back to the days before national labor laws were instituted, when large companies abused the national work force for the sake of massive profits. Darrow worked tirelessly to establish the rights of working Americans in the early 20th century -- with this lawsuit we are sending the message that no company can deprive of their workers of those rights today,” said Attorney General Cuomo.

Jaguar Sales was not registered to do any business of any kind in New York State. In addition to the company, the Attorney General is suing the following individuals in connection with this scheme: Ann Sibiski, owner; David Sibiski, owner; Tom Sibiski, owner; Adam Carlisle, manager; Stephen Barcel, manager; Tim Brown, manager; and D.J. Warren, manager.

The suit seeks to force Jaguar Sales and its principals to make full monetary restitution to salespersons for unpaid commission wages, bonuses, or any other compensation earned in New York State since August 1, 2001, including an additional 25 percent of the amount owed for damages. It also aims to force the company to provide a full accounting of all employees who worked in New York, and all advertising they have done through any media, from August 1, 2001 to the present. Furthermore, the suit aims to prohibit Jaguar Sales from working in New York State unless it posts a $200,000 bond to be used to pay any restitution or penalties in the future, and until it properly files with the New York Secretary of State. The suit also seeks a civil penalty of $500 for each deceptive act that was committed, and $2,000 to cover the costs of the Attorney General’s investigation.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General G. Nicolas Garin of the Poughkeepsie Regional Office; Barry Kaufman, Acting Assistant Attorney General-In-Charge of the Poughkeepsie Regional Office; Assistant Attorneys General Richard Balletta and Michael Higgins, of the Attorney General’s Labor Bureau; and Jennifer Brand, Assistant Attorney General-In-Charge of the Labor Bureau.
Office of the New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo
Department of Law
120 Broadway
New York, NY 10271
212-416-8060
oag.state.ny.us
Read This Press Release


New York
NY Attorney General Sues Jaguar Sales!!!

August 6, 2007
Cuomo sues subscription seller Jaguar
By: Matthew Flamm
New York Business.com
Published: August 8, 2007 - 3:26 pm
Magazine subscription-selling companies that engage in questionable employment practices have been put on notice Wednesday with the announcement that New York state is suing Jaguar Sales. Gig Harbor, Wash.-based Jaguar, which sends teams of mostly young people door-to-door around the country, promises them incentives like ski trips, tropical cruises and European tours. According to New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Jaguar’s business is based on lies and deception. Commissions are not paid, wages are withheld, and salespersons are forced to work in neighborhoods where soliciting door to door is illegal without a permit. “Jaguar Sales transported young recruits to work in locations far from home, where they quickly discovered that every promise made to them was a fraud,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement. “These workers weren’t even given a bus ticket home.” Wednesday’s suit follows an investigation by the New York Times, which ran a lengthy story in February about young subscription sellers who were treated like indentured servants. Mr. Cuomo's office began looking into Jaguar when two young crew members working in Duchess County complained to a policeman. Jaguar is not registered to do any kind of business in New York state, according to the AGs office. Mr. Cuomo wants to force Jaguar to make restitution to workers for any unpaid compensation earned in New York state in the last six years. The suit also seeks to prohibit Jaguar from operating in New York unless it posts a $200,000 bond. Jaguar’s owner, David Sibiski, who is listed on the company’s Web site as president, was unavailable for immediate comment. Magazines that Jaguar has been selling subscriptions to include Vogue, Gourmet, ESPN, Rolling Stone, Reader's Digest and Maxim. The publishers could not be reached for comment.
By: Matthew Flamm
newyorkbusiness.com
New York
Read This Story


Research:
Clearinghouse:
Pacific Coast Clearing Services, Inc.
Sales Crew:
Jaguar Sales

Jaguar Sales Website: jaguarpersonnel.com
Pacific Coast Clearing Services Website: pccsonline.com
WA Dept. of State, Division of Corporations:  Pacific Coast Clearing Services
Criminal Profiles: Search For: Pacific Coast Clearing Service
BBB Report Jaguar Sales: JaguarSales
BBB Report Pacific Coast Clearing Services: BBB Washington
Wisconsin Consumer Protection: Door to door magazine sellers arrested
Wyoming Attorney General's Office: Attorney General Press Release
Consumer Advocacy: Edumacation.com
PCCS Member of National Field Selling Association: nfsa.com
National Field Selling Association is a member of:
Magazine Publishers of America: magazine.org



Pacific Coast Clearing Services

Jaguar Sales


Reno Nevada
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales SCAM !!!

August 6, 2007
Police warn of door-to-door sales scam
Reno Gazette-Journal
August 6, 2007
Police are warning citizens to be wary of persons going door to door attempting to sell magazine subscriptions, according to a news release from the Washoe County Sheriff's Office. A group of scammers are posing as salesmen, according to police. Once a citizen agrees to a purchase, the thief attempts to gain payment in check form. Police said the group then uses the personal information from the check to deceive neighbors by posing as relatives to get more information. Washoe County Detectives believe the group might be looking for vacant homes for future burglaries. The group has been moving around neighborhoods -- recently in southwest Reno -- in large, nondescript vans, according to police. Detectives are warning citizens of this scam and encourage anyone who has been approached by the group to call the Sheriff’s Office Detective Division at 328-3320.
Reno Gazette-Journal
news.rgj.com
Reno, Nevada
Read This Story


D.M.P.G. Info Clip
August 14, 2007


DMPG research from Washoe County Sherrif's Office police reports indicate that the above mentioned magazine sales company is Unified Subscription Agency (mytraveljob.com) out of Vero Beach Florida.
www.mytraveljob.com

To learn more about Unified Subscription Agency:  Click Here

To contact the Washoe County Sherrif's Office:
Washoe County Sherrif

To read the Washoe County Sherrif's Office Press Release: Press Release

Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer: DMPG Disclaimer


Alaska
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Warning !!!

August 6, 2007
Beware of those earnest 'college kids' selling magazines
COMPASS: Points of view from the community
By LINDA KELLEN
Anchorage Daily News
Published: August 6, 2007
Last Modified: August 6, 2007 at 02:24 AM
I left my job of almost 15 years in September and decided that I would try running a small-scale day care during the summer to give my daughter built-in playmates. I thought that learning to deal with a summer full of my adorable little "Bickersons" was going to be my primary challenge. I did not realize that staying home during an Alaska summer would open me up to the world of door-to-door magazine sales scams. I live in one of the more "pioneer-oriented" neighborhoods in Anchorage. That's my gentler way of saying we have a higher than normal number of retirees. Older residents are one of the favorite targets of these outfits. I've been amazed at how many times there's been a white van skulking around the block while a team of hungry young adults claiming to be "local college students" continues their summer-long house-to-house hunt. There are Web sites and bulletin boards out there with information and links identifying these fly-by-night companies. Some of these Web sites include databases of known fraudulent businesses. Just finding out the company name and using Google will generally provide all the information you need. When one salesman represented "Entrepreneurs across America," I did a search on www.ripoffreport.com and came up with 99 reports of fraud. Identifying scam artists isn't difficult; they all follow the same basic script, presumably because it works. They will claim to be from your neighborhood. They may be wearing college T-shirts or even -- I kid you not -- cheerleader clothing! They use the old direct-sales trick of naming one of your neighbors and claiming that person's "support." When I've asked who they are, these complete strangers give a first name only ... not a company or the reason for the visit. Success depends upon gaining access to your home in whatever way they can. Cutting right to the bottom line by asking "What are you selling," may trigger defensiveness as well as evasive maneuvers. If, like me, you demand to see a college I.D. card and give the salesperson a "Law and Order" -- worthy interrogation, the poor little victim may broadcast to the neighbors a full description of your "evil nature" to gain their sympathy ... and their money. While tempting to believe otherwise, when a very attractive 19-year-old magazine seller flirts with an adult in their late 40s or older, the motive is probably not infatuation. While I've treated this subject rather lightheartedly until now, there is a more sinister side to this story. Many companies claim to "screen" their employees but you can imagine their credibility. A disorganized but informative Web site (travelingsalescrews.info) has links documenting attacks by sexual predators and thieves who use magazine sales to get into homes. Even after this information, you may still want to give the person at your door the benefit of the doubt. Luckily, we Alaskans have a protection called the "Five Day Cooling Off" period. According to Alaska Statute 45.02.350, "the purchaser may revoke the offer to buy within five business days of entering into the contract, and that the seller, at the time of the sale, give the purchaser written notice of the right to revoke." Solicitors must provide this "right to revoke" notice in order to legally do business in this state. The State Department of Law Web site has that information along with many other consumer protection topics and contacts for reporting consumer fraud. You'll find it at: www.law.state.ak.us/department/civil/consumer/cp_topics.html.

Linda Kellen Biegel describes herself as a "former federal worker-turned 'crazy lady down the block.' " she lives in Anchorage.
By LINDA KELLEN
Anchorage Daily News
adn.com
Anchorage, Alaska
Read This Story


D.M.P.G. Info Clip
August 24, 2006


DMPG research into the above magazine sales company:
Magazine Company Name Change:
Formerly:
Entrepreneurs Across America
Website: Entrepreneurs Across America
Points Across America
Entrepreneurs Across America, Inc.
Phone: (940) 565-1000
Fax: 214-975-1269
401 S. Locust St. Ste. 104
Denton, TX 76201
Owner:
George Frederick Senner IV

Sales Crews:
Threedom Sales, Inc. - 333
PMA, Inc. - 037
Buckeye Sales, Inc. - 528
Schaefer Sales - 247
Titan Sales, Inc. - 046
Kenmore Sales - 057
Attitude Sales - 501
Power Plus Sales - 011
Tomohawk Sales - 094
Production Sales - 143




Google Search: Points Across America
Google Search: Entrepreneurs Across America


Washington
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Alert !!!

August 3, 2007
Magazine Salesmen Can't Sell Their Story
Kitsap Sun staff
Kitsap Sun
Friday, August 3, 2007
Two traveling magazine salesman who claimed to have been robbed by a potential customer Thursday later admitted that while they were supposedly being held at gunpoint by a crazed and paranoid man, they were in fact taking a nap. Kitsap County sheriff's deputies were called to the 1300 block of Wisteria Lane at about 8:15 p.m. after the two men, a 19-year-old Missourian and his 21-year-old Ohio companion, called the police. The stories the two gave contradicted and residents of the apartment complex they were canvassing did not recognize the description of the assailant. They also reported seeing the men taking a nap near some Dumpsters, reports said. One man later admitted to napping, but not by the Dumpsters. The two were booked into the Kitsap County jail for making a false statement and were later released on their personal recognizance.
Kitsap Sun staff
Kitsap Sun
kitsapsun.com
Kitsap, Washington
Read This Story


Utah
Door-To-Door Magazine Sales Fraud !!!

August 3, 2007
Beware Of Door-To-Door Magazine Sellers
KUTV2 Utah
Aug 3, 2007 10:10 pm US/Mountain
(KUTV) You may get a knock at your front door in the coming days by a salesperson pushing magazines. The door-to-door salespeople said sales would help sick children. But that raised suspicions, and inspired a number of calls to "Get Gephardt.' Magazine sales for fund-raisers have been around for a while, but this time, it is out-of-towners coming into our neighborhoods -- saying that some of the profits go to Primary Children's Medical Center. I found out that is simply not true. "He approached me in the driveway", said Trudy Jakes. "He was very smooth." Trudy says a young man came to her Park City home last week, claiming he lived in the neighborhood and his sale of magazines represent a worthy cause. "He told me he was selling magazine subscriptions and taking cash donations for the troops over in Iraq", said Trudy. He also told her the magazines would benefit the kids at Primary Children's Medical Center, so she gave him a check for a hundred dollars. But Trudy and her neighbors say something didn't feel right about the magazine sale, and called me to see if those salespeople are telling the truth. "We never sell things, ever, on behalf of Primary Children's Medical Center", says Sharon Goodrich, director of Annual Giving at the hospital. She says the hospital gets nothing from any door-to-door "sales", and only campaigns in the community once a year for Pennies by the Inch. "If someone comes to your door using the name Primary Children's, and it's not pennies by the inch, it's a fraud." Trudy says the person who took money from her and her neighbors is Nikkiti Ward, who works on a magazine crew for a company out of Las Vegas called Integrity Program. I tried to contact Integrity Program, but could only get a full voicemail. As for Trudy, she put a stop-payment on her check and is filing a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Protection. "I feel stupid that I wrote the check in the first place, because i did have some reservations." So, if a magazine crew comes to your home saying they give money to Primary Children's Medical Center, you can call them liars. And if you've already given money, Utah's Division of Consumer Protection wants to hear from you right away.
You can call the Division at 801-530-6601, or toll free in Utah at 800-721-7233.
Or file a complaint online at www.dcp.utah.gov.
KUTV2 Utah
kutv.com
Salt Lake City, Utah
Read This Story


Research:
Magazine Company:
Integrity Sales/Integrity Program
Integrity Sales Website: integritysale.com
Integrity Program Website: integritypgm.com
Arizona Secretary of State Corporation/LLC Website:
Az. S.O.S. Corp/LCC
Arizona Secretary of State: Integrity Sales:  Integrity Sales
Criminal Profiles: Search For: Integrity Sales
Magazine Scams: Integrity Sales
Consumer Advocacy: Edumacation.com: Integrity Sales
BBB Report Phoenix, Az.: unsatisfactory
Rip Off Report: Integrity Sales
Magazine Company/Sales Crews as of 05/13/06:
Magazine Fulfillment Services - Operated by Robert Spruiell
Integrity Sales, Inc. - Operated by Robert Spruiell
Integrity Program, Inc.- Operated by Robert Spruiell
Circulation I - Operated by Karkeen Hillery
Circulation II - Operated by Karleen Hillery
SERVICES UNLIMITED PLUS - Operated by Karleen Hillery Spruiell/Robert Spruiell
National Community Clearing, INC - Operated by Karleen Hillery
TEAM X-TREME
DYNASTY SALES
POWERHOUSSE SALES
KAYS NATURALS - Karleen Hillery Crew
Kay's Naturals website: ournaturals.com
Crew Name: 029
Crew Name: 032
IP MARKETING
IMPACT PUBLICATIONS
Subscriptions Plus - Operated by Karleen Hillery
(old mag. company name - may be in use again)

Google Search: Karleen Hillery
Google Search: Karleen Spruiell
Google Search: Robert Spruiell

Integrity Sales is a Member of National Field Selling Association: nfsa.com
National Field Selling Association is a member of:
Magazine Publishers of America: magazine.org

RIP-OFF Report.com
Integrity Sales ripoff
Phoenix Arizona *Consumer Comment ..New Info
Read This Rip-Off Report On Integrity Sales

Lookup: Karleen Hillery on Profiler:
Karleen Hillery Profile

Lookup: Karleen Hillery - Janesville Wisconsin Van Crash March 25, 1999
Karleen Hillery Profile

View Recent Criminal Activities of Karleen Hillery Spruiell:
Karleen Hillery Spruiell
(NOTE: for search on Arizona State Supreme Court Criminal Records
Enter: Last Name: Spruiell, First Name: Karleen in search box.

View Wisconsin DOJ Civil Lawsuit Against Karleen Hillery (case # 00-CV-0852)
State of Wisconsin V. Karleen Hillery

View Illinois Magazine Sales Fraud Lawsuit Against Karleen Hillery (case # 02-CH125)
State of Illinois V. Karleen Hillery

Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer: DMPG Disclaimer


Wales
Cold Callers Banned !!!

August 2, 2007
Welsh street bans cold callers
by Tomos Livingstone, Western Mail
Aug 2 2007
FAMILIES living in a suburban street in Wales have begun a fightback against rogue traders and pushy salesmen by banning cold callers from their road. Derlyn Park in Tycroes, Ammanford, has introduced the ban – with the backing of police and council officials – amid concerns over the sheer volume of people knocking on residents’ doors. The quiet, leafy street, where houses sell for £150,000 to £200,000-plus, is thought to be the first in Wales to offer a “controlled” zone, with only charities and other legitimate callers being tolerated. Other, similar schemes have already been tried in areas like Chepstow and Abergavenny, and they could soon become commonplace across Wales. Carmarthenshire Council said that where the idea had been tried in England and Scotland, there had been a significant reduction in doorstep crime. Signs along the street will display the “no cold calling” signs, with residents given stickers to place on their doors. The local authority’s trading standards officer, Huw Lloyd, said he believed it would be the first “controlled” zone in Wales. “This means a legitimate trader or charity collector will be allowed into the zone,” he said, adding that there had been a spate of cold callers across the county within recent weeks. The initiative for the scheme came from residents themselves, fed up at the volume of callers. Those living in the street have had to endure tricksters who have conned elderly residents into signing legal agreements, salespeople who have refused to leave properties and a stream of people offering to carry out gardening work. Howard Thomas, the man behind the scheme, said, “If you are a good, reputable builder you do not need to knock on doors asking people if they want work done. “The numbers of cold callers rose over the last 18 months but has started to drop now.” Llanelli MP Nia Griffith said yesterday, “It’s something that’s come from the community, and that’s always very positive and that’s what democracy should be about. If it’s possible to create a cold-calling-free zone, that’s something to be welcomed, it’s very enterprising.” The government-run consumer advice organisation Consumer Direct said last night genuine salespeople should always provide identification, never pressurise customers and always leave if they are asked to. They should not expect on-the-spot decisions. A recent survey from the Trading Standards Institute suggested 96% of house owners did not want to see cold callers in their area. But Richard Berry of the Direct Selling Association said, “A no- cold-calling zone will have no effect on crooks, who know the zone has no effect in law anyway.”
by Tomos Livingstone, Western Mail
icwales.icnetwork.co.uk
Wales
Read This Story


LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK, New Jersey
Door-to-Door Magazine Salesman Warning !!!

August 2, 2007
Police warn residents of suspicious magazine salesman
By RANDALL CLARK
Posted by South Jersey News Online
August 02, 2007 3:52PM
LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK -- Authorities here are warning residents this afternoon about a pushy salesman who has been seen going door-to-door in the Salem County area in an apparent attempt to sell magazine subscriptions. Vernon Durant, of Sicklerville, has reportedly been spotted on South Locust Ave. in Elsinboro and in Lower Alloways Creek, Pennsville and Carneys Point. According to police, the man is not authorized to sell from house to house. LAC officials said they plan to charge him with soliciting without a permit within the township. However they do not consider him a danger. Authorities said they know of one resident who gave the man $20 to leave him alone, which he accepted despite the company policy of his employer, Off Beat Services Inc. out of Sicklerville, NJ. The company hires inner-city young adults to sell magazine subscriptions throughout the country. Officials said the man's driver's license was from California but it listed the address of Off Beat Services, Inc. as his home. They remain skeptical whether or not the business he works for is legitimate.
By RANDALL CLARK
rclark@sjnewsco.com
South Jersey News Online
blog.nj.com
LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK, New Jersey
Read This Story


Florida
July 31, 2007
DOOR-TO-DOOR SALES? OR A SNARE?
By MICHAEL LaFORGIA
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
PalmBeachPost.com
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Flipping through a classified ads booklet in February, Paul Foor Jr. happened upon a cryptic item that intrigued him. The job listing called for "MTV types," and, for the right candidate, it promised money and coed fun, a reality show lifestyle.

Foor, a carpenter living in Palm Coast, liked the idea. He dialed the ad's toll-free number and left a message.

Soon after, a woman called back with some bizarre questions.

"How tall are you?" she asked him. "How old are you? How much do you weigh?"

Satisfied that he was a trim 22-year-old, about 5-foot-6, with black hair and brown eyes, the woman instructed him to contact her in an hour.

"We do a lot of partying," was all she had said about the job. "We go to a lot of bars and we make money."

What Foor didn't know: He was about to enter a strange, anachronistic and sometimes dangerous world. A small company called Untouchable Sales Inc. was recruiting Foor to become a traveling magazine salesman, the modern-day equivalent of the door-to-door Bible peddlers who traverse the pages of American folklore.

He had no notion of the trouble it would get him into, nor did he know about the young salespeople before him who had been arrested, maimed, raped or murdered in incidents nationwide.

When Foor called back, the woman asked: "If you were offered a job, how quickly would you pack?"

He left that night.



Last month, the Northeast Indiana Better Business Bureau issued an alert about Untouchable Sales after groups of young peddlers canvassed neighborhoods near Fort Wayne. The alert cautioned residents against falling for disingenuous sales pitches.

"Another concern," it continued, "is the safety of these young adults selling the magazines." Some traveling sales crews have been known to hold sellers "hostage" if they don't sell enough subscriptions, the alert read. "There have been reports of these young people being dropped off in remote places if they don't make their quotas."

Traveling crews such as Untouchable Sales regularly stop in Palm Beach County, said Al Polizzi of the Southeast Florida Better Business Bureau.

"They're seldom who they claim to be and they do misrepresent themselves," he said. "A van will come by, they'll drop them off and they'll sweep a neighborhood."

The president of Untouchable Sales, Steven G. Paul of Miami, denied that his business practices were unscrupulous or that he mistreats his sellers.

"I know my company's very legitimate, and we do things the right way," Paul said.

For the past four years, Untouchable Sales has recruited college-age men and women to go door-to-door selling magazines in upscale neighborhoods from Florida to California.

The business, headquartered in Michigan City, Ind., relies on a core of about 20 itinerant salespeople, Paul said.

"It's a traveling sales job," he said. "It's just like selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door or anything else."

But the industry has a dark side, critics say.

In recent years, young magazine salespeople have been charged in thefts, assaults, rapes and murders in Florida and nationwide, and have themselves been beaten, raped and killed.

In 2005, an 18-year-old salesman barged into a 77-year-old woman's house in Toms River, N.J., and beat her to death with a fireplace poker; a year later, in Memphis, a 19-year-old saleswoman from Oregon was found stabbed to death in a shallow ditch; and in November, a 21-year-old salesman allegedly forced his way into a Port St. Lucie woman's house and raped her, police said. (Sellers for Untouchable Sales, however, had nothing to do with these crimes.)

The ranks of traveling salespeople also shelter drug addicts and teenage runaways, said Phil Ellenbecker, who mounted a campaign against traveling sales companies that target young recruits after his daughter was killed in a sales-crew car crash in 1999.

Dan Smith, an attorney for the National Field Selling Association, the industry's trade group, said stories of crime and hardship befalling sales crews are often "exaggerated." He added that no more than 2,500 young men and women are working as sales agents on any given day.

But Ellenbecker and other critics estimate 35,000 sellers are working nationwide.

A lack of industry regulation at the state and federal level exposes them to the worst fates imaginable, Ellenbecker said.

"A lot of these kids, they end up being junkies, they end up getting pregnant, they end up getting venereal disease," Ellenbecker said. "They end up never coming home."



On Feb. 19, the bus from Daytona Beach pulled into Orlando after 11 p.m. From the station, Foor dialed the phone number he had been given. Before long, his ride arrived in an SUV with Michigan plates.

The driver, 50-year-old Pat Driscoll, made small talk as Foor slid into the passenger seat. They drove to a Quality Inn & Suites in Orlando and Driscoll, the sales-crew manager, led Foor to a room.

At 7:30 the next morning, Foor awoke to the sound of the manager beating on his door. He followed Driscoll down a hallway to a makeshift office set up in an emptied hotel room. Driscoll handed him a paper to sign as six others filed in.

Foor turned to admire a woman, 22-year-old Rose French.

"All right," she said abruptly. "Let's go."

French, known in the industry as a car handler because she ferries sellers between neighborhoods, ushered them into a Ford Expedition and drove to a nice subdivision across the Lake County line.

She looked at Paul and nodded toward a grinning, heavyset kid beside him. "You're going with him."

Foor's new partner introduced himself as Michael Stewart. The 19-year-old said he had fallen out with his parents in Youngstown, a rural town northwest of Panama City, a year and a half ago and had been selling for Untouchable Sales ever since.

He seemed passionate about two things, Foor recalled: Polishing his sales spiels and playing Xbox video games.

The true nature of Foor's new job dawned on him as he watched Stewart stride up to a front door, ring the bell and knock several times. "Come on," Foor heard him mutter under his breath, "I know you're in there."

Stewart's spiel was perfect. When a potential customer answered the door, he would spring forward and thrust out his hand. He would tell the man or woman he was an aspiring filmmaker who had scored an internship with the BBC in London, where he would work with actor John Cleese of Monty Python fame.

He said his parents had agreed to fund only half his trip and had told him to go out and raise the rest.

Even when people refused him, Stewart had the ability to milk them for a soda or a bottle of water.

"He'd get something out of them one way or another," Foor said. "If it wasn't money it was something to drink for the walk."



People like Stewart have been refining the art of the hard sell for the past 200 years, said Timothy B. Spears, who wrote a book about traveling salesmen in American culture. In the 19th century, the rise of the traveling salesman paralleled the growth and increasing sophistication of the American economy, said Spears, a professor at Middlebury College in Vermont.

One result: Cities and counties across America started passing ordinances that required salesmen to apply for solicitation permits.

Consequently, Spears said, turn-of-the-century salesmen often wound up in jail.

Many magazine salespeople today are arrested on the same charges, said Smith, the trade group attorney.

"The problem is, where do you go to find out about these laws?" he said.

It also presents a staffing problem. Many companies don't warn recruits of the risks.

"How do you deal with that?" Smith said. "If everybody you recruited for sales, you told them they would be subject to arrest, yeah, they wouldn't sell for you."



The next day, Foor and Stewart were walking on Seminole Street in Clermont, a small town about 30 miles west of Orlando, when a city police cruiser pulled up to them.

Recounting the experience three months later, Foor said he already had decided the traveling sales business wasn't for him. He had worked from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. the day before, covering a handful of neighborhoods. He was exhausted and felt like a scam artist.

"I'm leaving tonight to go back to Palm Coast," he told the officer.

The officer told him to sit on the curb. He wrote out two solicitation tickets and tore them from his book.

"You better not get caught knocking on any more doors," he told them.

When French returned with the Expedition, Foor climbed in and refused to get out again.

"If anything happens, we will pay your bail that day," she told him.

Foor didn't budge. The next morning, he took a bus back home.

Two months later, he missed the court hearing scheduled after his solicitation ticket. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

From Indiana, where he said he had traveled for his uncle's funeral, Foor said he was making arrangements to turn himself in. He finally did that earlier this month.



Three months later, on May 21, a Delray Beach police officer caught Stewart selling subscriptions on Palm Trail and arrested him. Like Foor, he had missed his court date.

Stewart was held in Palm Beach County for five days before he was extradited to Lake County. He spent a total of 24 days in jail, apparently unable to pay 10 percent of his $2,000 bail. Paul, the owner of Untouchable Sales, who has two Mercedes registered in his business' name, said bailing him out would have been too risky. Stewart might have jumped bail, he said.

At a court hearing June 13, Stewart pleaded no contest to the solicitation charge and was fined $213. He was released the next afternoon.

A week after Stewart's arrest in Palm Beach County, Paul said, his sales crew had already moved on to Virginia.

~ michael_laforgia@pbpost.com

Staff researchers Sammy Alzofon, Melanie Mena and Rachel Schaff contributed to this story.
By MICHAEL LaFORGIA
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
PalmBeachPost.com
palmbeachpost.com
Palm Beach, Florida
Read This Story



Search: Untouchable Sales:
Untouchable Sales



Akron Ohio
July 31, 2007
Council OKs peddler rules
Door-to-door solicitors in Akron will have to register, obtain photo ID
By John Higgins Beacon Journal staff writer
Published on Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007
Salesman who knock at your door offering to spend your insurance settlement for hail damage will soon have to have an ID and an address where you can later contact the business if there are any problems.

Akron City Council on Monday passed legislation requiring door-to-door peddlers to register with the city, leave information on file about their employers, pass a criminal background check and obtain photo ID.

The ordinance, which takes effect Aug. 10, forbids peddlers from knocking on the doors of residents who post ''no soliciting'' signs. It also forbids peddling after sunset.

Council is now in recess through Sept. 10 and didn't want to let a month go by without acting, because door-to-door salesmen have already hit neighborhoods caught in the June 8 hailstorm.

Councilwoman Tina Merlitti, D-7, who sponsored the legislation, asked for quick action at the safety committee meeting Monday afternoon.

''My neighborhood is under attack,'' she said.

Councilman Garry Moneypenny, D-10, agreed.

''I had three guys this weekend knock on my door. Three separate guys,'' he said. ''They're here now.''

Councilmen Michael Williams, D-at large, and Bruce Kilby, D-2, had reservations about passing the ordinance without taking time to consider unintended consequences.

The legislation exempts people going door to door for nonprofits, churches or political causes and applies only to for-profit, commercial peddling. However, the 9 a.m-to-sunset restriction applies to all solicitors, including politicians.

The safety committee didn't act in the afternoon with the understanding that the law department would add an expiration date of Nov. 10 to the legislation so that council could revisit it if any problems arose.

However, committee chairman Jim Shealey, D-5, introduced it Monday night in its original form with no expiration date, explaining that council could later revisit the ordinance.

Williams objected that the decision to remove the expiration date was made away from public view.

Kilby said that it would hurt politicians and challengers for office who might want to campaign in the evening, especially in the winter, when it gets dark early. He said it would be difficult to enforce and was just a way for politicians to look like they are doing something about the situation.

''This is a silly law,'' Kilby said.

''The only one making this political is you,'' Merlitti rebutted.

Council President Marco Sommerville cut the debate short, telling Kilby he didn't have the votes to stall passage.

Sommerville reminded Williams that the council can always take it back and fix it if there's a problem.

The ordinance passed 10-2, with Kilby and Williams voting against. Councilman John Otterman, D-at large, was not present.

John Higgins can be reached at 330-996-3792, 800-777-7232 or jhiggins@thebeaconjournal.com.
By John Higgins Beacon Journal staff writer
Akron Beacon Journal
ohio.com
Akron, Ohio
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New Hampshire
Door-To-Door Magazine Salesman Arrested !!!

July 27, 2007
Councilor robbed?
WMUR says Tom Mahon’s home burgled
By Mark Ouellette
The CABINET PRESS INC.
Published: Friday, Jul. 27, 2007
Merrimack, New Hampshire
Police say an Illinois woman selling magazine subscriptions in the Naticook Road neighborhood broke into a home and stole thousands of dollars worth of personal possessions. Terri R. Hall, 28, of Cahokia, Ill., turned herself in to Merrimack Police Tuesday evening and is facing a felony burglary charge for allegedly stealing “in excess of $1,000 of personal property,” said Police Capt. Mike Dudash. Hall appeared in Merrimack District Court on Wednesday morning for her arraignment before Judge Clifford Kinghorn. The judge, however, recused himself from the proceedings due to “a conflict of interest,” according to a MDC clerk. While court officials did not elaborate on the conflict of interest, it may be related to the possibility that a town councilor that Kinghorn is working with on a plan to bring a new courthouse to town was the victim of the crime. Police declined to give the exact address of the home that was broken in to, how it was done, or what was taken. WMUR-TV, however, reported that police said Hall allegedly entered 31 Naticook Road and burglarized the home of Town Councilor Tom Mahon. Mahon, whose home is registered as a historic house in Merrimack, could not be reached for comment prior to press time. Dudash said a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based company called New Image Consultant has had door-to-door salespeople selling magazine subscriptions in town for roughly 10 years. “Up to this point, they have been a good company and always checked in to let us know where they will be working,” said Dudash. “Overall, the company has been very responsive to any issues we’ve had and the manager has helped out during the investigation.” On July 15, Hall allegedly broke into the Naticook Road home, which was locked and unoccupied, and “stole miscellaneous jewelry and removed personal belongings,” said Dudash. Later that evening, the homeowners reported a burglary. A patrolman gathered information about the items stolen and narrowed down the time the burglary could have taken place, said Dudash. Det. Joe Goodridge visited several pawnshops in the area, but didn’t turn up anything, Dudash said. After doing some more digging, Goodridge talked with the manager at New Image and learned that Hall had been in the area that day, said Dudash. According to Dudash, most of the alleged stolen items were recovered from the Leominster, Mass. hotel where Hall had been staying. Hall was transported from Massachusetts to New Hampshire and is being held on $10,000 cash or surety bail at Hillsborough County House of Corrections in Manchester. A probable cause hearing is set for Aug. 2 in Nashua District Court.
By Mark Ouellette
The CABINET PRESS INC.
cabinet.com
Milford, New Hampshire
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New Hampshire
Door-To-Door Magazine Salesman Arrested !!!

July 26, 2007
Police: Ill. Woman stole more than $1k
By KAREN LOVETT, Telegraph Staff
Nashua Telegraph
Published: Thursday, Jul. 26, 2007
MERRIMACK – An Illinois woman selling magazines door-to-door in Merrimack broke into a house earlier this month and stole more than $1,000 in personal property, police say. Terri R. Hall, 28, of 114 Lauralee Drive in Cahokia, Ill., faced a felony burglary charge in Merrimack District Court on Wednesday. A probable cause hearing was scheduled for Aug. 2, and Hall remains at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections in Manchester for lack of $10,000 bail. Police say on July 15, Hall stopped at a residence on Naticook Road to sell magazines for New Image Consultant Company, based in Pittsburgh, Pa. No one was at the home. Hall then broke into the house and took more than $1,000 worth of items, police said. Police declined to identify the address, the homeowner and the method of the alleged break-in to protect the homeowner. WMUR-TV reported police said the alleged burglary occurred at the home of town Councilor Thomas Mahon. The burglary was reported later that day, police said. Officers checked local pawnshops but came up empty. Further investigation led to the magazine company’s presence in town, and police contacted New Image for assistance in checking sales logs. After determining Hall worked in Merrimack that day, officers located her in a hotel room in Leominster, Mass., where some of the stolen items were recovered, police said. She then turned herself in to the Merrimack Police Department on Tuesday night and appeared in court Wednesday. WMUR reported that because Mahon is a town official, a judge recused himself from proceedings and recommended the case be turned over to the county attorney.
Karen Lovett can be reached at 594-6402 or klovett@nashuatelegraph.com.
Nashua Telegraph
By KAREN LOVETT, Telegraph Staff
klovett@nashuatelegraph.com
nashuatelegraph.com
Nashua, New Hampshire
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Lets Take a Close Look at The Southwestern Company's Trade Group
Multi-Level Marketing Industry’s Lobbying Organization:
The Direct Selling Association


Sri Lanka
Pyramid scam alert !!!

July 22, 2007
Pyramid scam alert
The Sunday Times Online
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Financial Times Vol. 42 - No 08
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Once again, thousands of consumers have been duped by a “multi-level marketing” scheme, based in the USA. More than 50,000 consumers are now caught up in a federal prosecution. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against BurnLounge, Inc. and is seeking a permanent halt to the illegal pyramid practices alleged in the complaint. The Sunday Times FT has been in the forefront in alerting the public of pyramid scams including GoldQuest that swamped Sri Lanka some years ago. As a result of these reports and investigations by the newspaper, the Central Bank stepped up public awareness against the scam and the probe against pyramid schemes is an ongoing process. In a new column today titled ‘Pyramid Scam alert”, the newspaper will provide news and information about MLM scams across the world as an when new stories like these are available. The information is provided courtesy Robert L. FitzPatrick, President of the PYRAMID SCHEME ALERT in the US. The organisation’s website is: http://www.PyramidSchemeAlert.org.
FTC charges MLM – BurnLounge
Once again, thousands of consumers have been duped by a “multi-level marketing” scheme, based in the USA. More than 50,000 consumers are now caught up in a federal prosecution. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against BurnLounge, Inc. and is seeking a permanent halt to the illegal pyramid practices alleged in the complaint. BurnLounge is one of the hottest multi-level marketing schemes. Its "product" is downloaded music, similar to i-Tunes. Some of its top promoters were previously recruiters with the MLM, Excel Communications. (now bankrupt). Burnlounge attracted superstars from sports, such as Shaquille O’Neal, and from the music industry – e.g. Justin Timberlake – to endorse it.
Evidence of scam against Usana
An investigative article in the prestigious New Zealand business magazine, National Business Review, reveals that thousands of New Zealand consumers are being solicited by Usana without getting true or complete facts about almost certain financial losses they will suffer in the scheme. Entitled, “Most People Won’t Get their Money Back” the article quoted government statistician Murray H Smith, who has served as an expert witness in New Zealand pyramid scheme cases, “you can make a very strong argument that this could be a pyramid scheme.” A new report shows that Usana operates in a very similar manner to Burnlounge Inc. which is now being prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission as a pyramid scheme. Very little revenue is gained from actual retail customers (consumers who are not in the pay plan) and even less distributors’ profits come from retail sales.
Texas AG wants to stop Mannatech from operating in Texas
The Texas Attorney General claims that Mannatech, a publicly traded multi-level marketing (MLM) company – very similar in product, size, operation, publicly traded status and many other features to Usana Health Science – is deceiving and misleading consumers with its product claims. The Texas AG did not charge the company with operating a pyramid scheme as it did in a recent prosecution of the “gas mileage pill” company, BioPerformance, also a multi-level marketing company. The Texas AG said BioPerformance was a pyramid partly because it had almost no retail revenue. Neither does Mannatech. Both companies gain most revenue from new participants in the pay plan, not from retail customers, and recruiting is crucial to earn a profit in the pay plan. Why didn’t the Texas AG charge Mannatech with violations of its anti-pyramid scheme statute? One obvious reason is that the multi-level marketing industry’s lobbying organization, the Direct Selling Association – Mannatech is a member of the DSA! – lobbied to change the law in Texas in 2000 so that MLMs are now generally exempt. The law says that if payments and rewards are included in the price of products, the scheme is excluded from the law’s definition of a pyramid scheme.
Amway recruiting stopped in the UK?
Amway’s operations have been halted in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The government of England is prosecuting Amway for deceptive marketing. Some of the claims involve Amway’s infamous “tools” business in which distributors are lured into buying bogus “motivation and training” books, tapes and seminars in addition to large amount of Amway inventory. The promoters claim these tools help the distributor to be "successful". Much less than 1% of Amway’s distributors ever earn a profit. Millions of consumers worldwide lose money and quit the Amway scheme each year.
Is MLM a scam?
Questions pour in from all over the world asking about multi-level marketing companies. The answer is usually the same: If (1) recruiting other participants is the main basis for the scheme’s income promises; (2) the pay plan offers money from multiple levels of a “downline”; (3) most of the money is going to top levels (4) the income scheme requires you to make initial and/or monthly purchases and (5) there is very little retail selling (to people other than the salespeople) occurring --- it is a scam. This description fits nearly all MLM operations. Bottom line: A wise consumer should generally consider all MLMs a scam. Warning: Before you join any MLM, read the fine print of the “contract.” Like Amway, most MLMs impose severe restrictions to limit “competition” and to prevent the consumer from seeking legal recourse. Few consumers understand these extraordinary restrictions on their freedom or their legal jeopardy when they sign up at an MLM “opportunity meeting.”
The Sunday Times Online
Financial Times
Vol. 42 - No 08
sundaytimes.lk
Colombo, Sri Lanka
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New Jersey
Door-To-Door Magazine Salesman Arrested !!!

July 20, 2007
Cops arrest door-to-door salesman
Bay Head police hold man on Fla. warrant
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 07/20/07
BY MARGARET F. BONAFIDE
STAFF WRITER
Asbury Park Press
BAY HEAD — Complaints of suspicious persons selling magazine subscriptions near Mount Street led to the arrest of a Washington, D.C., man wanted in Florida for violating parole. Patrolman Todd LaRue investigated and found a couple going door to door who were claiming to be employed by Connection 2000 Inc., according to a prepared statement by Sgt. Geoffrey W. Barger. The man soliciting magazine subscriptions presented himself to potential customers and to police as "Devon Ashton" on a business card, Barger said. Police later discovered that his real name was Devon Martin, 25, of K Street in the District of Columbia and that he was wanted in Florida, Barger said. Martin had an outstanding warrant from Broward County, Fla., for violating probation on a charge of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. Martin was taken into custody and is being held in the Ocean County Jail awaiting extradition to Florida, police said. Martin was with a woman, Tonya Hayes, 24, of Georgia, who was questioned and released without incident, police said. LaRue was assisted by Cpl. George J. Duffy. Residents are reminded to be extremely cautious when approached by any persons offering anything for sale without proper permits and should never allow canvassers into their home, police said. The borough adopted a "Do Not Knock" ordinance, which offers residents who sign up a sticker to display letting sales people know that they do not want a vendor to knock on the door. The program requires registration, and 12 residents to date have signed up, Barger said. Registration is free and can be made at the police department. "Do Not Knock" ordinances became popular after the June 2004 murder of Shirley Rueter, 77, who was slain in her Toms River home by Azriel Bridge, then 17, who was selling subscriptions as part of a team of 11 people from a Midwest magazine clearinghouse. Rueter had allowed Bridge to come into her home, where he killed her.
For more information about the ordinance, residents should call the Bay Head Police Department at (732) 892-0632.
BY MARGARET F. BONAFIDE
STAFF WRITER
Asbury Park Press
app.com
Bay Head, New Jersey
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Washington
Door-To-Door Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

July 19, 2007
Look out for Magazine Salespeople Asking for Cash
KNDO TV
July 19, 2007 07:16 PM CDT
RICHLAND, Wash.-
Police want you to be on the lookout for people going door to door to sell you magazines. Especially if they want cash for subscriptions. Amanda Dalton wasn't surprised that someone was trying to sell her magazines, that happens all the time, but she got suspicious when they strongly advised her to pay with cash. That's what tipped her off. Luckily, she didn't pay and didn't lose anything, but when she told the salesperson she didn't have any cash, that wasn't enough. "I told her no that you know i just didn't think it was in my budget, she told me then that i could donate you know five or ten dollars in cash and by the end of the night when she had enough donations she could send in a subscription on behalf of that," Dalton said. Police say these types of scams are becoming more common lately. They say one way to avoid any sort of scam is to ask the person for a sales license. If they don't have it, call police because it's a crime to sell without one.
KNDO TV
kndo.com
RICHLAND, Washington
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Waltham Massachusetts
Door-To-Door Magazine Salesman Warning !!!

July 17, 2007
Closing doors on salesmen
By Jeff Gilbride/Daily News staff
GHS
Tue Jul 17, 2007, 12:15 AM EDT
Waltham -
The next time the door bell rings and an unexpected salesman stands outside, you might want to think twice before answering. That person making a sales pitch might end up taking more from you than you expected. Summer is the time when the city is flooded with people going door-to-door to offering their wares. Some of those people are not on the up and up, police said. The crews working the neighborhoods are often teenagers or in their early 20s and come from all over the country, said Sgt. Tim King. "They travel around in vans and the vans drop them off in neighborhoods and these kids roam the neighborhoods and sell different things, usually magazines." According to King, police have reported incidents in the past in which solicitors forced their way into people's homes. "We've also investigated cases where we believe some solicitors are involved in break-ins," King said. "One of our major concerns is they are not from around here. They come for a day and they move on to another city. If a crime is committed, it's that much more difficult to determine who that was." Waltham police have answered several calls from residents worried about door-to-door salesmen. "Some of the solicitors are not simply walking up to the door, they are walking up in people's yards," King said. "(They're) looking around people's yards, which naturally makes people concerned and they call us." King also said it's common for many employees of door-to-door soliciting companies to have criminal records. "Business has the right to conduct their business," King said. "But what is fairly commonplace is that the employees of these companies, we've dealt with a number of them with lengthy, concerning criminal records." In Newton, door-to-door solicitors are bound by a city ordinance that requires registering with Newton Police and paying a $5 fee. "(The ordinance) does provide for some exemptions, be it religious, charitable or political organizations," said Jeremy Solomon, Newton city spokesman. "Its been on the books for decades. I think it was created around the time when there were more door-to-door solicitors in general." Waltham City Councilor and attorney Gary Marchese said he introduced a proposal in April to the Law Department for a similar ordinance to restrict door-to-door salespeople. "We originally presented it to the City Council as a need to address the issue. During the summer and spring the safety of the residents was being compromised with people going to door-to-door," Marchese said. "What we found out was the Supreme Court had been through several decisions concerning door-to-door sales, addressing community efforts to curtail them." According to Marchese, he learned that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that door-to-door soliciting is a form of free speech. "A regulation of freedom of speech would be highly scrutinized by courts," Marchese said. "In the meantime, communities have challenged the law and tried to pass legislation that would pass constitutional review and we found one in Belmont and we have introduced that to the city's law department." According to Marchese, the ordinance was submitted to the city's Law Department April 24 and the City Council has yet to hear back. Marchese said cities have to be creative in the wording of measures restricting door-to-door solicitors. "What we have found is that a blanket prohibition is not permissible. We cannot just prohibit it, but we can regulate it," Marchese said. "The Belmont ordinance requires people to register with the police before soliciting. We may be able to say no to a particular registrant that has a criminal history." Waltham Police say residents should be careful when dealing with strangers selling goods and should report any suspicious activity to the department at 781-314-3600. "People should be cautious about people at their door anyway," King said. "We don't want to prevent people from conducting their business, but we also want people to be aware of these things."
Jeff Gilbride can be reached at 781-398-8005 or jgilbrid@cnc.com.
By Jeff Gilbride/Daily News staff
GHS
The Daily News Tribune
dailynewstribune.com
Massachusetts
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New Jeresy
Door-To-Door Magazine Salesman Arrested !!!

July 14, 2007
Magazine salesman arrested
Posted by the Ocean County Observer on 07/14/07
BY KIM PREDHAM
STAFF WRITER
Ocean County Observer
BAY HEAD —
A Washington, D.C. man was arrested Thursday after police received complaints of several "suspicious" people selling magazine subscriptions in the Mount Street area, police reported yesterday. During a search of the area, Patrolman Todd LaRue found two people on Mount Street. One gave LaRue a generic-looking identification card with the name Devon Ashton that said his employer is Connection 2000 Inc. After further investigation, LaRue determined the man's name is actually Devon Martin, and that he was wanted for a probation violation out of Broward County, Fla., on charges of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer, police said. Martin, 25, was taken to Ocean County Jail, where yesterday he awaited extradition to Florida. Martin's companion, 24-year-old Tonya Hayes of Georgia, was not wanted on any warrants and was released, police said. LaRue was assisted Thursday by Cpl. George J. Duffy. Bay Head has a "do not knock" ordinance in place that was inspired by the 2004 murder of Toms River woman Shirley Reuter by a magazine salesman she let in her home for a drink of water. The ordinance prohibits canvassers from hawking their goods or products at homes whose front doors display the program's sticker. Though registration for the program is free, Bay Head police said only 12 residents have signed up for it so far. Canvassers who violate the ordinance face potential arrest and prosecution, police said.
BY KIM PREDHAM
STAFF WRITER
Ocean County Observer
ocobserver.com
Toms River, New Jersey
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Colorado
Door-To-Door Salesman Arrested !!!

July 12, 2007
Door-To-Door Salesman Arrested In Douglas County Theft Case
Deputies: Cell Phone, Money Taken From Unlocked Car
ABC 7 News
TheDenverChannel.com
POSTED: 1:14 pm MDT July 11, 2007
UPDATED: 9:01 am MDT July 12, 2007
ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo -- A door-to-door salesman was has been arrested for investigation of theft and criminal trespass after Douglas County deputies said they found a stolen cell phone in his possession. Deputies were called to the 8800 block of Chestnut Hill Place in Highlands Ranch on July 3 by a woman who said a cell phone and money had been taken from her car that was parked outside her home. An investigation revealed that a salesman had been in the area earlier in the day and deputies began looking for the man. A brother of the victim later called to say he had located the salesman in the area and deputies talked to the man, seizing a cell phone that matched the description of the one that had been reported stolen. A check showed the cell phone was registered to the victim. Deputies arrested Larry Harris, 22, of Houston, Texas for investigation of first-degree criminal trespass and misdemeanor theft. Douglas County officials asked citizens to not leave purses, wallets and other valuables in their unlocked cars.
ABC 7 News
TheDenverChannel.com
thedenverchannel.com
ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colorado
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South Carolina
Southwestern Company
Door-To-Door Salesman Warning !!!

July 12, 2007
Door-to-door salespeople apparently pretending to work for
Lexington One
Reported by Angie Goff
Posted by Chantelle Janelle
WIS10 TV
wis10.com
July 12, 2007 05:12 PM CDT
LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Investigators say people posing as school officials selling supplies are targeting children's homes. More than a dozen reports of men and women saying they are with Lexington School District One have been reported. The school district says it never hires anyone to do anything door-to-door, which put many parents on alert. Lexington County Sheriff James Metts tells WIS News 10 their investigation shows there is no immediate threat. "There reports all over the county of these people out there selling, trying to sell material, trying to gain entrance by using the fact that they're with the school district when they're not." Trey Campbell, a spokesman for "Southwestern Company," spoke to WIS News 10 about this matter. The company's website says it hires 3,000 students from 350 colleges around the country every summer. They sell books and educational software to students - who in turn go out and resell the items to residents. Their company has a strict code of ethics that says salespeople should make no statements that may mislead consumers. Campbell says the company will look into the matter and if it's found some have violated the policy they could be terminated. Metts says they're questioning some of the salesmen - students from Texas - whose unethical behavior could end with charges against them. If you have a run-in with one of these salespeople, you are asked to call the sheriff's department.
Reported by Angie Goff
Posted by Chantelle Janelle
WIS10 TV
wistv.com
Lexington County, South Carolina
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View Angie Goff Video Clip Of This Story (.wmv) File
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South Carolina
Southwestern Company
Door-To-Door Salesman Warning !!!

July 12, 2007
Deputies: Sales People Posing as School Officials to Sell Books
Updated: 7/12/2007 7:28:13 PM
First Posted: 7/12/2007 11:22:55 AM
WLTX-TV
(Lexington County) - Lexington County deputies say various people claiming to work with Lexington School District One have been going door to door in West Columbia neighborhoods, asking to speak with children and their parents. Investigators say they were tipped off to the college-aged imposters when the district began receiving complaints from parents. Deputies say they received at least eight phone calls regarding the people Thursday alone. Lexington County Sheriff James Metts says the people are actually sales associates that work for a book company. Metts says they ask to speak with the children, asking questions about them, as part of their sales pitch. Investigators say the questions are what alarmed the parents. School officials say the salesmen are not employed with the district, and they say they do not send their employees door to door. Authorities say the concern of deputies and parents was for children's safety: "That's a little scary to know that there are people out there doing this and you're not sure as a parent how to fell about it. For example, whether you should let them into your house or not. There are so many people nowadays going and doing things and you're not sure who is genuine and who is not," said Dawn Coulter. Coulter lives in one of the West Columbia neighborhoods targeted by the sales reps. Deputies say the seller canvassed Steele Road, Brookedale neighborhood and Hamlet South neighborhood among others. "As parents I feel like we can never be too careful or over protective of [our kids]," Coulter said. Deputies say they received varied information on the appearance of the suspected man, so they believe there were more associates working with him. Metts says posing as a school official is not a crime, so they cannot file any charges against the associates. Investigators say the people were trying to sell text books for The Southwestern Company, out of Nashville, Tennessee.
WLTX-TV
wltx.com
COLUMBIA, South Carolina
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Connecticut
Door-To-Door Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

July 9, 2007
Summer soliciting: Darien Police offer you some tips
By Susan Shultz, Times Reporter
The Darien Times
It’s that time of year again. The summer is upon us. The weather is warm. The beach is inviting. And solicitors return. Neighbors on Hollow Tree Ridge Road recently experienced some magazine salesmen who, after not taking no for an answer, were escorted away in a police car. “They come every summer — it happens every year. There are usually a few groups that come through, every community in this area experiences the same thing. Once they are done working this community, they move onto the next one,” said Darien Police Captain Fred Komm. Solicitors must fill out an application in order to go door to door in town. Included in that application are questions about a solicitor’s criminal history. However, according to Komm, sometimes solicitors lie. The police don’t find that out unless they are called to pick solicitors up for being too aggressive, which happens often. An application can only be checked out if the solicitor is involved in an incident. The application can be checked to see if the solicitor is wanted or has any outstanding warrants. Komm said that the majority of solicitors are fine and follow the rules, but every time they come through the police get a few who cause problems. “A lot of times we determine they are a wanted person, we find out they have criminal histories and have lied on their permit applications,” he said. The police department is not allowed to check into the validity of applications unless they get a complaint. “After someone calls and says they have been aggressive, after we get a complaint, we can check the FBI database. We all have that. It is a violation of the rules and a violation of the law to use it other than during a criminal investigation. If someone just comes in for a permit, we can’t use it,” he said. Once it has been determined a solicitor has lied, the application can be revoked. Komm said there are a couple of different groups that come through town, which include young kids that he said are being taken advantage of. “They recruit these kids, and they work long hours. One outfit is from Indiana, and they are from all over the country in their early 20s. They put them up in some hotel, and they have vans which drop them off, and they come back at the end of the day,” he said. Komm said that results in long hours for “very little compensation.” For residents, Komm said they should make sure a solicitor is wearing the solicitor ID badge to show that they’ve filled out the application. They should also make sure the solicitor isn’t coming after dark, which is against the rules. Komm said residents should call the police if the solicitor gets too aggressive. “If they get aggressive, extra pushy or won’t take no for an answer, or won’t leave the property. Some are good businessmen, and polite, but others abuse the system, and make people feel guilty for not buying the magazines,” he said. Komm also said, solicitor badge or not, you should never the let the salesperson into your home. “I wouldn’t let anyone into my house under those circumstances, even if they are wearing a badge,” he said. That rule should go for any unplanned stranger showing up at a house, not just magazine solicitors. “That’s the same with anyone who comes to your door. That should raise a red flag, even a utility company. Don’t let strangers into your house unless it has been prearranged. Someone who just shows up at your door, you don’t want to let into your house,” Komm said.
E-mail Darien Times reporter Susan Shultz at sshultz@darientimes.com.
By Susan Shultz, Times Reporter
The Darien Times
acorn-online.com
Darien Connecticut
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VANCOUVER Canada
Slamming The Door On Travelling Salespeople

July 5, 2007
CITY COUNCIL
Coquitlam considers slamming the door on travelling salespeople
IAN BAILEY
theglobeandmail.com
July 5, 2007
VANCOUVER -- The welcome mat could soon be rolled up for door-to-door salespeople in suburban Coquitlam if a proposed ban, with fines to punish violators, is instituted. City council in the community of 114,000 unanimously asked staff this week to draft two bylaws - one to ban door-to-door sales of natural gas, and a second to ban all commercial door-to-door sales. They will decide whether to pass them in September, after the summer break. One councillor said he thinks some form of a ban is a done deal. "This is going to go through," Doug Macdonnell said. "There is enough will on council to put this thing through. The day of door to door is past." The issue came to council because of complaints about aggressive sales of long-term gas contracts resulting from a regulatory change in B.C. that allows Terasen Gas customers to buy from other companies. But now councillors and the mayor are talking about a much wider ban, with some arguing door-to-door sales have no place in a world of big-box stores and Internet shopping. "Fifty years ago, the door-to-door sales was probably a legitimate part of our communities, but we don't shop that way any more," said Counsellor Richard Stewart, who proposed the motions. "We've heard from residents, 'The front porch isn't the place I want to buy my commercial goods,' " the former Liberal MLA said. "We shop on the Internet. We shop at the shopping mall. We make our decision to purchase something, and we go do the research of that subject rather than waiting for a salesman to come with encyclopedias and buy them on the door." And Mr. Stewart, recalling an unpleasant personal experience with a zealous salesperson, said that problem isn't restricted to gas vendors. The salesman "was trying to sell me frozen beef, roasts and steaks and stuff out of the trunk of his car," Mr. Stewart said. "And I told him, 'I don't buy my beef on the front porch,' and he got offended that I would denigrate his chosen profession of selling door-to-door meat." Coquitlam would be following the smaller Lower Mainland community of Langley if it enacts a ban. Langley, with 25,000 residents in 10 square kilometres, enacted a ban in April on sales for commission paid by third parties, although registered charities can still make their case on Langley-area porches. "We want to let people enjoy their evenings at home without being besieged by door-to-door canvassers," Langley Mayor Peter Fassbender said. In Coquitlam, Mr. Stewart said council is discussing various exemptions for newspaper sales - because papers are a product that comes to the door - as well as landscape contractors, religious groups and non-profit organizations. "We would obviously exempt Girl Guide cookies and other not-for-profits, non-commercial sales. There's widespread support for making sure those avenues of fundraising are still available," he said. Council will also have to eventually reach a consensus on fines, he said. Coquitlam municipal fines run between $100 and $500 per offence, and he expects residents visited by offending salespeople could call bylaw enforcement officers, who would impose a fine. "We're not talking capital punishment here, but we obviously have to make the fine large enough that it's an actual deterrent," he said. "It has to have the effect of prohibiting that kind of practice. If it's just a cost of doing business, then we have failed." The president of the Direct Sellers Association of Canada, Ross Creber, said a ban is inappropriate, calling on Coquitlam to target the specific vendors who have prompted complaints. The head of the Consumers Association of Canada also slammed the idea, acknowledging complaints about the work of some salesmen, but suggesting it is unfair to penalize all such salesmen. "We don't have a problem with door-to-door sales as long as they are done on an ethical basis," Bruce Cran said. "An outright ban is overkill." Mr. Cran said door-to-door salespeople are now too rare to warrant the effort of bans. "I am surprised Coquitlam would think there were enough surviving to be a problem."
IAN BAILEY
theglobeandmail.com
VANCOUVER, Canada
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Illinois
Missing Child: Mary Ann Switalski

July 1, 2007
SOMEONE'S CHILD
Missing Persons, Murder and Mysteries in Illinois
Summer in the City - Where is Mary Ann Switalski?
Sunday, July 1, 2007
I was sitting in my home office, which conveniently faces the backyard so that I can watch my 5-year-old granddaughter in the yard as she plays, when the doorbell rang. It was a young male - probably college-aged, with that already perfected salesman grin on his face. I was already shaking my head no before he began his well-rehearsed sales pitch, prefaced, of course, of his need for college funds. In actuality I do subscribe to several magazines, but I refuse to purchase them from the door-to-door sales crews. Mary Ann Switalski has a lot to do with that decision. It was the summer of '63, the Beatles were taking over Great Britain, and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was becoming a smash hit, while the Safaris hit the music charts with the compelling instrumental 'Wipeout'. Fifteen thousand U.S. advisors were in Viet Nam, the U.S. Congress passed the 'equal pay for equal work' bill, New Hampshire previewed the first state-run lottery, and in the hazy days of that summer, no one could foresee the events that would forever change America come November 22nd, when President John F. Kennedy would be assassinated in Dallas. On the evening of Sunday, July 15th, Mary Ann Switalski, age 16, headed out from her north side Chicago home to a local carnival, which was being held on the grounds of St. Priscilla Catholic Church. The carnival location was a little over a mile from the Cornelia Avenue home Mary Ann shared with her parents. On that balmy summer night, the pretty, petite, hazel-eyed blonde wore a black sleeveless blouse, white shorts and straw sandals. The temperature had reached a high of 81 earlier in the day, gradually dropping into the evening. By the time Mary Ann should have been walking home, the temperatures were downright chilly, as they headed toward a low of 57. But Mary Ann didn't walk home; in fact, she never got home at all. If the police initially suspected foul play in the high school senior's disappearance, it isn't readily apparent 44 years after she was last seen. Although she failed to return home on July 15th, the first media report appeared on August 7, 1963, 3 weeks later, and did not come from law enforcement. The Chicago Tribune headline reads: "Mother Asks Help in Finding her Daughter". The short article reported only that Mary Ann failed to return home and gave a brief description of her, along with a photo. The next (and last that I've located) media report came 6 years later, in August, 1969, when a story appeared that provided information that it was suspected that Mary Ann may have willingly left to join a traveling magazine sales crew headed to California. It states that, in 1965, the FBI spoke to a man and woman who headed a sales crew that was in Chicago when Mary Ann vanished. Both agreed that Mary Ann had been hired but there their stories differed: the woman reported that Mary Ann left with the crew for California - her husband said Mary Ann never left Chicago. There was a letter - mailed to her parents just two days after Mary's disappearance, from Oak Park, Illinois - a little more than 4 miles from her home. In it Mary Ann says that she "is fine and going to make money to take care of them". Every time I reread that article and get to the part where she states that she is trying to make money to take care of her parents, I lose it. Her Mother establishes a reward fund, with money earned from taking a part-time job but the reward goes unclaimed. For years, her parents run ads in the personal columns looking for someone to come forward with information, but no one does.

It will take 40 years before the deeply held secrets of the traveling magazine sales crews surface. Through the work of Parent Watch Inc., a clearinghouse for information on the door-to-door sales industry and www.magcrew.com, resources formerly out of reach for parents of missing children or stranded sales crew workers are now being made available. Posted by Illinois Missing at 7:24 PM

Labels: door-to-door sales, Mary Ann Switalski, missing children, missing daughter, Parent Watch Inc., www.magcrew.com
SOMEONE'S CHILD
illinoismissing.blogspot.com
Illinois
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For more information on Mary Ann Switalski
The Doe Network
Case File 2277DFIL
http://doenetwork.org/cases/2277dfil.html
Mary Ann Switalski


New Jersey
Magazine Salesman 55-year Prison Sentence Upheld

June 30, 2007
Appeals panel reaffirms prison sentence of salesman
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 06/30/07
BY KATHLEEN HOPKINS
TOMS RIVER BUREAU
TOMS RIVER — An appellate panel on Friday upheld the 55-year prison sentence given to a magazine salesman for killing a 77-year-old widow who let him inside her Toms River home for a drink of water while he was going door-to-door in her neighborhood in 2004. The panel also upheld the decision by the trial judge, Edward J. Turnbach, now retired, to allow the confession that Azriel Bridge gave to police to be used as evidence against him, even though he was 17 at the time and his parents were not present. Bridge is now 21 years old. When he was arrested on June 11, 2004, six days prior to his 18th birthday, Bridge told police he had tried to steal Shirley Reuter's checkbook after she let him into her Chestnut Street home. But when she confronted him, he pushed the widow to the ground, beat her with a bellows and fireplace poker and stabbed her with a knife he grabbed from the butcher block in her kitchen, he said. Then, Bridge said, he wiped the knife clean, placed it back in the butcher block, left the house and called his supervisor to say he had met his sales quota. Philip Pagano, a public defender representing Bridge, had sought to have the confession suppressed because Bridge was a minor and did not have a parent present when he was questioned by police. But Turnbach ruled, and the appellate panel agreed, that the investigators who questioned Bridge without a parent present had no reason to believe he was a minor and therefore did not seek out his parents because he lied to them and told them he was 18. "Every law-enforcement officer involved in this case who had contact with Bridge had been told by him he was 18, and would turn 19 in 8 days," Turnbach said, and the appellate panel repeated in its decision. Bridge pleaded guilty in 2006 to Reuter's murder and was subsequently sentenced to 55 years in prison with no chance for parole before he serves 85 percent of the prison term, or 46 years and nine months, under the No Early Release Act for violent offenders. In pleading guilty, Bridge reserved the right to withdraw his guilty plea if an appellate court overturned Turnbach's ruling allowing his confession to be used as evidence against him. In his appeal, Bridge also maintained that his sentence was excessive. But the appellate panel wrote: "The sentence imposed is not so clearly unreasonable as to shock the judicial conscience." Bridge had traveled to New Jersey with a group of at least 11 others from the Midwest selling magazines for Phoenix Imaging, a subsidiary of American Community Services, a magazine clearinghouse based in Michigan City, Ind. Bridge was prosecuted as an adult because of the seriousness of the crime. Reuter's murder prompted a number of communities to pass "no-knock" ordinances, giving residents the option of barring salespeople from their homes.
Kathleen Hopkins: (732) 557-5732 or Khopkins@app.com
BY KATHLEEN HOPKINS
TOMS RIVER BUREAU
app.com
New Jersey
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Maine
Magazine salesman charged with assault !!!

June 30, 2007
'Magazine salesman' charged with assault
By AMY CALDER
Staff Writer
KENNEBEC JOURNAL Morning Sentinel
Saturday, June 30, 2007
WATERVILLE -- A man claiming to be a magazine salesman has been charged with assault and criminal trespass after he reportedly touched and made unwanted advances to people in their homes. Brandon Street, 22, of Rancho Cordova, Calif., was being held Friday at Kennebec County Correctional Facility in Augusta on $101,000 bail. He also was charged with assault in that city in connection with an incident in which he reportedly pushed his way into a woman's house and kissed or attempted to kiss her, according to Augusta police. Waterville police Sgt. Charles "Chip" J. Rumsey IV said Friday that Street was charged by Officer Tristan Russell with two counts of criminal trespass and two counts of assault. At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Waterville police received several complaints of suspicious activity involving someone who was approaching residents and reportedly selling magazines, according to Rumsey. In one case, he was invited into a home on Pleasant Street and during the course of the sales pitch the resident became very uncomfortable and asked him to leave. But he refused to do so and became very persistent and demanded she pay him for magazines, Rumsey said. "Ultimately, the resident's daughter arrived home and found out what was going on and threatened to call the Police Department if he didn't leave," Rumsey said. "At that point in time he did leave." A similar incident then occurred on Silvermount, where, when a woman said she did not want to buy any magazines, a man became agitated and upset and refused to leave, according to Rumsey. When she threatened to call police, he left. At another home on Silvermount, a man approached two females who were on the front porch and started talking with them and then hugged each of them without being asked, Rumsey said. Police, including Rumsey, responded to the areas where the complaints originated. Meanwhile, police dispatcher Joel Waye recognized the situation and description of the magazine seller as similar to information issued in a teletype by Augusta police, Rumsey said. Waterville police contacted Augusta police and Officer Russell went to Augusta, interviewed Street and charged him, Rumsey said. Rumsey noted that the state and city require people who go door-to-door to obtain a permit. If anyone has a concern or suspicion about whether someone is permitted, police are more than happy to check, he said. He also cautioned people to not let strangers into their homes.
Amy Calder -- 861-9247 acalder@centralmaine.com
By AMY CALDER
Staff Writer
KENNEBEC JOURNAL Morning Sentinel
morningsentinel.mainetoday.com
Portland, Maine
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Maine
Door To Door Salesmen Charged With Assault, Trespassing!!!

June 30, 2007
Door To Door Salesmen Charged With Assault, Trespassing
Web Editor: Vivien Leigh, reporter
Created: 6/29/2007 5:22:19 PM
Updated: 6/30/2007 4:50:31 PM
AUGUSTA (NEWS CENTER) -- A door-to-door salesman was formally arraigned Friday on charges ranging from assault to criminal tresspassing. Police in Augusta and Waterville say Brandon Street assaulted homeowners after they allowed him to make his sales pitch in their homes. Police say the California man is also under investigation for sexually assaulting an Augusta woman in her home after she agreed to buy magazines from him. Police say the 22-year-old told the victim he was selling magazines to raise money for his college tution. Police say Street attacked the woman after she bough a magazine subscription. Earlier that day, Street allegedly tried to kiss another woman in Augusta after she refused to buy a magazine subscription. Waterville police say Street also refused to leave the homes of two other women and hugged twin sisters after his sales pitch. Police say Street is one of a group of door-to-door salesmen who arrived in central Maine last week. But police say there are no reports that any of the others are involved in criminal activity. Police say there could be more victims in the area. "They're approaching homeowners wanting to sell magazines and one individual has become very aggressive and assaulted women, one sexually. We believe that there might be other victims wither here in the city or in the greater Augusta area," said Chief Wayne McCamish from the Augusta Police Department. If you have any information, you can contact the Augusta Police Department at 626-2370 or the Waterville Police Department at 680-4700.
Web Editor: Vivien Leigh, reporter
WCSH-TV/DT
wcsh6.com
Augusta, Maine
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D.M.P.G. Info Clip
July 28, 2007


DMPG research from Augusta Police Department police reports indicates that Brandon Robert Street worked for Tower of Power a magazine sales crew selling magazines for Pacific Coast Clearing Service out of Gig Harbor, Washington.

Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer: DMPG Disclaimer


Research:
Clearinghouse:
Pacific Coast Clearing Services, Inc.
Sales Crew:
Tower of Power

Pacific Coast Clearing Services Website: pccsonline.com
WA Dept. of State, Division of Corporations:  Pacific Coast Clearing Services
Criminal Profiles: Search For: Pacific Coast Clearing Service
BBB Report Jaguar Sales: JaguarSales
BBB Report Pacific Coast Clearing Services: BBB Washington
Wisconsin Consumer Protection: Door to door magazine sellers arrested
Wyoming Attorney General's Office: Attorney General Press Release
Consumer Advocacy: Edumacation.com
PCCS Member of National Field Selling Association: nfsa.com
National Field Selling Association is a member of:
Magazine Publishers of America: magazine.org



Pacific Coast Clearing Services

Tower of Power


Maine
Door-To-Door Magazine Salesman
Sexual Assault !!!

June 28, 2007
Man Charged With Assaulting Woman In Augusta
Web Editor: Rhonda Erskine, Online Content Producer
WCSH-TV/DT
Created: 6/28/2007 4:40:05 PM
Updated: 6/29/2007 12:44:08 PM
AUGUSTA (NEWS CENTER) -- A man who was selling magazines door-to-door is charged with sexually assaulting a woman who let him into her home. Augusta police say Brandon Robert Street atttacked a woman after she agreed to buy magazines from him. Police suspect Street may be reponsible for several other assaults around the state. They want to remind people that it's never a good idea to let a stranger into your home, even if they work for a legitimate business.
Web Editor: Rhonda Erskine, Online Content Producer
WCSH-TV/DT
wcsh6.com
Augusta, Maine
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Oregon
Door-To-Door Salesman Alert !!!

June 28, 2007
Salesman charged with theft, fraudulent use of credit card
Police allege the vacuum cleaner salesman took advantage of
an elderly customer
By Sarah Lemon
Mail Tribune
June 28, 2007 6:00 AM
A door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman faces theft charges for allegedly cleaning out the bank account of an elderly acquaintance who has since died. Andrew Charles Pierce, 31, appeared Wednesday via live video link with Jackson County Circuit Court to hear charges of first-degree theft and criminal mistreatment, identity theft and fraudulent use of a credit card. Medford police arrested Pierce Tuesday afternoon at the deceased victim's Sams Valley home, said Sgt. Mike Budreau. Pierce met the 70-year-old victim several months ago while selling vacuums door to door, Budreau said. Pierce ingratiated himself with the man and soon started stealing checks from him, Budreau said, adding that Pierce did not have permission to write checks on the man's behalf. Forging the victim's signature, Pierce used the checks for his own personal expenses, Budreau said. When the man died about a month ago, Pierce used the man's ATM card to withdraw more funds from his account, Budreau said. The Medford bank branch alerted police to the suspected crime. The victim died of confirmed natural causes, Budreau said. Nearly $10,000 had been taken from his bank account, he added. Medford police are still looking for a 28-year-old woman believed to be an acquaintance of Pierce who also used the elderly man's ATM card. She faces charges of first-degree theft, identity theft and fraudulent use of a credit card, according to Circuit Court records. Pierce, who previously listed an east Medford address, is awaiting trial in several other criminal cases that allege methamphetamine possession and that Pierce — as a convicted felon — unlawfully possessed firearms. Convicted in 2001 of manufacturing marijuana, Pierce was sentenced to a month in the Jackson County Jail and three years on probation. He remained in jail Wednesday in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail
slemon@mailtribune.com.
By Sarah Lemon
Mail Tribune
Medford, Oregon
mailtribune.com
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Minnesota
Door-To-Door Candy Sales Alert !!!

June 27, 2007
Court Docket: Men waive exam on break-in charges
Livingston County Daily Press & Argus
06/27/07
Two Iosco Township men accused of going door-to-door using candy as a ruse to burglarize homes in the Unadilla Township area waived a preliminary exam Tuesday, sending their cases to Circuit Court for trial. Jacob Russo and Christopher Derick Birely, both 18, are each charged with second-degree home invasion for breaking into a Van Syckle Road home in Unadilla Township on April 17. They are also charged with being minors in possession of alcohol. Police allege the duo stole musical items and other items. Police said Russo and Birely, pretending to be selling candy, would knock on the door to determine if residents were home. When no one answered the door, police said, the two men would break into the home. Russo and Birely face up to 15 years in prison if convicted as charged. Arraignment, which is typically waived, is set for July 6 in Circuit Court for both defendants.
Livingston County Daily Press & Argus
dailypressandargus.com
Howell, Minnesota
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Alabama
June 26, 2007
Creepy salesman scopes subdivision
Lindsay Field / Opelika-Auburn News
June 26, 2007
Opelika, Alabama
For the last two weeks, neighbors in the Hall Subdivision off of Highway 51 in Opelika say they have been dealing with a suspicious salesman. Annie Marbury, who has lived in the subdivision for four years, said a book and magazine salesman who identifies himself as "Oliver" has repeatedly visited her neighbors, trying to sell items, asking them personal questions about when their spouses are home and confronting children when their parents are not around. "When people ask where he’s from, he never tells people the same place," Marbury said. "He’s told my neighbors he’s from Russia, Spain, Argentina and Croatia. He has an accent, but I’m not sure what kind it is." "Oliver" has also been quite forward with children in the neighborhood, asking if their parents are home, when will their fathers get home and what kind of vehicles their parents drive. Because of this, many parents have told their children to stay in the house if he’s around. "He never shows his card to anyone, like he doesn’t have one," Marbury said. "He started out on a bicycle, but now he’s driving a small vehicle." Marbury said she and neighbors have contacted police a few times since he showed up in her neighborhood two weeks ago and officers have asked him to leave the premises, but he continues to come back. The salesman attempted to visit her home Sunday while she was pulling out of her driveway, but she avoided contact with him and continued backing up and pulling away from her house. "My son-in-law stopped him and asked why he was back in the area, because we had asked him to leave, but (he) came back again (Sunday night), so we called police," she said. Opelika police Capt. Allan Elkins said he hasn’t seen any reports of suspicious incidents or unlawful solicitation in the area, but the Opelika Police Department does receive calls several times a week. "It’s not uncommon, especially during the summer months, because book sales companies send kids out to sell stuff," Elkins said. "Book sales seem to be the number one door-to-door sells. It’s usually a reputable company that you’re dealing with." Elkins said licensed salesmen should know that aren’t supposed to "hard sell," and if they are asked to leave the property by a homeowner, they should. "It’s just really scary ... He was so bold with the police. If he’s that way with them, it’s scary how he’ll act with us," Marbury said. "People are at the point where they’re afraid of him, and we really just want him gone." One evening, Marbury said he showed up at one neighbor’s home around 9 p.m. and kept peeking through her glass front door when she wouldn’t answer the door. "He’s persistent about coming into people’s homes, talking to them, and when he gets his hand on the door, he almost tries to force himself in the house," Marbury said. "We’ve never had anything like this before. We don’t have Neighborhood Watch or anything, but (neighbors) are certainly watching out for each other." For more information, or to report a suspicious person in your neighborhood, contact Opelika police at 705-5200, Auburn police at 501-3100 or the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 749-5651.

To avoid being harassed or confronted by a fake salesman, Opelika police Capt. Allan Elkins recommends that residents ask for credentials. Salesmen must have a license to solicit, and their credentials must be in plain view. In addition, there are specific hours that sales permits allow salesman to solicit. Always look out the door before opening it. And if someone looks suspicious or refuses to leave your property, contact police.
Lindsay Field / Opelika-Auburn News
oanow.com Opelika, Alabama
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Kansas
June 26, 2007
Southwestern Company
Jackson County Book Scam
CBS 13
WIBW-TV
Posted: 9:34 PM Jun 26, 2007
Last Updated: 9:34 PM Jun 26, 2007
In Mayetta, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office says a man is claiming to sell books for the Parents as Teachers Association of Topeka. A woman told police the man is white, around 5'10" - 6'1" with sandy to light brown hair, carrying a dark backpack and speaking incredibly fast. He asks for payment up front and says he'll deliver books at the end of summer. Parents as Teachers says it does not have anyone selling these items. If you have any information on this individual please call Jackson County Sheriff's Office at (785) 364-2251.
CBS 13
WIBW-TV
wibw.com
Topeka, Kansas
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D.M.P.G. Info Clip
July 22, 2007


DMPG research into the above sales company indicates that the door-to-door sales agent works for The Southwestern Company out of Nashville, Tennessee.
To research The Southwestern Company Click Here

Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer: DMPG Disclaimer


Illinois
June 26, 2007
Southwestern Company's negative impact
Voice of the People
A Chicago Tribune blog for letters to the editor
Originally posted: June 26, 2007
This past Saturday my wife and I were shocked when we found a young woman walking around Elmhurst looking for a place to sleep. I am very sympathetic to the homeless and this young woman had an added factor that made her case even more distressing. She and two other young people were dropped off in Elmhurst and told that they had to find their own shelter. Then the circumstances began to come to light. They are Bulgarian students on J-1 visas, which allow them to work in the U.S. for four months in the summer. College students like them come to the U.S. to sell the products of the Southwestern Company. When these students find a family who is willing to host them, they give the family a sheet that clearly states that the students are expected to work an 80-hour, six-day week. Sundays are reserved for group meetings. The students have no cars or means of transportation. They have little money. Yet the three Elmhurst salespersons are expected to cover the entire town door to door. We know that similar efforts are also being made in surrounding communities. The company protects itself by making sure that each student is registered as an "independent contractor," which absolves the organization from legal responsibilities. To talk to the students, one gets the impression that they have almost been brainwashed into a cult-like admiration of the business mode they are in. Yet we think that using these international [as well as national] college students as the lowest rung of a multi-layered management business without even giving them the benefit of being employees is not acceptable. Door-to-door sales are very hard to do. Cold-calling people in a community to ask for a place to stay is even more difficult and potentially dangerous. If the Southwestern Company is going to bring students from overseas, they need to make sure that their basic needs are met and not just in Tennessee but in every placed community. It is our opinion that Southwestern is also using Americans who, out of the goodness of their hearts, take in these students to keep them safe. That is double exploitation. It is disgusting to think that an American business association could stoop so low as this effort seems to be. We have been previously involved in exchange programs. It upset us greatly to hear that these students were told that it would be a great character-building experience for them to go into a community and knock on doors asking for lodging. The Southwestern Company is making money as a result of these students' work, and Southwestern is also using the people who host them. Southwestern has the moral responsibility to find safe housing prior to their arrival in any community. As consumers we don't think we should support or purchase products from such a company. We are appalled at what one company can do to harm innocent young lives and hurt the American image abroad.

Charlie and Betty Laliberte
Elmhurst
Charlie and Betty Laliberte
Elmhurst, Illinois
http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com
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California
Magazine Salesman Rape/Murder Trial Begins !!!

June 26, 2007
Trial set in rape, killing of elderly woman
By Bruce Gerstman
CONTRA COSTA TIMES
Article Launched: 06/26/2007 01:39:46 PM PDT
A door-to-door magazine salesman must stand trial for murder in the 2005 rape and killing of a 90-year-old Lafayette woman in her home, a Contra Costa Superior Court judge ruled today. "It appears obvious there was a crime of opportunity when an elderly woman opened the door," Judge Mary Ann O'Malley said at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing for Richard McNew. The District Attorney's Office presented evidence today at a preliminary hearing for McNew, 34, accused of killing Ann Elizabeth Vuori on Dec. 10, 2005. He is charged with murder and faces special circumstances of murder in the commission of a rape, robbery and burglary. He is eligible for the death penalty if convicted at trial. The sheriff's department responded to a call from the husband of Vuori's caretaker on Dec. 10 reporting that Vuori was in her bedroom, not moving. Investigators found her body bound by cords and a belt tying her arms, legs and head to the bed. Clothing and books covered the floor, Deputy Cary Goldberg testified. A phone was disconnected. Somebody had opened furniture drawers and rifled through them. "It appeared to me that the entire room had been ransacked," Goldberg testified. A niece of Vuori told Goldberg that the retired accountant kept $200 in cash, "because she was generous and liked to have that money for donations." She also had about $20,000 in savings bonds in her home. Detectives said most of the bonds were missing they found no cash. Investigators initially arrested a neighbor but prosecutors declined to charge him because the crime lab did not match his DNA with crime scene evidence. By January, investigators matched the evidence with McNew through a national criminal database. He was incarcerated in a St. Louis, Mo., jail. Goldberg, who interviewed McNew in Missouri, testified that McNew told him he was working for Overachievers, a magazine subscription sales company, and recalled knocking on Vuori's door and talking to her. She asked him to fix her water heater, McNew told the detective. He tried to and she was unwilling to compensate him. "He stated ... she gave him a dollar and some change," Goldberg testified. "He felt like she was going to get cheap with him." He told Goldberg that he knew that she had savings bonds. "He laughed and said that she hid them," Goldberg said. "That's when he decided to look for other things for compensation." McNew told him that he stole a credit card, Goldberg testified. McNew said he stayed inside Vuori's home for about two hours, but did not assault her. "He said there was a slight possibility they might have brushed shoulders," Goldberg testified. A criminalist from the Contra Costa County Sheriff's crime lab testified that she matched DNA found on Vuori's body with McNew. Criminalist Kim Willey testified that she matched his DNA profile with evidence in a cap and belt left at the scene. Both had mixtures of male and female DNA, but McNew's DNA was predominant among three profiles found in the cap, Willey said. On cross-examination by McNew's attorney, deputy public defender Terri Mockler, Willey testified that she did not test to learn what kind of genetic material was left on Vuori's body. An examination for evidence of a sexual assault, however, did not found any sperm, she testified. Deputy district attorney Paul Graves said in his closing argument that McNew intended to sexually assault somebody that day. "He just had a fortunate circumstance for him of a friendly, elderly woman," Graves said. McNew is set to appear July 16 for arraignment in Superior Court in Martinez.
Reach Bruce Gerstman at 925-952-2670 or bgerstman@cctimes.com.
By Bruce Gerstman
CONTRA COSTA TIMES
contracostatimes.com
Lafayette, California
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New York
Door-To-Door Salesman SCAM Alert !!!

June 24, 2007
Doorbell scammers pocket funds from fake plea
Matthew Daneman
Staff writer
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
(June 24, 2007) — The State Police are warning people across western New York about scammers who have been going door to door, supposedly soliciting for donations for the University of Rochester baseball team. Two people — Bridget N. Napper, 20, of Laverne, Tenn., and Christopher M. Brennan, 24, of Webster, Ky. — have been charged with second-degree scheme to defraud. According to the State Police, the two were hired by Tuscan Reading Services to sell books and magazines, but instead were going to homes in Ontario with the story they were raising money for the university baseball team. They raised more than $240 from four residents there. According to the State Police, other Tuscan Reading Services employees were trying the same scam in the Sodus Point area, and charges are pending against them. According to the State Police, the group had been soliciting around western New York the past two weeks and had collected money from at least 10 people in the Rush area. Anyone who may have been duped by the fund-raisers is asked to call the State Police at (315) 589-8288.
MDANEMAN@DemocratandChronicle.com
Matthew Daneman
Staff writer
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
democratandchronicle.com
New York
Read This Story


Massachusetts
Door-To-Door Salesman Warning !!!
Beware of These Companies:
Xtreme Marketing Inc.
United Family Circulation
Ultimate Empire Sales Inc.

June 22, 2007
Residents report scam attempts around Cape
The Gloucester Daily Times
June 22, 2007
By Douglas A. Moser
Staff writer
Gloucester and Rockport residents have reported to police several instances in the past week of people saying they were selling items to raise money for local charities, but are really scams. Wednesday afternoon, Stephanie Walters, the development and volunteer coordinator for Pathways for Children on Emerson Avenue, told police two women were in Wingaersheek Beach area claiming to sell magazines for the preschool program. Walters sent an e-mail out Wednesday telling those on the Pathways e-mail list that the nonprofit organization is not soliciting donations at this time and urged residents to report suspicious fundraising activity to the police. "These salespeople used extremely aggressive techniques, claimed to know some of the neighbors, and talked about the benefits Pathways would receive from their purchases," Walters wrote. "We want to inform you that Pathways is in no way connected with this company nor would we ever employ such an approach to fundraising." Walters is disappointed that the children's program has been targeted. She was told that the magazines were being sold in the range of $30 to $40 for a year's subscription and that some buyers gave the sellers money above the cost because they thought the donations would go straight to Pathways. "We would never release our donors' names or promote our employees to use those high-pressure approaches to fundraising," Walters said. "I think that it's terrible. Pathways has become a very popular nonprofit in the area and it is horrible that people are taking advantage of that. We feel bad that anybody that gave their money to this is not going to go to Pathways." Gloucester city ordinances require any solicitors to check in with the police before they begin. In Rockport late last week, four individuals were spoken to by police after residents complained the two young men and two young women were trying to sell magazine subscriptions, the profits for which they said were going toward a trip to Ireland. Two males on foot in the area of Squam Road were spoken to by police and left the area, only to attempt the same thing later on King Street. Officers also spoke to two women who gave police the same story while selling subscriptions near the school complex and Seagull Street. The young women were spoken to again later on Jerden's Lane. Gloucester residents who purchased subscriptions said they received a receipt from the name of the business Xtreme Marketing Inc. Some of the residents, leery of the transactions, said they researched the company online and found it to have three other aliases, all of which come up on Web sites that details deceptive sales practices.
Correspondent Nate Rice and staff writer Jonathan L'Ecuyer also contributed to this report.

Ingredients of the scam
Xtreme Marketing Inc., a traveling magazine sales crew out of Sugar Hill, Ga., clears magazine sales orders through United Family Circulation. It is also known as Ultimate Power Sales Inc., and Ultimate Empire Sales Inc. The company uses college-aged salespeople who go door to door selling subscriptions. The salespeople say the magazines or books will arrive within 120 days but they never do. When customers try to call the service number on the receipt, they get a machine saying the person they have dialed is unavailable or it just rings with no one ever picking up.

Back stories sales people use:
* Raising money for baseball or soccer team trip to a championship game somewhere.
* Just moved to the neighborhood and are raising money for different foundations; subscription profits to go to those foundations.
* Collecting donations for the local boys and girls clubs.
* Raising money for soccer scholarships.
Source: www.ripoffreport.com
The Gloucester Daily Times
By Douglas A. Moser
Staff writer
gloucestertimes.com
pw4c.org
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Read This Story



Google Search: United Family Circulation
United Family Circulation
Xtreme Marketing
Ultimate Empire Sales

Research: United Family Circulation on edumacation.com:
edumacation.com/UnitedFamilyCirculation

June 9, 2004
DMPG INFO CLIP:
Johnson County, Kansas Wins Civil Lawsuit Against
Ultimate Power Sales, Inc. And United Family Circulations, Inc.

Read The Judgment


Research United Family Circulation on Criminal Profiler:
Criminal Profiler



Long Island, New York
Door-To-Door Salesman Warning !!!

June 21, 2007
Long Island
Sex fugitive caught selling door-to-door
BY BILL MASON
Newsday
bill.mason@newsday.com
June 21, 2007
A convicted child molester was selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door in Long Beach when he was arrested as a fugitive, wanted in Missouri for violating his parole, police said Wednesday. Michael Manuel, 21, of St. Louis, was arraigned in Long Beach City Court and remanded to the Nassau County Correction Facility in East Meadow to await extradition to Missouri, police said. Manuel pleaded guilty in St. Louis in 2004 to molesting a 6-year-old girl, and he was sentenced to 5 years in prison, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper report. Details concerning his subsequent parole and alleged parole violation were not available Wednesday night. Manuel was arrested Monday by Long Beach officers when an area resident informed police that there were door-to-door solicitors in the neighborhood, police said. Long Beach municipal law prohibits peddling or soliciting door-to-door without a license, and no such licenses have been issued in Long Beach, police said. Police Commissioner Thomas R. Sofield Sr. said a recent police bulletin advised officers that although most magazine sales crews operate legally, some employ questionable tactics, and "the bulletin noted that crew members that operate door-to-door have been known to have extensive criminal histories," Sofield said. Long Beach officers that responded to the resident's telephone call concerning the solicitors made a warrant inquiry and discovered Manuel's fugitive status, police said.
BY BILL MASON
Newsday
bill.mason@newsday.com
newsday.com
Long Island, New York
Read This Story


San Luis Obispo, California
Door-To-Door Salesman Alert !!!

June 14, 2007
No charges will be filed against a man who stabbed salesmen
The Tribune
SanLuisObispo.com
Posted on Thu, Jun. 14, 2007
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. --An auto mechanic won't be charged for defending himself with a knife when traveling magazine salesmen jumped out of a van and began beating him. Adam Caraveo, 24, of San Luis Obispo was arrested last week for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon after he stabbed two men during a June 5 confrontation on a downtown street. The salesmen had traveled from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo on Tuesday and one of them allegedly yelled a derogatory remark at mechanic Adam Caraveo, 24, investigators said. The nature of the remark wasn't disclosed. The salesmen then jumped out of the van and attacked Caraveo, who pulled a knife and stabbed two of the men. They were treated for minor wounds and didn't require hospitalization. Deputy District Attorney Louise Comar reviewed the case and determined there was sufficient evidence that Caraveo was acting in self defense. Three of the four salesmen last week pleaded no contest to battery and were sentenced to 15 days in jail and placed on three years' probation, Deputy District Attorney Craig VonRooyen said. A fourth defendant was scheduled to appear in court later this month.
The Tribune
sanluisobispo.com
thetribunenews.com
San Luis Obispo, California
Read This Story


Florida
Vacuum Cleaner Sales Door-To-Door Alert !!!

June 8, 2007
Vacuum salesman charged with grand theft
Andrew Gant
Daily News
Friday June 8th, 2007
A Milton man has been arrested for grand theft in connection with vacuum cleaner sales, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. Ronald K. Booker, 49, was arrested May 29 after he sold a vacuum cleaner system to a Crestview household for $2,184 on Oct. 27, 2006, according to a Sheriff’s Office report. Two days later, he asked the same household to help him get his quarterly sales bonus by purchasing one more system, the report stated. He promised to refund the price of both machines when he reached his bonus, according to the report. The victims paid $2,623 for a second machine, but never received it or any refunds, the report stated. An official from the vacuum cleaner supplier told lawmen that Booker was fired for stealing from the company, the report stated.
Andrew Gant
Daily News
Northwestern Florida
nwfdailynews.com
Read This Story


Pennsylvania
Door-To-Door Salesman Alert !!!

June 7, 2007
Sentinel Morning Update: Salesmen's license revoked in Upper Allen Township
By staff reports, June 7, 2007
The Sentinel
Last updated: Thursday, June 7, 2007 7:35 AM EDT
Upper Allen Township police revoked the transient retail business license for Michael Ford this morning after an investigation Wednesday into complaints about aggressive door-to-door salesmen who claimed their product was endorsed by the Mechanicsburg Area School District, when that was not the case. Ford, representing the Southwestern Company, had been in the area for the past three weeks going door to door to sell books for children of all ages. The township's press release said that Ford does work for a legitimate company and any previous orders placed with him should be fine. The release also said that Upper Allen Township residents should contact the police department if any further solicitation is received from Ford. They may call 717-795-2445 or 717-238-9676. Township police chief James Adams said his department received calls Wednesday afternoon from local parents concerned about the tactics of the salesmen. The police then launched an investigation, interviewing school officials, callers and other township residents. MASD spokesman Dennis Baker said the biggest concern school officials have is the claim that their "Young Learners" books and CDs were endorsed and being used by the school district. "That is not true," Baker said, adding the salesmen were using such questionable techniques as making parents feel guilty about not buying material the men claim would benefit their child.
By staff reports
The Sentinel
cumberlink.com
Allen Township, Pennsylvania
Read This Story

For Further Information On The Southwestern Company
Research The Southwestern Company


Lewistown, Pennsylvania
Magazine Salesman Warning !!!

June 7, 2007
Four arrested for selling magazines without permits
By Nick Malawskey, Sentinel reporter, nmalawskey@lewistownsentinel.com
The Sentinel
Section: News Posted: 6/7/2007
LEWISTOWN — Mifflin County Regional Police are warning residents to beware of suspicious persons, after four individuals were arrested Monday for selling magazines in Lewistown and Yeagertown without permits, Mifflin County Regional Police report. Police said their concern over the individuals stemmed from the fact that they were all from out-of-state and were carrying identification cards that appeared to be paper copies of driver’s licenses. The four people arrested also carried cards that told them what to say if they were confronted by officers. Lt. William Steele, of the Mifflin County Regional Police, said officers were not sure if the individuals were selling magazines for an actual company, or selling subscriptions that would never be mailed. According to the Federal Trade Commission, a popular scam in the summer in urban areas is door-to-door magazine sales, where the salesperson tells residents he or she are trying to raise money for college tuition or other fees. Police said they wanted to encourage residents to obtain all pertinent information from salespeople, including names and the business they represent, as well as a photo identification. Police said they first were alerted to the salespeople when they received several phone calls from residents of the south side of Lewistown concerning suspicious people selling magazines. Officers attempted to locate the people and, while doing so, were contacted about the same people selling magazines in Yeagertown. Police said two of the magazine sellers were picked up in the area of North Locke Avenue, and after contacting the local municipalities, were determined to be selling the magazines without permits. While questioning to two salespeople, police were again notified of additional magazine sellers in Yeagertown. In total, police arrested four individuals, identified as Jessica Williams, 27, of Boca Raton, Fla.; Joseph Heflin, 27, of Fargo, N.D.; Gregory Mendez, 21, of Boca Raton; and Jeremy Robbins, 21, of Conover, N.C. Police said the four were traveling together, along with two other people who were not located. The four arrested were taken to the regional station, where they were charged with ordinance violations, arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Barbara Clare and placed in the Mifflin County Correctional Facility. Police said they ran the four suspects’ names through a warrant database and did not find any outstanding warrants. Regional reminder
Police said they wanted to encourage residents to obtain all pertinent information from salespeople, including names and the business they represent, as well as a photo identification.
Section: News Posted: 6/7/2007
By Nick Malawskey,
Sentinel reporter,
nmalawskey@lewistownsentinel.com
The Sentinel
lewistownsentinel.com
Lewistown, Pennsylvania
Read This Story


Shelton, Connecticut
Magazine Salesman Warning !!!

June 7, 2007
Door-to-door solicitors face charges
Soliciting without a permit was the charge
against two out-of-state men May 31.
Police Reports June 07, 2007
Easten Courier
Published by Hometown Publications
Shelton, Connecticut
According to reports, police received several complaints from residents near the Fairfield town line regarding magazine salespeople soliciting door-to-door. After several verbal warnings, the two men were issued infractions for being in violation of town ordinance, according to reports. Police said one individual has a criminal history with the FBI and in California and Utah. The police urge residents to call police headquarters at 268-4111 to report solicitors who don't display a valid Easton Solicitor's Permit issued by the police chief.
Easten Courier
Police Reports
Published by Hometown Publications
zwire.com
Shelton, Connecticut
Read This Story


Virginia
Magazine Sales Scam Alert !!!

June 6, 2007
Door to door scammer alert
The Alexandria Times
VOL 3 ... NO.30
June 6, 2007
The door to door scammers are back again.
Please help us get the word out about these salespeople. They have hit several neighborhoods in Alexandria and 1) they are not licensed with the City or County, and 2) you should never buy anything from someone coming to your door.** The latest is a company called “Go Doers Inc.” out of Washington DC. They are selling magazines door to door. We have received numerous complaints about rude, disorderly, illegal behavior. There are also several complaints with other organizations (Better Business Bureau - BBB) and you can see an excerpt from the web site ripoffreport.com below. I am getting reports of other door-to-door activity in the area to include alarm sales, tree scams and more. I will try to get information out when I get it. Please make sure that older residents in your neighborhoods are getting this information as they might not have access to e-mail. Some of these solicitor groups, the alarm solicitors for instance, have started to apply for solicitors licenses here in the County. However, please remember our mantra for door-to-door solicitation: “Just Say No”
Below is a link to comments about this organization from ripoffreport.com:
Rip Off Report
** - unless you personally know the person; ie - boy/girl scout in uniform with parent, or local school student (who you personally know) selling wares to support their school - scammers have used the local school ruse to get the trust of local residents in the past). -- Fairfax County Police Dept.

The Alexandria Times
300 S. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
How to phone or fax us:
(703) 739-0001 (work)
(703) 739-0120 (fax)

The Alexandria Times
alextimes.com
Alexandria, Virginia
Read This Story


New Haven, Connecticut
Magazine salesman arrested
for assault !!!

June 6, 2007
Magazine salesman arrested for assault
wtnh.com
WTNH / WCTX
Posted June 6, 2007
5:25 PM
(Windsor Locks-WTNH)_A 19-year-old magazine salesman from California is being charged with sexual assault and disorderly conduct after he allegedly sexually assaulting a woman while making his sales rounds. Joshua Germain of Yorba Linda, Calif., was soliciting magazines without a permit yesterday, when he made inappropriate comments to a woman in her late 40s and touched her "in a sexual manner." Police said the victim lived on Windwood Drive. Germain is being held with bail set at $25,000. He is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Enfield on June 20th.
WTNH / WCTX
wtnh.com
New Haven, Connecticut
Read This Story


San Luis Obispo, California
Magazine Salesman Warning !!!

June 5, 2007
Downtown SLO brawl leaves one stabbed and four arrested
- Leslie Parrilla
The Tribune
sanluisobispo.com
Posted on Tue, Jun. 05, 2007
Police say a van full of traveling magazine salesmen were involved in a fist-fight in San Luis Obispo that ended with a local mechanic allegedly stabbing one of the men this afternoon. The group of nine men had driven to San Luis Obispo from Los Angeles early this morning to sell magazines for Magazine Fulfillment Services before planning to head to Monterey, police said. The unidentified men were in a white van with Texas license plates driving north on Higuera Street near Pacific Street around 4 p.m. when they saw an unidentified mechanic on Higuera walking to a vehicle and yelled a derogatory remark at him, according to San Luis Obispo Police Lt. Bill Proll. One of the men dropped his hat as he hung his head out of the window to yell, so the van circled back to pick it up, Proll said. About four men jumped out of the van and began fighting with the mechanic, who police believe pulled out a folding knife and stabbed one of the men. Police said they were not certain of the order of events immediately after the incident because they were are interviewing the people involved. A detective driving by saw the brawl and turned on his siren, which dispersed the group, who ran from the scene. Three men were arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor assault, and the mechanic was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, police said. The person who was stabbed also may be arrested. He was being treated at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center for a non-life-threatening injury, Proll said. Dave Watts, who was working nearby, said he heard yelling and screaming and ran to the corner. “There was honking and a bunch of yelling,” Watts said. “The guy who got stabbed was already stabbed.”
- Leslie Parrilla
The Tribune
sanluisobispo.com
San Luis Obispo, California
Read This Story


Research:
Magazine Company:
Integrity Sales/Integrity Program
Integrity Sales Website: integritysale.com
Integrity Program Website: integritypgm.com
Arizona Secretary of State Corporation/LLC Website:
Az. S.O.S. Corp/LCC
Arizona Secretary of State: Integrity Sales:  Integrity Sales
Criminal Profiles: Search For: Integrity Sales
Magazine Scams: Integrity Sales
Consumer Advocacy: Edumacation.com: Integrity Sales
BBB Report Phoenix, Az.: unsatisfactory
Rip Off Report: Integrity Sales
Magazine Company/Sales Crews as of 05/13/06:
Magazine Fulfillment Services - Operated by Robert Spruiell
Integrity Sales, Inc. - Operated by Robert Spruiell
Integrity Program, Inc.- Operated by Robert Spruiell
Circulation I - Operated by Karkeen Hillery
Circulation II - Operated by Karleen Hillery
SERVICES UNLIMITED PLUS - Operated by Karleen Hillery Spruiell/Robert Spruiell
National Community Clearing, INC - Operated by Karleen Hillery
TEAM X-TREME
DYNASTY SALES
POWERHOUSSE SALES
KAYS NATURALS - Karleen Hillery Crew
Kay's Naturals website: ournaturals.com
Crew Name: 029
Crew Name: 032
IP MARKETING
IMPACT PUBLICATIONS
Subscriptions Plus - Operated by Karleen Hillery
(old mag. company name - may be in use again)

Google Search: Karleen Hillery
Google Search: Karleen Spruiell
Google Search: Robert Spruiell

Integrity Sales is a Member of National Field Selling Association: nfsa.com
National Field Selling Association is a member of:
Magazine Publishers of America: magazine.org

RIP-OFF Report.com
Integrity Sales ripoff
Phoenix Arizona *Consumer Comment ..New Info
Read This Rip-Off Report On Integrity Sales

Lookup: Karleen Hillery on Profiler:
Karleen Hillery Profile

Lookup: Karleen Hillery - Janesville Wisconsin Van Crash March 25, 1999
Karleen Hillery Profile

View Recent Criminal Activities of Karleen Hillery Spruiell:
Karleen Hillery Spruiell
(NOTE: for search on Arizona State Supreme Court Criminal Records
Enter: Last Name: Spruiell, First Name: Karleen in search box.

View Wisconsin DOJ Civil Lawsuit Against Karleen Hillery (case # 00-CV-0852)
State of Wisconsin V. Karleen Hillery

View Illinois Magazine Sales Fraud Lawsuit Against Karleen Hillery (case # 02-CH125)
State of Illinois V. Karleen Hillery

Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer: DMPG Disclaimer


Douglas County, Colorado
Magazine Salesman Warning !!!

June 5, 2007
Castle Rock Police and Dougco Sheriff blotter
Incidents reported by sheriff's office
Contributed by: Joseph Kirchmer/YourHub.com on 6/5/2007
A door-to-door magazine salesman allegedly urinated on a Parker woman's front porch May 24 after she refused to buy anything from him. According to a report, the 20-year-old Georgia man attempted to sell the woman magazines at her house on the 10100 block of Severn Lane at approximately 9:42 a.m. After she said no, she looked out the window to check if he was gone and noticed a long, wet trail from her baby stroller to her front door. She immediately called police and deputies were able to track the man down. The man, who didn't have a permit to sell magazines, initially denied urinating on the woman's porch but later admitted to it, according to the report. He allegedly said he knew it was "not cool" and doesn't know why he did it. He was arrested on suspicion of second-degree criminal tampering, disorderly conduct and failure to register for solicitation.
Contributed by: Joseph Kirchmer/YourHub.com
denver.yourhub.com
Douglas County, Colorado
Read This Story


Oxford Ohio
Magazine Salesman Arrested !!!

June 5, 2007
Door-to-door salesman arrested in Oxford
By Joe Giordano
Staff Writer
The Oxford Press
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Police are warning homeowners to be on the watch for people selling magazines door-to-door. Officers arrested a Georgia man after police say he attempted to force his way into Melissa Drive house May 25. Police charged John Michael Payton, 21, with criminal trespassing after officers found him near the crime scene. According to the police report, Payton knocked on the front door of a Melissa Drive home. When the homeowner ignored the door knocks, Payton visited a neighbor's home and attempted to sell magazines. Police said Payton then returned to the victim's home and started kicking her back door. Payton allegedly attempted to open the door. When he left, the victim called police. Officers found Payton two blocks away again trying to sell magazines to another home. Payton, of 412 Treadwell Road, Chatsworrth, Ga., was also charged for door-to-door solicitation, a minor misdemeanor in Oxford. Police Sgt. Jim Squance said in many cases door-to-door solicitors are scouting homes to steal belongings. Squance they something take thing if homeowners let them in their houses. Police advised people to stay in their homes when they see a suspicious person selling things like magazines. "When a home owner sees someone like this, don't answer the door and call police," Squance said.
Contact this reporter at (513) 523-4139 or jgiordano@coxohio.com.
Door-to-door salesman arrested in Oxford
By Joe Giordano
Staff Writer
The Oxford Press
oxfordpress.com
Oxford, Ohio
Read This Story


Lockport, New York
Magazine Salesman Warning !!!

June 5, 2007
CRIME: Two arrested after illegal peddling in Pendleton
By April Amadon/amadona@gnnewspaper.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Published: June 05, 2007 01:00 am
Two salesmen were arrested Friday for allegedly violating Pendleton soliciting laws by going door-to-door without proper permits. The men — Travis Oxendine of Florida and Eric Olmstead of Missouri — are employed by American Circulation Enterprize, Inc., out of Indiana. After receiving several complaints, Sheriff’s deputies found the men on Friday afternoon and gave them a warning. “They were told they shouldn’t be in Niagara County without going to the proper town (and getting permits),” Sheriff’s Capt. Bruce Elliot said. People complained that the men were, “asking questions people weren’t comfortable with,” he added, such as how many children they had in the home. “Without ID, people were getting rightfully spooked,” Elliot said. When the men continued to go door-to-door, they were taken into custody and charged with violating Pendleton’s peddling and soliciting law. Elliot said this particular company has caused problems in the past. The salespeople are dropped off in a neighborhood by their supervisor, who then comes back to pick them up at the end of the day. “This group continues to operate without supplying the necessary paperwork,” Elliot said. Aside from a permit, photo identification is required for solicitors. Only one out of the five salesmen deputies spoke with on Friday had any ID on him. Deputies contacted Olmstead and Oxendine’s supervisor with American Circulation Enterprize, who “left them high and dry,” Elliot said. “He refused to come pick them up. He said they were under-performers and they were on their own,” he said. “They were working sunup to sundown, six days a week. He’s responsible for all their transportation, lodging. They can’t just call it quits and go back without expense. It’s very sad.” The two men had made two sales that morning in Pendleton. Sheriff Thomas Beilein said residents should always ask for photo identification and to see permits from any salesmen coming to their doors. If a solicitor can’t produce this information, Elliot said, the resident is asked to call the sheriff’s department at 438-3393.
Contact reporter April Amadon at 439-9222, ext. 6251.
By April Amadon/amadona@gnnewspaper.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
lockportjournal.com
Lockport, New York
Read This Story


Des Moines, Iowa
Magazine Salesman Warning !!!

June 4, 2007
Theft follows visit from magazine salesman
REGISTER STAFF REPORTS
DesmoinesRegister.com
June 4, 2007
A magazine salesperson is listed as a possible suspect in a weekend burglary on the north side of Des Moines. It's the timing of the theft that made a homeowner suspicious. Christine Vortherms, 43, called police Saturday afternoon to say that her wallet and checkbook were taken from her house in the 4000 block of Third Street while she was in the backyard. A mail carrier found the wallet, but the checkbook is still missing. Just prior to the theft Vortherms bought a magazine subscription from a door-to-door salesman. Police were not able to locate the salesman, and no charges have been filed.
REGISTER STAFF REPORTS
desmoinesregister.com
Des Moines, Iowa
Read This Story


Santa Clarita, California
Magazine Salesman Warning !!!

June 4, 2007
Solicitor Attempts Scam Using Henry Mayo Hospital Name
By Josh Premako
Senior Staff Writer
The Signal
Monday June 4, 2007
It seemed innocuous enough. Highspring Avenue residents stood at their front door last week while a solicitor representing "Team Extreme" tried to sell them magazine subscriptions. They said a portion of the sales would be donated to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. The only problem was, that wasn't true. "The hospital does not raise funds for any program with door-to-door solicitation," Henry Mayo spokesman Terry Kanakri said Friday. "We're not benefiting in any way from these activities." Kanakri was not aware of any other instances of solicitors falsely using the hospital's name to increase sales. He added that little is known about the group selling the subscriptions. "We do regret if any residents have been deceived in this manner," he said, and added that anyone with information on the solicitors should contact the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. Taking someone up on door-to-door solicitation is somewhat of a enter-at-your-own-risk situation, according to sheriff's Sgt. Darren Harris. "As a resident you want to be sure where your money's going," he said, and added residents are better off dealing with reputable businesses and charities. He encouraged residents to ask questions and ascertain exactly who a solicitor is, in order to use their judgment and decide whether or not to do business with them. Harris did not know if any report had been filed about the solicitors in Newhall, and said any potential penalties could vary, depending on whether it was a total scam or simply the false use of Henry Mayo's name to increase sales. This is not the first incident of local solicitors dropping an organization's name under false pretenses. Last February, officials at College of the Canyons received notifications that solicitors were going door-to-door attempting to sell subscriptions to COC's Canyon Call newspaper and raise money for a journalism project. College spokesman John McElwain said at the time that, "we don't solicit donations like that ... This is not the way the college raises funds on any level." In January, a Saugus resident reported that a girl, who said she was an Inglewood resident and Saugus High School student, was trying to sell magazine subscriptions on behalf of United Family Circulation - an organization that has received complaints and warnings in communities nationwide.
By Josh Premako
Senior Staff Writer
The Signal
the-signal.com
Santa Clarita, California
Read This Story


Madison, Wisconsin
Door-To-Door Sales Legislation

June 1, 2007
Legislation Seeks To Curb Abuses By 'rogue Van Crews'
Violence, Drug Use, Cheating Customers Reported By
Young Magazine Sales Workers
BY JENNY PRICE
Wisconsin State Journal :: CAPITAL REGION BUSINESS
JOURNAL :: 12
Friday, June 1, 2007
A Tennessee-based direct sales company that uses college students to go door-to-door on its behalf is taking issue with a bill that would make it harder for traveling sales crews to operate in Wisconsin. The legislation, which the state Senate approved this spring, has been in the works since 1999, when a van carrying a traveling magazine sales crew on the Interstate crashed near Janesville, killing seven teens and seriously injuring seven more. A similar bill passed the Senate last year but did not come up for a vote in the Assembly. Senate Bill 80 would change the definition of traveling sales workers from independent contractors to actual employees. That's one of the main provisions The Southwestern Company objects to, according to spokesman Trey Campbell. "At the heart of the matter, the safety of the young people making up those crews and the protection of Wisconsin citizens is the driving force behind this bill," Campbell said. But while the bill "seems like a quick fix to prevent operators of traveling sales crews from abusing the independent contractor status by avoiding worker's comp and scheduled paydays," Campbell said its initial language would also prevent law-abiding and legitimate companies, like his, from operating as direct sellers. A similar bill failed to win passage in the New Jersey Legislature last year, but Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, the main sponsor of the Wisconsin bill, said action on the issue is long overdue here. "There are just horrific stories out there and examples as to why this is needed," Erpenbach said. A New York Times story published earlier this year -- based on interviews with more than 50 current and former members of magazine sales crews -- found many traveled in unsafe vehicles operated by unlicensed drivers. Those interviewed for the article also reported incidents of violence, drug use and cheating customers. "I'm sure there's examples all over the country everyday where something goes wrong or an employee is mistreated," Erpenbach said. Campbell agrees there's a need to curb the abuses by "rogue van crews" but maintains those enterprises are vastly different from other kinds of door-to-door sales enterprises that operate within the law, including Southwestern, which contracts with thousands of college students each summer who live with a local host family. "The superficial similarities end once you get past the youth of the college students and the fact they 'travel' in order to relocate to another town for the summer," Campbell said. And Campbell said the bill could take away a significant entrepreneurial opportunity for students who are essentially running their own small business. Last summer, 30 UW-Madison made $387,665 gross profit, he said. Still, Erpenbach said Southwestern's request to amend the definition of traveling sales crews in his bill is not realistic. "To exempt one company is ridiculous," he said. "They think it's a good idea except for them," Erpenbach said. "They may be a fine company but that's not the point. They're in an industry that isn't really regulated at all." The bill also has vigorous support from families of the Janesville van crash victims, led by Phil Ellenbecker, whose 18-year-old daughter, Malinda Turvey, died in the accident. The driver of the van was trying to switch out of his seat to avoid being detected for operating without a license. Ellenbecker has been fighting for the bill for several years and spoke in favor of it during a Senate hearing last year. Ellenbecker testified the bill was intended to protect young sales people and their potential customers in Wisconsin "from the brutal violence that has plagued the traveling door-to-door sales industry both here in Wisconsin and across the country. "The bill is a matter of public safety and as such requires that the needs of the many must outweigh the needs of the few."

ON THE WEB

Wisconsin Legislature: www.legis.state.wi.us

The Southwestern Company: www.southwestern.com
BY JENNY PRICE
Wisconsin State Journal :: CAPITAL REGION BUSINESS
JOURNAL :: 12
madison.com
Madison, Wisconsin
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Hanover, Pennsylvania
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

June 1, 2007
Police: Be cautious with magazine sales
The Evening Sun
EVENING SUN ONLINE
Article Launched: 06/01/2007 11:44:07 AM EDT
Hanover, PA
Hanover Police are advising residents to be cautious after several complaints in the past week about a group of individuals going door to door to solicit sales of magazines. Several residents questioned whether the solicitation was legitimate and complained of the sales tactics used by the male subjects involved, police said. Officers located a person soliciting sales of magazines on West Avenue and found he had no identification and no permit issued by the borough. He was informed to quit until he obtained the proper permits, police said. Police said residents should be cautious in door-to-door sales or solicitations from individuals who do not have identification or a borough-issued permit. The man contacted by police could provide no proof his attempted solicitations were that of a legitimate business he was working for, other than to inform police he was working with several other people and they were in the Hanover area working.
The Evening Sun
EVENING SUN ONLINE
eveningsun.com
Hanover, Pennsylvania
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Fairfield, Connecticut
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

May 30, 2007
Magazine Solicitors Must Have Permit: Police
By Erin Lynch
Fairfield Citizen-News
Article Launched: 05/30/2007 09:37:38 AM EDT
The Police Department is asking residents to be observant after two men were issued citations this past weekend for selling magazine subscriptions without a vender's permit, which is against the town ordinance. According to police, on May 18, Wesley Malcolm, 19, of Ohio, was issued a $184 infraction after a Rose Hill Road resident complained to police that a man had been ringing her doorbell, non-stop, for the past 20 minutes. The complainant, police said, never answered the door but believed the man was selling magazine subscriptions. When police arrived on scene, an investigation showed that Malcolm was selling magazines without a permit, police said. Another incident occurred on May 19 after police received a complaint from a Bronson Road resident that a man "with a very aggressive sales pitch" was at her door trying to sell her magazines. When police arrived on scene they found that the man, Chaz McGee, 26, of Louisiana was selling magazines without a vendor's permit. Not only did McGee receive a citation for that, police said, he was also charged with selling goods without a Connecticut sales tax number, which is against the law. McGee was arrested and released on a written promise to appear in court Tuesday. Police said both men were working for Omni Horizon, based in Iowa. These two incidents, police said, are nothing new to the area, especially in the warmer months. Capt. Gary MacNamara said that whenever the warmer weather starts, "we anticipate a large number of calls regarding these types of complaints."
According to the Police Department's Web site, www.fpdct.com , residents should know that a solicitor:
*Cannot make any statements that misrepresent the activity for which they have been authorized by their permit to solicit.

*May be fraudulent if they: behave aggressively, act threatening or try to make you feel guilty for not wanting what they are selling or pressure you for an immediate decision and demand cash only; refuse to supply paperwork to substantiate what they claim to be selling or to give a contact phone number and address for which they claim to work; ask for your bank account or Social Security numbers; or attempt to make entry into your home, by opening doors or entering under the guise of having to use the bathroom or asking for food or water. MacNamara said it is all right for any resident who feels uncertain about a solicitor at his or her door to call the police at 254-4804.
By Erin Lynch
Fairfield Citizen-News
fairfieldcitizen-news.com
Fairfield, Connecticut
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Vail, Colorado
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

May 29, 2007
‘Honesty doesn’t make me money’
Dishonesty about where proceeds from magazine sales
go isn’t illegal in county, D.A. says
Steve Lynn
Vail Daily
May 29, 2007
EAGLE COUNTY — Honesty wasn’t a part of the job description of her door-to-door magazine sales job, Latoya Davison says. Davison, 20, said she left Kay’s Naturals LLC, after Avon police arrested her on suspicion of theft for, according to police accounts, deceiving a Wildridge woman about where proceeds from a door-to-door book sale would go. “We knew that it was morally wrong,” she said. “As far as illegal goes, we weren’t clear on that.” Kay’s Naturals LLC salespeople did not break any Colorado laws when they lied to Eagle County residents about where proceeds from their sales would go, said District Attorney Mark Hurlbert. Salespeople told Eagle County residents that the money from their high-priced books — around $50 each — would go to a soccer camp, but money went toward their commission, police said. Managers at the Phoenix-based Kay’s Naturals know that employees use the “soccer camp canvas,” as Davison calls it, she said. “They don’t condone it, but they don’t do anything to prevent it,” Davison said. Kay’s Naturals LLC has not responded to e-mails requesting comment for this story or for previous stories. Ashley Renee Jones, 22-year-old Arizona resident, and Davison, 20-year-old New Jersey resident, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and criminal attempt to commit other misdemeanor, according to an Avon police report. Davison also was charged with theft and Jones was charged with false reporting to authorities, said Krista Jaramillo, spokeswoman for the Avon police department. Jones refused to comment. These people who claimed to work for Kay’s Naturals were using a legitimate company’s name to commit theft, said Ann Jones Kazemzadeh, president of Kay’s Naturals Inc., a different company. Kazemzadeh’s Kay’s Naturals sells high-protein snacks for athletes and diabetics, not books, she said. “If we could find out who they are or where they are then, absolutely, we would stick our lawyers on them,” Kazemzadeh said. Around 2002, the company began receiving calls from people across the United States who said they were victims of scams in which someone had used the name Kay’s Naturals. The calls come in waves and then die down for some months, she said. Giving door-to-door salespeople a bank account or credit card number could lead to identity theft and financial loss, police said. Consumers should ask for written information about the company, including information about canceling orders, said Sara Cross, spokeswoman for the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. “They should be willing to give out their information so you can contact them at a later date,” she said. Vail and Avon residents can ask solicitors to display their peddler’s licenses that those towns require. Unincorporated Eagle County does not require a license for solicitors, said Brenda Wright, accounting generalist for Eagle County. Magazine salespeople at companies like Kay’s Naturals work to gain points for trips to exotic locations, such as Hawaii, Davison said. Davison called magazine selling an “addictive lifestyle” — salespeople work hard during the day and party hard at night, she said. Salespeople also make commission, according to Kay’s Naturals LLC’s Web site, which mentions nothing about a soccer camp. The woman who reported Davison and her co-worker to police willingly handed her a check for books, Davison said. Davison never stole anything and the woman would have received her books, she said. “Honesty doesn’t make me money,” Davison said. “Honesty didn’t feed me when I was out there.” Michael Hanrahan invited a group of young men selling magazines door-to-door into his Homestead home to watch football in September. He received his magazines seven months after placing the order, he said. Hanrahan acknowledged he and his neighbors — who also bought magazines — may not be as wary as they could be, he said. “We’re all pretty trusting here in the valley,” Hanrahan said.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.
Steve Lynn
Vail Daily
vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado
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Douglas County, Colorado
Magazine Salesman Warning !!!

May 29, 2007
Castle Rock Police and Dougco Sheriff blotter
Incidents reported by sheriff's office
Contributed by: Joseph Kirchmer/YourHub.com on 5/29/2007
A 22-year-old Florida man and a 20-year-old Kansas woman were issued summonses May 18 for attempting to sell magazines door-to-door in the gated Castle Pines Village subdivision. According to a report, the man and the woman were picked up by the community's security guard at 2:32 p.m. on the 300 block of Paragon Way after allegedly getting into an argument with a resident. The resident, a 73-year-old Castle Pines man, stated the man and woman attempted to sell magazines to him earlier in the day. After he told them he was calling security, the Florida man became irate and allegedly stated, "Go (expletive) yourself" and "I will whip your (expletive)." The magazine seller also allegedly stated his father is an FBI agent. The man was arrested on suspicion of menacing and the woman was issued a summons for door-to-door sales and no proof of insurance.
Contributed by: Joseph Kirchmer/YourHub.com
denver.yourhub.com
Douglas County, Colorado
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Lincoln, Nebraska
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

May 25, 2007
More tickets handed to 'annoying' magazine sellers
By Brian Krans, bkrans@qconline.com
Print date: 05/25/2007
Posted Online: May 24, 2007 6:00 PM;
updated May 25, 2:25 p.m.
Six more traveling magazine salespeople were ticketed Thursday, following the arrest of six others earlier this week in the Quad-Cities. This time around, six salespeople were charged by LeClaire police with various offenses, mostly for soliciting without a license. Like many others in the Quad-Cities, LeClaire requires traveling salespeople to register with the city. Other cities, including Moline, Rock Island, Silvis, Davenport and Bettendorf have received complaints about these traveling magazine-selling groups. Arrested Thursday were Bi Chon Sol Jung, 19, of Santa Clara, Calif.; Patricia B. Calabro, 26, of Fultondale, Ala.; Jeffrey S. Dawley, 23, of Chicago; Jeremy L. Evans, 18, of Napoleon, Ohio; and David C. Dumas Jr., 20, of Green Bay, Wis. A court affidavit states Danny W. Ramshur, 26, of Vero Beach, Fla., was the driver of the van carrying the sales crew, and was stopped in the 100 block of 4th St., LeClaire. He was cited for driving without a license. Other affidavits state a Mr. Dumas had other non-extraditable warrants for failing to appear on similar charges in other states. Mr. Dawley allegedly gave police a fake birthdate and social security number not in police records, an affidavit states. In affidavits with the other arrests from Davenport and Bettendorf police on Thursday, police say the group -- all college-age people from all across the country -- are part of numerous mobile magazine-selling teams under constant scrutiny for scamming and pressured sales techniques. On Thursday, Davenport police allege Jason Childs, 22, of Casa Grande, Ariz., and Kyle Blivens, 22, of Sunland, Calif. used "aggressive sales techniques," including not leaving a woman's house despite her requests until another relative arrived home. Five people pleaded guilty Thursday to pay $10 fines under Davenport's "annoying persons" ordinance. Capt. Scott Harris of the Rock Island Police Department said within the past few weeks police stopped a similar group from selling door-to-door in the city. They weren't ticketed, but told if they wanted to keep selling, they had to get an "itinerant merchant license." "We just shut them down," he said. "Every once in a while, they'll get the license, not always, but sometimes." Those involving Davenport police were charged under an "annoying persons" ordinance for trying to sell the subscriptions as independent contractors for a magazine sales company. In each instance, the homeowners told the salesperson to leave, but the person persisted, making it a crime, according to affidavits filed in Scott County District Court. Charged were Candis Hlavinka, 21, of Scappouse, Ore.; Laura Bunny, 22, of Indianapolis, Ind.; Jason Childs, 22, of Casa Grande, Ariz.; and Kyle Blivens, 22, of Sunland, Calif. They were arrested between 4 and 5 p.m. in the 4800 block of West Oakwood Court and 5335 N. Gaines Street. Court affidavits state Mr. Childs and Mr. Blivens used "aggressive sales techniques," including not leaving a woman's house despite her requests until another relative arrived home. Bettendorf police arrested Dustin H. Burnside, 18, of Whitefield, N.H., and charged him with solicitation without a license. He was arrested around 7 p.m. Wednesday in the 2400 block of Avalon Court after trying to solicit magazines to the homeowner, the affidavit states. He had been warned two blocks away that if he tried to solicit again, he would be arrested, the affidavit states. In court Thursday morning, all except for Mr. Blivens pleaded guilty, the majority of them paying $10 fines with court costs. Mr. Blivens pleaded innocent and had his trial set for June 10. All those who paid fines and had money back after paying a bond, chose not to have their checks sent to their addresses, but to the same post office box in Colorado. Similar groups have been involved in several highly publicized fatal accidents, scamming of customers, poor working conditions and numerous civil lawsuits across the country. One such case with ties to the Quad-Cities involved a company run partially by a former Coal Valley woman, Karleen Hillery. She's been named in several lawsuits after settling for $1.85 million in 2004 related to a fatal crash in Wisconsin that killed seven in a cross-country crew of young magazine salespeople. Twelve people were thrown from a van in 1999 near Janesville, Wis., after it rolled when he driver tried switching seats while a state trooper followed. The driver -- who didn't have a license at the time -- was sentenced to serve seven years in prison for homicide charges. Ms. Hillery was part of the settlement in a Wisconsin civil lawsuit as owner of Subscriptions Plus, one of the companies that employed sellers. Other companies she owned, Circulation I, Inc. and Circulation II, Inc., were the target of a 2002 lawsuit from the Illinois Attorney General's Office alleging Ms. Hillery and her businesses employed unsuspecting college students to sell magazine subscriptions. Subscribers were told they'd receive their first issue of the magazines within four months, but no one ever received a magazine of a refund, the attorney general's office alleged. The suit was settled in 2005, according to court records. Ms. Hillery was last known to be living in Arizona after leaving the Quad-Cities in 2001.
By Brian Krans, bkrans@qconline.com
Quad Cities Online
journalstar.com
Dispatch, Argus, Leader
Moline, Illnois
Rock Island, Illinois
Davenport, Iowa
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Texas
Teen Summer Job Scam Warning !!!

May 25, 2007
Teenagers Should Beware Of Summer Jobs Scams
The Tyler Morning Telegraph
The Tyler Paper.com
Posted on Friday, May 25, 2007
Another school year is coming to a close and thousands of Texas youngsters and parents are making plans on how to fill the days of a summer break from classes. For many teenagers the summer season is a time to look for temporary jobs to earn some extra spending money. Perhaps more importantly, summer jobs also provide valuable experience in the real workplace for Texas teens. Part-time or seasonal employment jobs provide an opportunity for teens to gain valuable skills and build a solid work ethic that will serve them well in later years. But when youngsters go out looking for that summer job there are some important things to keep in mind, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott points out. Scams are big business for a lot of seedy operators these days so it should not come as a big surprise that their territory includes employment scams. When considering a summer job, parents and teens should be cautious of such scams, Abbot said. Some tried and true advice often quoted is if an offer sounds "too good to be true" it usually is. That holds true in the area of employment. Some prospective employers target teens for work that involves long hours and minimal pay or benefits, Abbott cautioned. An example is cited in some traveling sales crews who recruit teens to sell magazines or other products door-to-door, in parking lots or local strip malls. While there are many legitimate businesses of this type, some organizations falsely claim to be charities, inviting teens to work for a social cause, such as the environment or a scholarship drive. Crew bosses may attract teens with fliers promising a fun job, travel, new friends, parties, prizes and above all, money, the attorney general said. The reality of a traveling sales crew is usually much different. On such jobs teens often work at night with no adult supervision, travel in cramped passenger vans and peddle their product in unfamiliar neighborhoods across the country. Despite 16-hour days and no benefits, the money teens earned from subscription sales is often siphoned off by crew leaders for meals, lodging and other expenses. Teens that join traveling sales crews often are employed as "independent contractors," which allows crew bosses to escape most labor regulations and other protections, Abbott pointed out. As a result, these young workers can be held liable for neglecting to charge sales tax, making false claims about a product or operating without a permit. One thing teens should be wary of is ads looking for "mystery shoppers." Abbott said this scheme has cost unsuspecting job hunters thousands of dollars. After responding to the ad, job seekers receive a cashier's check and a letter of congratulations instructing the job seeker to send the money to an address out of the country. The checks turn out to be bogus, and victims have difficulty recouping their losses. Internet job offers also should be approached with caution, particularly if they are unsolicited offers from unknown senders, it is pointed out. With the advent of social networking sites, millions of teens are online every day. Just as an online predator can pose as a 14-year-old child, a scam artist posing as an employment recruiter or potential employer can exploit online teens. Online scammers pitch attractive employment opportunities that usually contain some variation of the same hook: the job seeker must first either pay in advance for out-of-pocket expenses or provide sensitive personal information such as bank account numbers or Social Security numbers. Requirements like these always should send up a red flag to any job hunter that this may be a job scam, Abbott said. But it is noted that federal law requires employers to collect employees' Social Security numbers, so even reputable companies will require that information from their employees. The good news is that thousands of summer jobs are always available to Texas teens each year, and most of them are legitimate work opportunities. Yet teens are advised to beware of any offers that include high-pressure sales pitches, advance fees or offers from unfamiliar companies or organizations. Summer jobs provide teens a chance for exciting new learning opportunities, developing important skills and earning money. It is important to keep in mind, however, offers that sound "too good to be true" usually are.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph
The Tyler Paper.com
tylerpaper.com
Texas
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Canton, Michigan
Magazine Salesman Warning !!!

May 22, 2007
Canton Twp.: Police search for home thief
Wayne Briefs
Reporter / The Detroit News
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Township police on Monday said they are searching for a man posing as a door-to-door magazine salesman who stole about $500 from a resident who let the man inside his home to use the restroom. The man, believed to be 19, was wearing an orange baseball cap and jersey and is thought to be responsible for a rash of other larceny and home invasion complaints in the same area, police said. Anyone with information should contact the Canton Township Detective Bureau at (734) 394-5420.
Wayne Briefs
Reporter / The Detroit News
detnews.com
Canton, Michigan
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Lincoln, Nebraska
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

May 20, 2007
Teen selling magazines reports sex assault
By the Lincoln Journal Star
Sunday, May 20, 2007 - 08:52:33 pm CDT
An 18-year-old from Iowa told police she was trying to sell magazines to a man at 1551 N. 51st St. Saturday, when he invited her inside and sexually assaulted her. Police cited Michael J. Wright, 31, on suspicion of 3rd degree sexual assault after he told officers he made an advance on the teen but did nothing else. He was not lodged in jail, Lincoln Police Capt. David Beggs said. The victim told police Wright invited her inside the house and started fondling himself while she was giving her sales pitch to him. He then allegedly pushed her up against a wall, pulled up her shirt, then put his hands down her pants and tried to take her belt off, Beggs said. The victim told police Wright offered to buy three magazines from her if she went to bed with him.
By the Lincoln Journal Star
journalstar.com
Lincoln, Nebraska
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Wisconsin
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

May 15, 2007
Officer threatened, salesman arrested in Allouez incident
Lee Reinsch/Press-Gazette
Green Bay Press Gazette
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Posted May 15, 2007
The village is refraining from issuing permits to a magazine company after an altercation with an employee led to a threat to a police officer. It happened Thursday on Terraview Court. Officer John Flannery approached a man who was selling magazine subscriptions door to door to tell him the permit issued to him in Green Bay wasn't valid in Allouez. The man became unruly, so Flannery arrested him for disorderly conduct. During the arrest, the man threatened Flannery's wife and children. Allouez residents who encounter people selling magazines door to door should call the Brown County Sheriff's Department nonemergency line at (920) 448-4210.
Lee Reinsch/Press-Gazette
Green Bay Press Gazette
greenbaypressgazette.com
Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Warning !!!
Wisconsin Residents and Homeowners


If you are confronted by a traveling magazine of cleaner salesman
call your local police immediately !!!

Here is a list of Wisconsin Police Departments
Wisconsin Police Departments
You can also find your local police department with officer.com
officer.com
Wisconsin residents can file a complaint with the following state agencies:
Wisconsin Department of Justice
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection
For Consumer Information on Door to Door Sales in Wisconsin:
Wisconsin Consumer Info

If you have been adversely affected
by traveling magazine of cleaner sales crews in any way
please contact the DMPG WebMaster:

WebMaster


Denver Colorado
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

May 15, 2007
Scammers Claim to Work for D.U., Children's Hospital
Police: Scam artists going door to door to raise money
Last Edited: Tuesday, 15 May 2007, 9:58 PM MDT
Created: Tuesday, 15 May 2007, 9:58 PM MDT
by Kim Posey
KDVR-TV, Fox 31
DENVER -- Aurora residents want to get a warning out about a new scam. People living in the Tallyns Reach neighborhood say two young men were going door-to-door saying that they were with the University of Denver baseball team and they were trying to raise money to get to the championship game in Hawaii. They said they were selling book and magazine subscriptions for places like Children's Hospital and would get part of the proceeds for their trip. Several neighbors wrote checks, but then did some research. It turns our DU doesn't even have a baseball team and Children's Hospital doesn't participate in any door-to-door sales programs like this. The Vice President of the Children's Hospital Foundation, Kathy Crawley, says, "We ask the public to be very cautious. Please do not buy magazines from salespeople who claim to work on behalf of The Children's Hospital." With that information some neighbors canceled their checks. One woman actually confronted the young men at another home. Mary Joyce says, "I just got out of my car and said you are lying. I want my money back because this isn't ok. You can't do this to people."
by Kim Posey
KDVR-TV, Fox 31
myfoxcolorado.com
Denver, Colorado
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North Carolina
Magazine Sales Company
Banned From State

May 9, 2007
Trinity Public Relations
Door-To-Door Traveling Magazine Company
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina

Magazine Sales Company Owners
James A. Davis and Lourdes J. Davis
Permanently Barred From Owning Or Operating
Any Business In North Carolina That Sells Magazines.


North Carolina
Attorney General Roy Cooper
Press Releases:
Read NC AG Press Release 05/03/07 - PDF
Read NC AG Press Release 09/27/06 - PDF


Media Coverage on Banned Magazine Sales Company:

North Carolina Slams Door on Magazine Peddler
By Mark Huffman
ConsumerAffairs.Com
May 9, 2007
Charlotte, North Carolina-based Trinity Public Relations sells magazines door to door nationwide, but from now on it won’t be knocking on any doors in its home state. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Copper says he has obtained a consent decree, barring the company from doing business in the state. “These door-to-door sellers agreed to change their ways but we continued to hear from people who weren’t getting their magazines or their money back,” said Cooper. “Now we’re shutting the door so they can’t do business here.” Under the agreement, Trinity is permanently barred from owning or operating any business in North Carolina that sells magazines. The company must also cancel contracts with consumers who complained to Cooper’s office and refund their money. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division said it has received 70 consumer complaints against Trinity since 2005. Another 111 consumers complained to the Better Business Bureau in Charlotte, which helped with the case. Consumers complained that Trinity sales agents tried to play on their sympathies by claiming to be ill, disabled or in financial need. Some even claimed that the proceeds would go to a local charity or school fundraiser. When the magazines didn’t arrive, people who contacted the company said that Trinity made excuses and false promises. “Beware of companies that use sob stories to get you to open your wallet,” Cooper cautioned consumers.
By Mark Huffman
ConsumerAffairs.Com
Read This Story


Firm banned from doing business in N.C.
Charlotte Business Journal - May 4, 2007
A Charlotte-based company that sells magazines door-to-door nationwide has been banned from doing business in North Carolina. Wake County Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan signed a consent judgment Friday between N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper and Trinity Public Relations of Charlotte and its owners, James and Lourdes Davis. The Davises are permanently barred from owning or operating any business in North Carolina that sells magazines. Under the judgment, Trinity also must cancel contracts with consumers who complained to Cooper's office and refund their money. The attorney general's consumer protection division says it has received 70 complaints against Trinity since 2005. An additional 111 consumers complained to the Better Business Bureau in Charlotte. Cooper's office says it has resolved 178 of the complaints, obtaining refunds for consumers who requested them. Consumers complained Trinity sales agents claimed to be ill, disabled or in financial need. Some told consumers the proceeds from magazine sales would go to a local charity or school fund-raiser, Cooper's office says. When the magazines didn't arrive, people who contacted the company said Trinity made excuses and false promises. "These door-to-door sellers agreed to change their ways, but we continued to hear from people who weren't getting their magazines or their money back," Cooper says. "Now we're shutting the door so they can't do business here." Cooper's office began investigating Trinity in December 2005 after receiving complaints from consumers.
Charlotte Business Journal
charlotte.bizjournals.com
Charlotte, North Carolina
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Cooper Slams Door on Magazine Sales WRAL.com Posted: May. 3, 2007
Raleigh — Charlotte-based Trinity Public Relations, which sells magazines door-to-door, can no longer do business in North Carolina, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Thursday. The announcement comes 2 years after Cooper’s office first started investigating the company. “These door-to-door sellers agreed to change their ways. but we continued to hear from people who weren’t getting their magazines or their money back,” Cooper said. “Now, we’re shutting the door so they can’t do business here.” According to Cooper, many of the company’s salespeople claimed to be ill, disabled or in financial need in their sales pitches. In many cases, consumers believed the stories and ordered magazines, but the magazines never arrived. “Beware of companies that use sob stories to get you to open your wallet,” Cooper cautioned consumers. “Check them out with my office before you hand over your hard-earned money.” The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division received 70 consumer complaints against Trinity since 2005. Another 111 consumers filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau in Charlotte.
WRAL-TV5 and WRAL.com
wral.com
Raleigh, North Carolina
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Charlotte business asked to halt questionable trade practices
Better Business Bureau Consumer Foundation
Volume 5, Issue 9, Sept. 2006
BBB Consumer Foundation executive director, Maryanne Dailey and NC Attorney General Roy Cooper recently joined forces to secure changes in the marketing practices of a Charlotte-based door-to-door magazine subscription company. Trinity Publications had received a total of 140 complaints between the two agencies. Under an agreement, the company's sales agents are barred from selling magazines by playing on consumers' sympathies with claims of illness, being disabled or in financial need. Sales reps may not claim that the company's sales benefit charity or that they are competing for college scholarships. Other requirements are imposed upon the company as well. Eligible consumers who file complaints against the company within the next 90 days with either the BBB or the NC Consumer Protection Division of the NC Attorney General's office entitled to full refunds.
Better Business Bureau Consumer Foundation
charlotte.bbb.org
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Montrose, Colorado
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

May 9, 2007
Youth magazines sales might not be what they seem
Staff Report
MONTROSE Daily Press
MONTROSE — The Better Business Bureau of the Southwest warns consumer that youths selling magazines may not be doing so for the local schools or charities. According to a press release, many youth sales crews who are selling magazines door-to-door are working for Face-to-Face Technologies, which is doing business as Great Lakes Circulation, Inc. The BBB Denver reports that this firm is an order processing center for magazines and book sales groups. The company also does business as Fun Sales; Gold Coast Subscriptions; Magazines, Inc.; and Youth Incentive Marketing. According to the BBB, consumers have reported that the prices of the magazines subscriptions are usually higher than if they had just subscribed to the magazine. This is because a portion of the amount is kept by the sales group for the purpose of fundraising.
Staff Report
MONTROSE Daily Press
montrosepress.com
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Clay County, Missouri
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

May 8, 2007
Clay County Warns About Possible Scam
KMBC-TV
TheKansasCityChannel.com
POSTED: 8:04 am CDT May 8, 2007
UPDATED: 8:16 am CDT May 8, 2007
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Clay County Sheriff's Department has issued a warning about a possible scam, KMBC reported on Tuesday. The Sheriff's Department said a young man is going door to door claiming to be be a student raising money for college and selling magazine subscriptions. Investigators said that neither the man nor his company has a business license. The company has a long list complaints against it regarding the failure to deliver those subscriptions, the Sheriff's Department said. Sheriff's deputies want to hear from anyone who is approached by door-to-door magazine salesmen.
KMBC-TV
TheKansasCityChannel.com
thekansascitychannel.com
Kansas City, Missouri
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Texas
Teen Summer Job Warning !!!

May 07, 2007
Texas Teens: Beware of Summer Job Scams
Weekly AG Columns - May 07, 2007
By Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas
With the school year winding down, thousands of Texas teenagers will start looking for summer jobs. Teens can gain valuable skills and build a solid work ethic from part-time or seasonal employment. Whether saving for college, helping with the family budget, or simply earning some extra spending money, summer jobs provide valuable experience to teen Texans. When considering a summer job, parents and teens alike should be cautious of employment scams. If an offer sounds “too good to be true,” it usually is. Some prospective employers target teens for work that involves long hours and minimal pay or benefits. For example, some traveling sales crews recruit teens to sell magazines or other products door-to-door, in parking lots or local strip malls. While many of these are legitimate businesses, some organizations falsely claim to be charities, inviting teens to work for a social cause, like the environment or a scholarship drive. Crew bosses attract teens with fliers promising a fun job, travel, new friends, parties, prizes, and above all: money. The reality of a traveling sales crew is usually much different. Teens often work at night with no adult supervision, travel in cramped passenger vans and peddle magazine subscriptions in un-familiar neighborhoods across the country. Despite 16-hour days and no benefits, the money teens earn from subscription sales is often siphoned off by crew leaders for meals, lodging, and other expenses. Teens who join traveling sales crews are often employed as “independent contractors,” which allows crew bosses to escape most labor regulations and other protections. As a result, these young workers can be held liable for neglecting to charge sales tax, making false claims about a product or operating without a permit. Teens should also be wary of classified ads looking for “mystery shoppers.” This scheme has cost un-suspecting job hunters thousands of dollars. After responding to the ad, job seekers receive a cashier’s check and a letter of congratulations instructing the job seeker to send the money to an address out of the country. The checks turn out to be bogus, and victims have difficulty recouping their losses. Internet job offers should also be approached with caution, particularly if they are unsolicited offers from unknown senders. With the advent of social networking sites, millions of teens are online every day. Just as an online predator can pose as a 14-year-old child, a scam artist posing as an employment recruiter or potential employer can exploit online teens. Online scammers pitch attractive employment opportunities that usu-ally contain some variation of the same hook: the job seeker must first either pay in advance for out-of-pocket expenses or provide sensitive personal information like bank account numbers or social security numbers. Requirements like these should send up a red flag to any job hunter that this may be a job scam. Note, however, that federal law requires employers to collect employees’ social security numbers, so even reputable companies will require that information from their employees. Thousands of summer jobs will be available to Texas teens in the coming weeks, and most of those will be legitimate work opportunities. Teens should beware, however, of any offers that include high-pressure sales pitches, advance fees or offers from unfamiliar companies or organizations. Offers that sound “too good to be true” usually are!

--------------------

POINTS TO REMEMBER
SUMMER JOB TIPS
Be wary of unsolicited job offers that arrive through E-mail. Verify the identifying information of the company with which you are applying, ncluding telephone numbers, fax numbers, and main address. Do not trust offers from outside the area, especially overseas. Never trust a company or individual that requires you to pay fees up-front to find work. Be wary of requests for sensitive personal information. Information on this and other topics is available on the Attorney General’s Web site at www.oag.state.tx.us.
Weekly AG Columns - May 07, 2007
By Greg Abbott
oag.state.tx.us
Attorney General of Texas
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Arizona
Magazine Sales Warning !!!

May 4, 2007
Arizona Attorney General
Terry Goddard Warns of Magazine Sales Scam
Phoenix, Ariz. – May 4, 2007
(Phoenix, Ariz. – May 4, 2007) Attorney General Terry Goddard today warned consumers about a door-to-door magazine sales scam that is targeting cities throughout Arizona.

Residents of at least five Valley cities and Prescott have been visited by young people who identified themselves as students from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. The “students” told residents they were selling magazine subscriptions to earn money for a summer trip to London. Residents were asked to write checks payable to Integrity TGM. Several “students” said they lived in the neighborhood or nearby the homes they visited. This is a scam. The Cronkite School does not solicit donations door-to-door and is not associated with this magazine sales effort. The school has recently received an increased number of complaints and inquiries about these door-to-door sales. For more information from the Cronkite School, please contact Associate Dean Frederic Leigh at 480-965-5011 or frederic.leigh@asu.edu.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at 602.542.5763; in Tucson at 520.628.6504; or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1.800.352.8431.

To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General’s Office has 31 satellite offices throughout Arizona with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours are posted on the Attorney General’s Web site at www.azag.gov.
Please visit the Attorney General’s Web site to sign up for scam alerts and weekly messages from Attorney General Goddard.
Arizona Attorney General
azag.gov
Arizona
View Original AG Press Release In PDF Format:
Magazine Sales Scam
PDF Files:
Terry Goddard Warns of Magazine Sales Scam
and
Phoenix Children’s Warns of Fraudulent Door-to-Door Solicitations


Arizona
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

May 2, 2007
Magazine Scam Targets Journalism School
Ground Report
May 02, 2007
One of the biggest door-to-door scams is back, according to Arizona State University. Reports have come from several cities in the Phoenix area that young adults are going door to door selling magazine subscriptions to collect money for a trip to London, the University reported in an e-mail to students. The sales people for the scam are representing themselves as students of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, according to University personnel. They were collecting checks in the name of a company called Integrity TGM. There have been other instances of this kind of scam in the past, but recently the numbers have skyrocketed. The School of Journalism has denied any connection to the company. "To reiterate, the Cronkite School has no connection with this magazine scam," representatives said in the e-mail. Requests for information should be sent to Frederic Leigh, Associate Dean of the Cronkite school at 480-965-5011, or Frederic.leigh@asu.edu.
Ground Report
groundreport.com
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Arizona
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

May, 2007
Magazine Sales Scam
These People Are Not From ASU
From Judy Hedding
Your Guide to Phoenix, AZ.
Arizona's Attorney General issued a warning to Arizona consumers about a door-to-door magazine sales scam. Residents of at least five cities in the Phoenix area have been visited by young people who identified themselves as students from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. They told residents they were selling magazine subscriptions to earn money for a summer trip to London. Residents were asked to write checks payable to Integrity TGM. Several "students" said they lived in the neighborhood or nearby the homes they visited. This is a scam. The Cronkite School does not solicit donations door-to-door and is not associated with this magazine sales effort. The school has recently received an increased number of complaints and inquiries about these door-to-door sales. If you have questions to ask the Cronkite School about this magazine sales scam, please contact Associate Dean Frederic Leigh at 480-965-5011 or email him at frederic.leigh@asu.edu. If you've had this experience, or you have been scammed by these people, here's how to file a complaint.
From Judy Hedding
phoenix.about.com
Phoenix, Arizona
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Boulder, Colorado
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

April 28, 2007
Boulder Police blotter
The Campus Press
Issue date: 4/28/07 Section: News
A 22-year-old Michigan man was arrested on suspicion of being a fugitive from justice. Police contacted him in the area of Bear Mountain Drive and Bear Mountain Court after receiving a call about unlicensed solicitors. The man had an extraditable warrant from Ventura County, Calif., for a probation violation on an original charge of battery with serious bodily injury. The man also had a second warrant from the Illinois Department of Corrections on a probation violation. The man claimed to be selling magazines for Magazines Inc.
The Campus Press
Boulder Police blotter
thecampuspress.com
Boulder Colorado
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Lincoln, Illinois
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

April 26, 2007
Salesmen allegedly steal from homes in Lincoln
Peoria Journal Star
Police, fire and courts
Thursday, April 26, 2007
LINCOLN (GNS) - The Lincoln Police Department is investigating three separate residential burglary reports involving two men selling magazines door to door. The incidents occurred April 18 and April 19 in the 600 block of Seventh Street and the 100 block of Feldman Drive. The men entered the homes and stole checks and credit cards while inside. They are described as two young, white males who are clean cut and driving a silver car. "They were selling all types of magazines," Lincoln Police Detective Paul Adams said. "The magazine company is legitimate, but, however, while they were there they started taking items. "They are not taking entire check books. They are just taking single checks. Some people may want to check their check books to make sure all the checks are there." The suspects were not registered with the city of Lincoln to sell door to door. Police urge residents if they are approached at their home by anyone selling merchandise to ask to see proof of registration with the city. If the person is not registered with the city of Lincoln or cannot provide proof, contact the Lincoln Police Department immediately, Adams said. Anyone with any information concerning this or any crime in the Lincoln/Logan County area is urged to call CrimeStoppers at (217) 732-3000.
Peoria Journal Star
pjstar.com
Peoria, Illinois
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Austin, Texas

April 26, 2007
Looking Out For Door-To-Door Dangers
KXAN-TV36
April 26, 2007 09:47 PM CDT
Young people on magazine crews are promised hundreds of dollars a week and a chance to travel the country, but they come back with horror stories about drug use, long hours and much worse. Here's how it works: Crews are dropped off in a neighborhood or apartment complex, and they don't see the manager again for hours. They are pressured to sell, sell, sell. Many of them wind up in situations they can't handle, and some never come home. "They told me, basically, that I would be going door to door, trying to sell magazine subscriptions," said Andrew, who didn't want KXAN to show his face. You've probably been on the other end of that knock at the door, but your annoyance at the person trying to sell you a magazine subscription pales in comparison to what people such as Andrew went through on a traveling crew. "I was just down on my luck, and somebody happened to come through," Andrew said. The 20-year old was recruited by a traveling crew outside the Salvation Army last year. "I looked at this as a good opportunity, because I could get some money in my pocket," Andrew said. "They told me I'd be making $200 to $300 each week." Andrew was homeless, and he desperately needed a job. "What did you make when you worked for them for three days?" asked KXAN's Shannon Wolfson. "I made only a couple bucks in pocket change," Andrew replied. "The reality is they end up in places they weren't prepared for," said Duncan Cormie of LifeWorks, a group that provides shelter and services to homeless youth. "They end up in situations they weren't prepared for, in sharing hotel rooms with people they weren't prepared to room with. They didn't get the money they were promised." "Lifeworks has been really good to me," Andrew said. "They're always there for me." Cormie said he sees it all the time at Lifeworks. "This fly-by-night operation comes in town, and I've had kids disappear," Cormie said. "What happened? Oh, they got a job selling magazines, and we may see them six months later with a horror story of their trip around the country." Many of those stories are highlighted on the watch group Web site ParentWatch.org, which was created to help crew children and their parents. The site has stories of drugs, sexual assaults and missing crew members. "We certainly would recommend that kids and their parents know who they are dealing with, know who they are working for," said Erin Jones of the Better Business Bureau. "I see myself as the stupid one for getting involved," Andrew said. "I've seen instances and stuff on TV that do this type of stuff, and I fell for something like that." After three days on the crew and stays in a seedy motel rooms 30 miles outside of Austin, Andrew packed his bags, with $2 in his pocket. "I left in the middle of the night, actually, because it got to the point to where I didn't feel safe," Andrew said. Andrew has a message for others considering life on a traveling crew: "Take my advice, and stick clear of these companies, because y'all don't want this kind of pain. It's not physical, but you know, it hurts still. ParentWatch.org estimated there are 50,000 young people traveling the country on door-to-door sales crews. In the summer months, that number jumps even higher, and most crew members are just barely out of high school. A major problem is a lack of laws regulating the industry.
KXAN-TV36
kxan.com
Austin, Texas
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Raleigh, North Carolina
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

April 25, 2007
Community on Alert after Suspicious Salesman
By Shae Crisson
ABC11 Eyewitness News
(04/25/07 -- RALEIGH) - Raleigh Police got a tip from other law enforcement agencies that a group of people asking for donations or selling magazine subscriptions may be headed to the area. They're trying to steal your hard earned cash and in some situations they maybe casing the neighborhood for future thefts. Some reports of this have come into police from the Bedford at Falls River community in North Raleigh. It's the same neighborhood where a jogger was nearly attacked Tuesday. Neighbors say a man's been going door-to-door trying to sell magazines. Neighbors say this man's description is similar to that of a man who tried to attack a jogger. Anne Kolb and Connie Wilkes say the man's description is too close. "He said the lady next door has bought some magazines and he named our other neighbor and says she bought some magazines would you like to buy some magazines and that he was selling them for his soccer team. He was older and no one else around and sort of suspicious," Wilkes explained. Anne Kolb adds, "Connie said that he said I had bought some and I hadn't. It was odd because he knew some of our neighbor's names and usually when people go door to door you don't get names." Officials say the man could have accessed the names from the Wake County property tax website. Along with names you can get address. Similar information is available on WhitePages.com by doing a reverse address search. Last month Durham police arrested a door-to-door magazine salesman and charged him with raping a teenage girl twice. Meanwhile, women in the Bedford community worry about the intentions of the man in their neighborhood. "You think if that person was somebody who was canvassing the neighborhood for those reasons, he could have just bolted into the house you know," Anne Kolb said. Police say they won't be able to determine whether it's the same man in both situation until a suspect is caught. The man who tried to attack the jogger is described as a white male in his 20s, 5' 10", 190 pounds with medium length shaggy, light brown hair. He was last seen driving a red/burgundy car with a loud muffler. The man who went door-to-door looked similar, but residents didn't see him in a car. Call police if you've seen him and don't open your door for someone you don't know.
By Shae Crisson
ABC11 Eyewitness News
abclocal.go.com
Raleigh, North Carolina
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Madison, Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Senate Bill SB-80

April 25, 2007
Traveling sales crew bill passes Senate
By Ryan J. Foley
Associated Press
Published: April 25, 2007
The state Senate voted Tuesday to impose regulations on traveling sales crews that would be among the toughest in the nation, aiming to improve working conditions for young people who spend summers trying to make door-to-door sales. The bill, approved 28-5, would require companies that employ the crews who sell everything from knives to encyclopedias to register with the state and tell workers in writing where they will work and what they will be paid. The legislation written by Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, also would require companies to hire sales personnel as employees rather than independent contractors who aren't subject to labor laws. It would add regulations on work hours and pay. The bill is far from becoming law. The Assembly hasn't decided how to proceed, said Bob Delaporte, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch, R-West Salem. Gov. Jim Doyle hasn't reviewed the legislation but has supported similar regulations in the past, spokesman Matt Canter said. Opponents say the regulations would drive legitimate sales businesses out of Wisconsin and rob college students of meaningful summer work. But bill supporters say the companies mislead young people into signing up for work outside of their home states, pay them infrequently and force them to work more than 80 hours a week. Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson, D-Beloit, said the legislation was designed to prevent tragedies such as a March 1999 crash on Interstate 90/39 near Janesville that killed seven members of a traveling magazine sales crew and injured five. The speeding van filled with 14 people crashed after the unlicensed driver tried to switch seats with another passenger after spotting a police car. The father of one victim, Phil Ellenbecker of Verona, has pushed lawmakers to act. A similar bill passed the Senate last year but died in the Assembly after Nashville, Tenn.-based Southwestern Co., which hires college students to sell educational materials during their summers, said the regulations would harm its business. The Senate voted 19-13 on Tuesday to reject an amendment by Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, that would have exempted companies such as Southwestern from the regulations. Erpenbach said the amendment would have created a loophole for companies to exploit. "This is not about one company," Erpenbach said. "This is about an industry that's totally unregulated in the state of Wisconsin."
By Ryan J. Foley
Associated Press
madison.com
Madison, Wisconsin
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April 24, 2007

Magazine Sales Company/Collection Agency Banned In West Virginia
By Attorney General Darrell McGraw

The following companies and their owner (CATHERINE M KEY)
have been banned in West Virginia

United Subscription Agency
(a magazine sales company owned by Catherine M. Key)
(Website: mytraveljob.com)

Check Game Solutions
(a collection agency owned by Catherine M. Key)
and
CATHERINE M KEY
Banned from doing business in West Virginia


CATHERINE M KEY and Check Game Solutions
are listed as Supporting Members of the National Field Selling Association
NFSA - Website: (www.nfsa.com) - NFSA
NFSA Supporting Member Page: NFSA Supporting Member Page

Catherine M. Key
Check Game Solutions, Inc.
1850 43rd Avenue
Suite C-10
Vero Beach FL, 32960
(800) 886-9798

Read The West Virginia AG Lawsuit

For additional information
Click Here



Cookeville, Tennessee
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

April 24, 2007
Door-to-door sellers stir complaints
Mary Jo Denton
Herald-Citizen Staff
Published April 24, 2007 11:40 AM CDT
COOKEVILLE -- Young men selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door in some Cookeville neighborhoods are using "nice" homey stories as a sales technique. The stories are designed to make the buyer comfortable, to get sympathy and to make a sale, police say. And the stories may be complete fiction. The current group passing through Cookeville also does not have the required City of Cookeville permit for door-to-door selling, city officials say. While no serious crimes have been reported as a result, police and city officials advise caution in dealing with strangers at the door. "He said he lived just down on the next street and said he was selling magazines to get a scholarship to go to London," one Cookeville woman told the Herald-Citizen. "He even said his mother was embarrassed that he had to do this, but said it was required to get the scholarship." The "nice" young man claiming to be from her own neighborhood also told her a neighbor of hers (he used her name) had just finished buying $1,500 worth of magazines from him, she said. And he offered to wash her car for her, explaining that his mother had advised him to always "do something nice for people who help you out." Charmed by his stories and thinking he was a neighbor, the woman bought what she later determined was an overpriced subscription to a magazine. Later she felt she had been conned when she found out he does not live in the neighborhood. Making his pitch at another house in her neighborhood, he had claimed a different street as the location of his residence, she said. And the friend who was said to have spent $1,500 with him did no such thing, she learned. "He told me he was 21, but he looked even younger and seemed so nice," the woman said. "I fell for it, but I hope others can be warned not to believe all these nice stories." The incident happened on Saturday in an upscale neighborhood here, and apparently similar door-to-door sales pitches were being made by "nice" young men in more than one area. But the group conducting the sales is in violation of a Cookeville city ordinance, City Clerk Cathy McClain told the Herald-Citizen. "No such group has registered here to get the required permits for selling door-to-door," McClain said. She said anyone conducting such sales in Cookeville must apply for the city permit. To do so, they must provide ID and pay a fee before going door-to-door. "When they register, we check them out thoroughly because these days, the public hates that door-to-door thing, and we take the job of checking these people out very seriously," McClain said. She said when such sales people register, city officials ask for previous sales history in other places. "Then we call the previous places and inquire about how they conducted themselves there before issuing a permit here." But what if they do not come in for the permit? Police officers, if contacted about suspicious groups going door-to-door, may intervene and stop such activity until the permit is obtained, Cookeville Police Detective Sgt. Carl Sells said. And though he said yesterday that police have not been contacted about the current group of salespersons, "it is common for groups like that to come through every so often." "It's also common for some of them to use deceptive practices, such as making it seem as if they live in the area when they are actually from another state." Standard police advice to residents is to be very cautious about letting strangers into your home, no matter what their story may be.
Published April 24, 2007 11:40 AM CDT
Mary Jo Denton
Herald-Citizen Staff
herald-citizen.com
Cookeville, Tennessee
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Madison, Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Senate Bill SB-80

April 24, 2007
Senate backs sales crew measure
By STACY FORSTER
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Posted: April 24, 2007
The traveling sales crew measure passed the Senate 28-5.
Efforts to pass the bill stem from a 1999 Janesville van crash that killed seven traveling magazine salespeople. The bill would require crews to register with the state Department of Workforce Development, among other rules. Currently, "the companies don't have to take any responsibility for the kids that they hire," said bill author Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton). Senators rejected an amendment from Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) that would have exempted what he called "more responsible" sales crews. He was responding to testimony offered at a committee hearing from students who had spent summers selling books for The Southwestern Company of Nashville, Tenn. Rep. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls), chairman of the Assembly's Committee on Small Business, said there would likely be a hearing on the bill, but he has concerns about making it difficult for reputable companies and possibly losing the jobs they provide.
By Stacy Forster
sforster@journalsentinel.com
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
jsonline.com
Madison, Wisconsin
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San Jose, California
Door-T0-Door Sales Alert !!!

April 22, 2007
Action Line: Door-to-door salesman refuses to be refused
By Dennis Rockstroh
Article Launched: 04/22/2007 01:44:32 AM PDT
Q A few days back, a young man showed up at our door around 6 p.m. saying that the company he works for is demonstrating home cleaning products. Having already known about the products and their price range, my wife told them upfront that she was not interested in purchasing them and she already had seen a demo at our home before. In spite of my wife's politeness, he wanted to go ahead with showing their products' capability (probably it earns him some credit toward his college education). While cleaning our sofa, he tried to convince both of us about the quality we get for the investment we would be making. We both politely said the product price was way out of our range. An hour later, one more person showed up. I guess it was his field manager or somebody who had some authority. He had so much arrogance with an attitude like, "I know how you immigrants think, and I am going to talk you into buying this today." With bedtime approaching for our 3-year-old son, this person went on at length trying to justify the purchase of his product. He made some remarks that were really disturbing. I understand the company has a long door-to-door success history, but people like the one who showed up at our door might damage the goodwill of the company.
Rajesh Ananth
San Jose
A First of all, Rajesh, you should contact the company directly. Go to the company's Web site and click on "contact us" at the bottom of the page. I tried it, and you can call on the phone, e-mail or write the company. Now, about the salesmen. First, you should not allow them into your house unless you really want to talk. If they put a foot in the door or come in uninvited, they are trespassing and that is a crime. Of course, you should always be polite, but there is a way to say, "I am calling the police" in a calm voice and with a smile on your face. If they persist, you can call police at 911. But before you do that, ask the salesmen to show you some identification and write down their names. That way, you can tell the police who they were and, often, that's enough for them to leave quietly. And don't forget, under California law, you have three days to cancel any deal you make with home solicitors when the purchase is over $25. And the law says the seller must notify you of that fact. You might also want to file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Unit of the district attorney's office at (408) 792-2880. The DA's office can send a letter to the company. A letter from the law can work wonders. Also, while you're at it, I think it's a good idea to file a complaint with the Better Business
Bureau at www.bbb.org.
Mail: San Jose Mercury News, 750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, Calif. 95190
E-mail: actionline@mercurynews .com
Phone recording: (888) 688-6400.
Please include full name, address and phone number.
Because of the volume of requests, I cannot respond to everyone.
By Dennis Rockstroh
Mercury News
mercurynews.com
San Jose, California
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Madison, Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Senate Bill SB-80

April 18, 2007
Traveling sales crew bill advances
By Stacy Forster
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
WEDNESDAY, April 18, 2007, 3:09 p.m.
Madison -- A bill to regulate traveling sales crews is headed to the full Senate for consideration after a committee approved it Wednesday. The Senate's Committee on Labor, Elections and Urban Affairs approved the bill on a 3 to 2 vote along party lines. The bill, SB 80, is also known as "Malinda's Law;" it is named after Malinda Turvey, who was 18 when she was among seven magazine salespeople who died in a Janesville van crash. It would define traveling sales crews and require companies looking to employ groups of sellers to register and be certified by the state Department of Workforce Development. The Southwestern Company, which employs college students as independent contractors to sell books over summer break, had asked for an exception to the legislation, but the bill was not amended to exempt Southwestern or any company.
By Stacy Forster
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
jsonline.com
Madison, Wisconsin
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Spokane, Washington
Magazine Sales Fraud!!!

April 12, 2007
Better Business Bureau
Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho & Montana
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Scam Has Potential to Move Across Region
Date: April 12, 2007
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Scam Has Potential to Move Across Region:
Teens Connected Arrested in Portland, OR
Spokane, WA. - April 12, 2007 - The BBB was given a head's up from the Spokane Police Department by way of the Portland, OR Police Department about a magazine scam that will more than likely hit our region and local area within days. Please be forewarned about this deceptive scam:

The Portland, OR Police Department arrested two groups of young people in its area April 2-5, 2007. These teens work neighborhoods, upscale in Portland's case, posing as area cheerleaders/baseball players soliciting money for magazines for which they get money for their program. Good-looking kids; convincing; good sales training. They are going door-to-door taking checks from consumers for anywhere between $40 - $200, as well, they are asking for cash donations.

The Portland Police have arrested four teens thus far and are charging them with Theft by Deception. Three have been released already, and this is a warning that they are more than likely headed north from Portland and perhaps across the region.

A local OR news broadcast station, Fox 12 News, covered these arrests, warning others in the area of these activities. Here, thanks to them, is a copy of their recent story posted at the following link: http://www.kptv.com/news/11536804/detail.html
Below is the story as it is posted to Fox 12's site:

LAKE OSWEGO, OR -- Two teenage girls have been arrested after they fooled Lake Oswego residents into thinking they were high school cheerleaders, police said. Tasha Mitchell, 19, of Warsaw, Ind., and Amanda Wheatley, 18, of Newark, Ohio, were arrested at the Ramada Inn near the Portland International Airport on charges of theft by deception. Police said the women claimed they were representatives of Lakeridge High School, the University of Oregon or Doernbecher Children's Hospital while they sold magazine subscriptions and accepted donations, traveling door-to-door in the Portland area The women were part of a group of sales people representing Quality Sale Inc., a company based in Georgia. Police said Mitchell sold an average of $1,200 per day and the rest of the group averaged about $300 per day. Mitchell and Wheatley are being held at the Clackamas County Jail. The rest of their sales group is headed for Seattle, according to police. On Wednesday, a man was arrested in West Linn on similar charges after police said he posed as a fundraising college baseball player.

TIPS

The next time a youth sales crew appears on your doorstep, it may not be wise to assume that it represents a local school or youth group.

Ask for the name of the organization. If possible, record the license plate of the van or car transporting the children or teenagers. Then contact local law enforcement to report that a crew of young people is canvassing in your community and to ask if they are familiar with the organization. If the sales crew purports to be operating on behalf of a charity or non-for-profit group, check with your local BBB to determine if the charity is registered to solicit in your state.

Also, take time to do the following:

· Obtain the name and address of the company that person purports to represent. If the person does not represent a known business, and the circumstances suggest a youth-based group or sales representative, ask for and contact references.

· Get all details and oral promises of the offer in writing and carefully review it. Make sure you understand everything in a contract.

· Make sure the salesperson has provided you with the proper "notice of cancellation" forms if you are solicited at your home. This is required by the Federal Trade Commission.

· If the youth states they are with a certain school, contact the school while they are present, and confirm that they are actually representing them. If there is any problem, report it ASAP to your local police department. Gain any and all license plates or descriptions of the people selling, and report it! Alert your neighbors, and spread the warning by word of mouth to others.

· Determine how long the company has been in business and check out the company with the Better Business Bureau before saying YES. · If you've checked references and the company's reputation, and you decide to hire the company, make any checks payable to the company ONLY and not to an individual. Do not pay in cash.

· If anyone going door-to-door asks for cash donations, CONSIDER THIS A RED FLAG and think twice before donating! Do your research FIRST before giving.

Remember, any legitimate company or rep that wants your business will be more than willing to allow you time to "check them out". Don't fall prey to high pressure tactics such as "this is the only chance you'll have" or "by tomorrow the extra materials will be gone," or "I'm only in this area today." Investigate before you invest.
Better Business Bureau
Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho & Montana
thelocalbbb.com
Spokane, Washington
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nevada
Magazine Sales Fraud!!!

April 11, 2007
Door-to-door magazine sales could be scams
by William Ferchland
Nevada Appeal News Service
April 11, 2007
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE- With spring comes door-to-door sales people hawking magazines, candy and other wares. While most of the sales are intended for good causes such as field trips and nonprofit organizations, El Dorado County Assistant District Attorney Hans Uthe said some people drive from out of town to scam people out of their money. They try to make themselves look like teenagers and try to sell magazine subscriptions or other periodicals with inflated prices. They often cite a money limit, such as $200, they need to obtain. The swindlers do their homework, saying they live in the neighborhood and refer to nearby organizations that will receive the funds. Uthe advised asking the sales people to come back at a later time and to call the organization the funds are supposed to go to for verification. People can also call law enforcement if they have questions about the fundraising. Douglas County Sheriff's Sgt. Tom Mezzetta said scammers have crossed the state line into Nevada. "We just want folks to be aware of the fact that it's springtime, and, like spiders, these folks are going to be coming out of the woodwork. They're out there trying to rip people off with these magazine sales," Mezzetta said. He cautioned residents about admitting sales people into their homes. "These kids get suckered into working for them," he said. "And these companies hire a lot of felons - rapists, killers, robbers - not the kind of people you want in your home." Mezzetta said selling door-to-door without a permit is a misdemeanor in Douglas County. "If you're fortunate enough to get the magazine, you'll find that you paid two or three times what you could have gotten it for," he said.
by William Ferchland
Nevada Appeal News Service
nevadaappeal.com
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nevada
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Madison, Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Senate Bill SB-80

April 11, 2007
Traveling sales crew safeguards urged
Bill would regulate working conditions for traveling sales crews
By Ryan J. Foley
Associated Press
Published: April 11, 2007
Recalling a 1999 crash that killed seven in Wisconsin, some lawmakers pushed Tuesday for regulations on traveling sales crews that they say exploit young people with poor working conditions. But opponents of the bill said the regulations would be the toughest in the country, drive legitimate sales businesses out of Wisconsin and rob college students of meaningful summer work. Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said his bill was meant to improve working conditions for employees and protect consumers targeted by roving crews who travel from town to town selling everything from knives to encyclopedias. One student flew to Wisconsin to describe the terrible experience she had working for 'Southwestern Co. selling books door-to-door in summer 2005 after her freshman year at the University of Georgia. Kristen Rae Spicer, 21, said she worked more than 80 hours per week, totaled her car and was raped by a co-worker. She said she did not make any money and suffered anguish from the rape and what she called company "brainwashing." "They say the job is not for everyone," she said. "And I'll just say it's not for anyone because it's unhealthy, because it breaks labor laws, because it's breaking the rights of students to know what the job requirements are." But other students said they had great experiences working for the company, and three University of Wisconsin campus officials wrote letters to support it. The plan is the latest attempt to regulate the industry after a March 1999 crash near Janesville killed seven members of a traveling magazine sales crew and injured five. The speeding van filled with 14 people crashed after the unlicensed driver tried to switch seats with another passenger after spotting a police car. The father of one victim, Phil Ellenbecker of Verona, has pushed lawmakers to adopt regulations designed to prevent another tragedy. Critics say the companies mislead young people into signing up for work outside of their home states, pay them little and force them to work more than 80 hours a week while living in cramped spaces. Erpenbach's bill passed in the Senate last year but died in the Assembly after Nashville, Tenn.-based Southwestern said it would harm its business. The bill would require the companies to hire their sales crews as employees rather than independent contractors who aren't subject to labor laws. Companies that employ crews, defined as two or more people, would have to give the state information on its owners, its sales activities and the vehicles it will use. The companies would have to post a $10,000 bond and tell potential workers in writing where they will work and what they will be paid. Dean Heyl, a lobbyist for the Direct Selling Association, said the bill would unfairly target independent contractors who work for its members, which include Southwestern, Mary Kay and Pampered Chef, and do little to stop abuses by "bad actors." He said many workers like being independent contractors because they can choose how they sell products and run the businesses themselves. Katie Barmann, who worked for Southwestern while a UW-Madison student and is now its recruiter in Wisconsin, said the company plans to employ about 90 students from the state this summer. The bill would take away their ability to run their own businesses and instead give them less meaningful "sales jobs," she said. Southwestern has proposed amending the bill to exempt it from the regulations. A message left after business hours at Southwestern Co. was not immediately returned. Erpenbach urged lawmakers not to change the bill, saying the amendment would create a loophole that would render it meaningless. State agencies who enforce consumer protection and labor laws also called for quick action without amendment. "The bottom line is that this industry must be curtailed and it must be cleaned up," said JoAnna Richard, deputy secretary of the Department of Workforce Development.
By Ryan J. Foley
Associated Press
madison.com
Madison, Wisconsin
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Madison, Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Senate Bill SB-80

April 10, 2007
Bill To Regulate Traveling Sales Crews Considered At Capitol
Bill Would Improve Working Conditions For Employees
WISC TV CBS Channel 3
Channel3000.com
The Associated Press contributed to this report
POSTED: 6:36 pm CDT April 10, 2007
MADISON, Wis. -- Some Wisconsin lawmakers are pushing for regulations on traveling sales crews that they say exploit young people with poor working conditions. But critics said the regulations would drive legitimate sales businesses out of Wisconsin and rob some college students of meaningful summer work. Sen. Jon Erpenbach of Middleton said his bill will improve working conditions for employees and protect consumers targeted by crews who travel from town to town selling everything from knives to encyclopedias. The plan is the latest attempt to regulate the industry after a March 1999 crash near Janesville killed seven members of a traveling magazine sales crew and injured five. A public hearing on the bill was held at the Capitol on Tuesday. Students who've worked with Southwestern Company came to the hearing to share their experiences. Guy Spicer and his daughter Kristen Rae said they were lied to by a Southwestern recruiter who came to their Georgia home. "I feel like my parental rights were robbed when I was lied to across that table," Spicer said. Kristen Rae spent the summer of 2005 selling door-to-door in Pennsylvania. She said she worked 83 hours a week on average, had to find her own housing and was told she couldn't call home or go to church on Sunday. She also said she was raped by a co-worker. "My hair was falling out; I lost about 15 pounds, which is a lot of weight for me to lose," Rae said. "My menstrual cycle was whacked, which they actually told us beforehand that that would be normal, (saying), 'Don't worry about it; it's OK.'" But Madison's Katie Barmann said she had a completely different experience. She worked for Southwestern for four summers while attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Barmann said she enjoyed the experience so much that she now has a job as a recruiter with the company. Barmann said she is concerned that the bill would hurt Southwestern in an attempt to regulate fly-by-night traveling sales crews. The main part of the bill would force direct sales companies to treat young people as employees instead of independent contractors as they are now.
WISC TV CBS Channel 3
Channel3000
The Associated Press contributed to this report
channel3000.com
Madison, Wisconsin
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Madison, Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Senate Bill SB-80

April 10, 2007
Lawmakers consider new guidelines for sales crews
By Andrew Beckett
Wisconsin Radio Network
Tuesday, April 10, 2007, 5:33 PM
A proposal to regulate traveling sales crews operating in Wisconsin went before a legislative panel on Tuesday. The bill from State Senator John Erpenbach (D-Middleton) would create strict new regulations for the door-to-door sales industry. He says it would keep those companies from exploiting young people. Erpenbach cited several examples of student workers being promised high paying jobs, but ending up in horrible working conditions. Industry officials say the bill unfairly targets legitimate operations. Dean Heyl, an attorney for the door-to-door sales company Southwestern, says it would have little impact on the crews that already ignore the law. He says those companies already avoid law enforcement when they illegally start selling in a given area. Heyl says the industry would like the bill amended to exempt companies who follow current laws. During a legislative hearing on the bill Tuesday, lawmakers heard from Kristen Ray Spicer. She worked for a Southwestern crew in 2005 under the promise of earning a big paycheck. But at the end of the summer, she says she ended up owing the company $150 and walked away with nothing. She also says the company made her crew work over 80 hours a week, limited contact with her parents, and did very little after a co-worker allegedly raped her. Erpenbach says the bill would keep student workers like Spicer from being taken advantage of. The legislation was inspired by a 1999 van crash near Janesville that killed seven members of a traveling magazine sales crew.
By Andrew Beckett
Wisconsin Radio Network
wrn.com
Madison, Wisconsin
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Madison, Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Senate Bill SB-80

April 10, 2007
Bill would regulate traveling sales crews
Measure named for teen killed in 1999 van crash
By STACY FORSTER
Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
Posted: April 10, 2007
Madison - Phil Ellenbecker's daughter was part of a traveling sales crew when she died in a Janesville van crash in 1999, and he says she's in his heart every day. And he's put his heart into passing legislation to regulate the traveling sales crew industry. Ellenbecker, of Verona, was among those who testified Tuesday before the Senate's Committee on Labor, Elections and Urban Affairs in support of "Malinda's Law." The bill is named after his daughter, Malinda Turvey, who was 18 when she was among the seven magazine salespeople who died in the crash. "There's nothing good about them," Ellenbecker said of traveling sales crews. With the bill, "we kill two birds with one stone, we keep the bad guys out and we regulate the industry." The measure drew objections from those who have worked for Southwestern Company, based in Nashville, Tenn., which provides training and sales opportunities for college students who want to work as independent contractors for the summer. Sen. Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee), the committee chairman, said Ellenbecker's efforts are driving sentiment for the bill. "He wants some vindication for the death of his daughter, and this bill is a representation of that," Coggs said. He said he expects the bill will pass his committee. Under the bill, traveling sales crews would be defined as two or more people who travel together and live away from their permanent residences while selling. Companies looking to employ such groups of sellers would need to register and be certified by the state Department of Workforce Development. The bill would also set some workplace standards for the industry, such as requiring semi-monthly paychecks and putting limits on work hours. "It will allow us to know who exactly is selling here, and who is recruiting here," said bill author Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton). "They should know exactly what they're getting into, and employers should take responsibility."
Some have concerns
Rep. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls), whose committee will handle the Assembly version of the bill, said any legislation would have to strike the right balance. "I'm concerned that it seems to create a huge bureaucratic jungle that might make it difficult for some reputable companies to sell door to door," Moulton said. A similar bill passed the Senate last session, but got stuck in an Assembly committee because of objections from Southwestern. The committee didn't hear from any representatives of the companies that Erpenbach and Ellenbecker said were being targeted by the bill. A legitimate company such as Southwestern should be able to meet the requirements, Erpenbach said. Katie Barmann, a district sales manager for Southwestern, told the committee the way the company recruits and manages its student workers is far different from what the traveling sales crews do. For example, she said, parents must sign a form saying the student has permission to participate in the program, and the sellers must register in municipalities where they plan to go door to door. About two dozen current and former independent contractors for Southwestern appeared in opposition to the bill, saying they didn't mind working 80 hours a week while running their own businesses. Jessie Satran, a 21-year-old junior from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, said the law could require Southwestern to lose one of its most attractive points - allowing students to run their own businesses as independent contractors. "Not having that be a part of the program would turn a lot of those people away, like me," Satran said. But Kristen Rae Spicer, a student at the University of Georgia, painted a different picture. She came from Atlanta to tell the committee that during her summer of work for Southwestern in 2005, she was brainwashed, left physically exhausted and raped by a co-worker. "It's unhealthy, it's breaking labor laws," she said.
By STACY FORSTER
Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
sforster@journalsentinel.com
jsonline.com
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Madison, Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Senate Bill SB-80

April 10, 2007
Testimony Heard on Traveling Sales Crew Bill
Reporter: Brock Bergey
NBC 15 TV, Madison, Wisconsin Email Address: bbergey@nbc15.com
Traveling Sales Crew Bill 4-10-07
The pitch for traveling sales jobs is appealing--travel the country and make money. But, a Middleton lawmaker says the students are being taken advantage of. "They say the job is not for everyone and I say it's not for anyone," says Kristen Rae Spicer. On Tuesday, Kristen Rae and her father traveled all the way from Atlanta, Georgia to address a Senate committee. "There was nothing written for me (like) this is where you're going to be living, this is what's required of you, this is what you're going to get paid," says Kristen Rae. In the summer of 2005, the then 18-year-old, went door-to-door selling educational books in Pennsylvania. "When she came back after that summer she was a shell of a person," says Guy Spicer, Kristen Rae's father. State Senator Jon Erpenbach of Middleton says that's not uncommon. The Democrat's interest stems from a 1999 crash in Rock County involving a traveling sales crew. Seven young people died and five were injured. It happened when the unlicensed driver switched seats with a licensed driver at 80 miles-per-hour after spotting a police car. "This bill is named after Melinda Turvey, one of the victims of the crash," says Erpenbach. The bill would make it illegal for traveling sales companies to hire minors. It would require an employer disclosure statement. And, it would prohibit the use of independent contractors. "If the independent contractor status was taken away from the students who did this, this would go from running your own business to a sales job," says college recruiter Katie Barmann, a UW graduate. But Erpenbach disagrees. He says the companies go with independent contractors to avoid possible legal problems. "Any company in this state, working in this state, recruiting in this state, would easily be able to abide by this legislation," he says. As for Kristen Rae, she's moving on. But, there's one part of her summer job experience she'll never forget. "On July 25, 2005, I was raped by a coworker of mine," she says. Kristen Rae says a simple background check, which is also included in the bill, may have kept her safe. A spokesperson for the one company at Tuesdays' hearing says her organization is "very up front about everything the job entails." More than 30-people testified. No action was taken.
Reporter: Brock Bergey
Email Address: bbergey@nbc15.com
nbc15.com
NBC 15 TV, Madison, Wisconsin
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Port Arthur, Texas
Magazine Scam !!!

April 9, 2007
Wilmore: “Watch out for scams”
By Amy Moore
The Port Arthur News
Published April 09, 2007 07:32 pm
GROVES —
Tressie Shiflet thought she was doing a good deed last week when she bought a magazine subscription from a door-to-door salesman. The salesman was a young man who presented himself as Kenny Davenport and said he was a Groves resident who lived on Whitaker. The man stated that he was a senior at Texas Christian University (TCU) and was raising money for a trip to London to perform at the Globe Theater. Being a TCU alumni, Shiflet wrote the man a check for $96 under the impression that the magazines would be sent to the Children’s Hospital of Dallas, a hospital she chose thinking the subscription would benefit both patients and parents of patients. It was a few days later, when her rebate check for $43 that the salesman promised her hadn’t arrived that she thought she may have made a mistake. Shiflet’s granddaughter, Tressie Nichols agreed and contacted TCU for more information. “The university said my grandmother was the fourth alumni to call and say something like this had happened,” Nichols said. “They also said they never send people out door-to-door and don’t have any students planning trip to London to perform at the Globe.” The granddaughter continued her investigation into the salesman, who had her grandmother’s $96 check made out to Team Extreme, and contacted the Better Business Bureau. “When I called and told them my story, they asked me what name the guy was using today,” Nicholas said. “Apparently they’ve gotten some calls about this, too.” After looking up any Davenports who live on Whitaker in Groves, and searching for Team Extreme online and through 4-1-1 information line, and finding no results, Nichols contacted the city of Groves. Interim City Marshal, Jeff Wilmore said Shiflet isn’t the first victim of this type of crime and other residents need to look out for potential scam artists. Wilmore said that any legitimate door-to-door salesman in Groves will have permits issued through the city and will have gone through background checks. “We take their pictures and have copies of their drivers licenses,” he said. “They have to have permits from the city to sell items door-to-door.” To keep citizens safe from other schemers, Wilmore suggested that residents ask salesmen for their credentials before listening to their sales pitch. “If they don’t have a permit, don’t do business with them,” he said. The city marshal also said that if anyone feels they were conned by a door-to-door salesman, they should immediately contact the police department to file a report and try to contact the company the check was written out to. While Shiflet did put a stop payment on her $96 check, her relief comes from knowing she may have helped others from going through the same stressful situation she did.
By Amy Moore
The Port Arthur News
panews.com
Port Arthur, Texas
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LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon
Magazine Scam !!!

April 5, 2007
Two More Teens Arrested In Alleged Magazine Scam
kptv.com
POSTED: 12:43 pm PDT April 5, 2007
UPDATED: 1:24 pm PDT April 5, 2007
LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- Two teenage girls have been arrested after they fooled Lake Oswego residents into thinking they were high school cheerleaders, police said. Tasha Mitchell, 19, of Warsaw, Ind., and Amanda Wheatley, 18, of Newark, Ohio, were arrested at the Ramada Inn near the Portland International Airport on charges of theft by deception. Police said the women claimed they were representatives of Lakeridge High School, the University of Oregon or Doernbecher Children’s Hospital while they sold magazine subscriptions and accepted donations, traveling door-to-door in the Portland area. The women were part of a group of sales people representing Quality Sale Inc., a company based in Georgia. Police said Mitchell sold an average of $1,200 per day and the rest of the group averaged about $300 per day. Mitchell and Wheatley are being held at the Clackamas County Jail. The rest of their sales group is headed for Seattle, according to police. On Wednesday, a man was arrested in West Linn on similar charges after police said he posed as a fundraising college baseball player.
FOX 12 TV
kptv.com
LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida
9-Year-Old Boy Selling Magazines Sexually Assaulted !!!

April 5, 2007
Man Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Boy Selling Magazines
WJXT-TV—Jacksonville, FL
WJXT-TV
5:54 p.m. EDT April 5, 2007
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - A 32-year-old man is accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old boy who knocked at the door of the man's St. Augustine home trying to sell magazines, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. According to court documents, Christopher Griffin invited the boy into his living room on Jan. 26, forced the child to remove his pants and assaulted him. Griffin then ordered a magazine, gave the boy money and told him not to tell anyone about what happened, according to investigators. When blood was found on the boy's underpants, authorities were called and the boy told an investigator what had happened. After Griffin was interviewed and was told not to have contact with the child or his mother, Griffin allegedly stopped his car next to the mother on March 20, licked his lips, blew her a kiss and laughed. "There are no words to describe ... what the feeling is like," the mother told Channel 4's Adam Landau. "(It's) very difficult to know (that) so close to where you are that such a horrific thing has happened to your child." Griffin was arrested on Tuesday, charged with capital sexual battery and tampering with a witness. He was booked into the St. Johns County Jail and is being held without bond. Officials said Griffin had no previous criminal history. A deputy said that this is one of the most disturbing cases he has seen in his 19 years with the sheriff's office. "We hope that it doesn't happen again -- forever," St. Johns County Sgt. Chuck Mulligan said.
WJXT-TV—Jacksonville, FL
WJXT-TV
msnbc.msn.com
ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida
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Portland, Oregon
Magazine Sales Fraud !!!

April 4, 2007
Suspect arrested for magazine sales scam
By DAVE NORTHFIELD, special to kgw.com
02:26 PM PDT on Wednesday, April 4, 2007
kgw.com
West Linn Police made an arrest in a door to door magazine subscription fraud ring, and officers in Lake Oswego said they're working on finding other suspects. Jeremiah S. Conner is facing a charge of theft by deception and was booked into the Clackamas County Jail. He was arrested Tuesday night. "We don't believe this is legitimate," said Lake Oswego Police Captain Don Forman. Officers said Conner was part of a group going door to door in West Linn, Lake Oswego and Oregon City. The suspects are young, in their late teens and early 20's, and tell residents that they're raising money for cheerleading camps, college baseball teams, and a local children's hospital. Forman said two teenage girls, who a victim said are named Tasha Mitchell and Amanda Wheatley, were working the neighborhood near Palisades Elementary School in Lake Oswego last night. They reportedly said they are cheerleaders at nearby Lakeridge High School and needed money for a trip to a camp in Florida. Captain Forman says they are not Lakeridge students, and that he found a newspaper story that the two were cited for taking part in a similar scam near San Jose. "The group is also raising money for two non existent baseball teams" said Captain Forman. He said some potential victims were told the magazine subscription sales were a fundraiser for the University of Oregon and Portland City College teams. Neither school fields an intercollegiate baseball team. Police say the group is apparently travelling from state to state in a silver Ford van with the Georgia license plate AFG 2492. Forman said a woman in Lake Oswego gave the two girls $80 for magazine subscriptions. He says he's assuming the woman will never see the magazines. "My advice is for people to do business only with people they know," said Captain Forman. He added that a personal check in the wrong hands could be used for identity theft.
By DAVE NORTHFIELD, special to kgw.com
kgw.com
Portland, Oregon
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Vacaville, California
Magazine Sales Fraud !!!

March 30, 2007
Youths Allegedly Pose As Vacaville High Athletes
Police: Two Used Vacaville High Soccer Team For Personal Gain
Bridget Cannata
Reporting
(CBS13) VACAVILLE In Vacaville, police say a group of girls went door-to-door raising money for their soccer team to go to Hawaii. But, police say the problem was that they're were not on a soccer team. Investigators say the two teenagers were asking people to sign up for magazine subscriptions, among other things. That stopped when they came across the wrong customer. They were going door to door. Claiming to be soccer players from Vacaville High who were raising money for a team trip to Hawaii. They went to Carlyn Crystal's house. "It was odd, the team should be practicing, but it didn't don on me at the time," said Crystal. So she wrote them a check for $20. The two girls had raised quite a bit of money by that point. "There was a check for at least $200, $100 and the lady I spoke with wrote a check for $40," said Toni Marin, Soccer Coach. But the girls then made a mistake and went to Maggie Dietrich's house. She actually plays on Vacaville High's soccer team and was in uniform when she opened the door. "I said I know the whole JV team and you're not on it," said Dietrich. So the two turned around and quickly walked away. "They were shocked and dumbfounded and didn't know what to do," said Dietrich. Dietrich called her coach and the police, who then sent a warning to neighbors. Carlyn Crystal immediately put a stop on her check. "I was sad, it's sad you can't trust people," said Crystal. It's also sad for the real soccer players who know the next time they go out to raise money, neighbors may be too hesitant to give.
Bridget Cannata
cbs13.com
Vacaville, California
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Memphis, Tennessee
Illegal Magazine Sales !!!

March 28, 2007
Illegal Magazine Salesmen Arrested
Posted By: Jeni Diprizio
Eyewitness News ABC24 and CW30
Last Update: Mar 28, 2007 8:24 PM
Four men are in trouble with the law for illegally selling magazines.In Shelby County, you must have a permit to sell door to door. Neighbors say not only were the men selling magazines, they were also casing the neighborhood. Eyewitnesses say the men were peeking in windows, garages, and checking out backyards. Last month, two men were also arrested in Lakeland for illegal magazine sales. Children selling things like cookies are exempt. So are people selling church or school promotional items.
Posted By: Jeni Diprizio
Eyewitness News ABC24 and CW30
myeyewitnessnews.com
Memphis, Tennessee
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Carlsbad California
Magazine Salesman
Sentenced To Live In Prison

March 27, 2007
Man gets life in prison for Carlsbad kidnapping
By: North County Times Wire Services
Last modified Tuesday, March 27, 2007 11:31 PM PDT
VISTA ---- A Long Beach man who admitted trying to sexually molest a teenager near a Carlsbad elementary school was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison, with his first possibility of parole after seven years. Eric Rodney Hill, 28, pleaded guilty last month to kidnapping to commit sodomy in connection with an incident Dec. 1 near Jefferson Elementary School. Hill followed two children home from the school, and they told their parents, Deputy District Attorney Christine Israel has said. The father of one child later found Hill standing outside the school with the 14-year-old victim, but by the time he could turn his car around, the two were gone, Israel said. The father found them in the bushes and Hill was quickly taken into custody by police, the prosecutor said. Hill has prior convictions for masturbating in the children's section of a library in Long Beach in 2005 and assault with a deadly weapon for his role in a home invasion robbery that took place about seven years earlier, according to the prosecutor.
By: North County Times Wire Services
nctimes.com
Carlsbad, California Read This Story


Charlotte, North Carolina
Magazine Sales Alert !!!

March 27, 2007
Police give tips on solicitors
RICH HAAG
Charlotte Observer
Posted on Tue, Mar. 27, 2007
Door-to-door solicitors have returned with the warm spring days, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say, and so have calls to police about the visitors. Soliciting door to door by itself is not illegal, police say. But they advise calling 911 immediately if strangers act suspiciously, enter back yards or approach residents in an aggressive manner. When calling, request to see a police officer and give a detailed description of the suspicious person and his or her location to help police find the person. Police say that to prevent being a crime victim, let strangers who approach your home know that you are there, but do not open the door. Get a detailed description, and telephone your neighbors about the strangers.
Some facts about solicitation:
• It is legal during daylight hours.
• Solicitors must have ID cards that show who they work for.
• Solicitors do not need a business license if they take no money and deliver no goods during this transaction.
• "No Solicitation" signs are valid on private property but do not prevent solicitors from walking on public streets in a neighborhood.
RICH HAAG
Charlotte Observer
rhaag@charlotteobserver.com
Charlotte, North Carolina
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Janesville, Wisconsin
March 25, 2007
Don't cave in to lobbyists for sales crews
GazetteXtra
Janesville, Wisconsin
(Published Sunday, March 25, 2007)
Every spring, they assemble like flocks of migrating birds. Traveling sales crews, often pitching magazines or cleaning products door to door, travel the country while using teens and young adults as sellers. Many young people see such jobs as a way to break free of parental control and travel the country. Too often, these people are exploited by unscrupulous managers who offer meager pay and poor living conditions or leave them stranded. Sometimes, employees fall victim to sexual assault. Occasionally, their dreams of high adventure end even more tragically. The night of March 25, 1999, a van loaded with 14 young people in a magazine sales crew rolled down Interstate 90 just north of Janesville. When a town of Milton squad car pulled out to stop the speeding van, the crew leader, who was driving despite having a suspended license, tried to get a passenger to take the wheel. The van rolled, leaving seven people dead, spread across the highway, and five others maimed for life. Phil Ellenbecker of Verona lost his 18-year-old daughter, Malinda, in the crash. He says dozens of others have died in traffic accidents nationwide since then. He keeps a Web site, www.travelingsalescrews.info, dedicated to her memory and to legislation to regulate these sales companies. Last year, a bill sailed through the state Senate but stalled in the Assembly because of industry lobbying efforts. Legislators must make sure that doesn't happen again. Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, has reintroduced his legislation as Senate Bill 80. It would require sales companies to register with the state and post bonds. It would require that the companies spell out to sales recruits in writing the places of employment, compensation and type of work and require that crews be paid at least twice a month. The bill also would limit times of day when crews can work. "Traveling sales crews often abuse state and federal labor laws, holding wages and keeping overworked employees from contacting their families," Erpenbach says. "These protections will create important work standards to protect vulnerable members of traveling sales crews but also consumers and homeowners." Lawmakers must get this bill moving. Let's not wait for another tragedy.
GazetteXtra
gazetteextra.com
Janesville, Wisconsin
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Door-to-Door Magazine Selling Kids:
Protecting Yourself While Helping Them

March 24, 2007
Door-to-Door Magazine Selling Kids: Protecting Yourself While Helping Them
By Jamie K. Wilson, published Mar 24, 2007
Website: Associated Content
http://www.associatedcontent.com
Associated Content is an Open Content Network
It may have happened in your neighborhood: the doorbell rings. At the door, a clean-cut young adult smiles at you, brochures in hand. "Hey, listen, I'm trying to win points toward a scholarship, and I'm hoping you can help me out." He extends his hand to shake yours, and you extend your housework-stained hand to him. "Great! My name's Jim. Your neighbor Julie just told me you might be interested in taking a look at this." And he places a brochure into the hand you don't quite jerk back fast enough.

What just happened? Most people assume the following:

The kid's from around here; if you ask, he might cite the local high school or a community college.
FALSE.

The kid's really looking for ways to raise college money.
FALSE.

You're pretty safe in this situation.
FALSE.

The kid at your doorstep is a predator.
TRUE.

There is no way this predatorial embryonic salescreep is a victim.
VERY, VERY FALSE.

The Truth About Door To Door Magazine Sales

The typical young person engaging in this kind of activity is often even younger than he or she appears, but most are at least eighteen. They've been recruited by "no experience necessary - high paying sales" classified advertisements, usually in lower-income neighborhoods or mid-size cities. The sales manager gets them in, reels them in with a sales shpiel, and convinces them that, no, there are no positions left here in your hometown, but if you'll join us, we're driving over to Dayton (always a town hundreds of miles away) and you can work with us there for a while before coming back here.

After a hard-sell pitch, enthusiastic encouragement by the other young salespeople, and a pack of lies about the great future there is for the kids who go through this process, the young person -- almost always naive and inexperienced -- joins the van crew. He or she is in for a big surprise.

Life In A Door-To-Door Sales Crew

Every sales member has to pay for food, lodging, and sometimes even part of the van travel. They start out in the hole. The sales manager gives them about twenty dollars a day to buy cigarettes and other incidental items. If the new salesperson doesn't have clothes up to the clean-cut standards of the crew, he has to go shopping -- another debt he incurs. And if he did somehow manage to make money from his percentage of the magazine sales, his wages were withheld "on the books" until the manager decided the sales tour was over.

It was often worse than just owing your soul to the company. Many times there were beatings administered to the kid who sold the least, the kid who mouthed off, the kid who cried because he was homesick. Drugs were a common part of life in the evenings. Girls would trade sex to the manager for favors. Miss your sales quota, and you might be forced to fight another guy who missed his.

Things get worse before they get better. The sales manager never gets a permit to sell door to door; in state after state, you find yourself wanted, a warrant out for selling without a license. Or for trespassing. Or for drugs. Some members of your sales crew start ripping off customers -- slipping small valuables in the pocket, asking to use the bathroom and raiding the cabinet for drugs, even breaking into houses that seem abandoned.

Most ex-members tell even worse stories: of covered-up murders, disappearances, of fearing for their lives every day, rape, assault. Usually the crimes are within the sales crew; sometimes the crimes are against members in the community they are selling to.

In any case, members of the sales crew are virtual slaves, with no means to drive home, cash withheld by their managers, and in debt up to their eyeballs for "expenses." (In 1987, a Congressional inquiry found that of 418 sales personnel in one company, 413 left the company in debt to it, while the company was reporting excellent profits.) Those who try to escape are sometimes killed, and usually beaten, not to prevent them from leaving so much as to intimidate the others. Even those who do depart, sneaking away in the dead of night, leave without any wages owed to them; they're afraid to ask for them. For most, there seems to be no way out.

Dangers to Society

The danger of traveling sales crews extends beyond the crew itself. Police view them as a nuisance at best, and a menace at worst, because they have no qualms about taking advantage of elderly, sometimes confused customers. In one case, a nearly-blind 85-year-old woman bought 210 years of a subscription, and in other cases customers have been billed for subscriptions they never receive or tricked into spending much more than they intended to. In addition, the poorly-vetted sales staff often has people on the run from warrants or a bad personal past. In several cases, children answering doors to them have been molested. Women have been raped, homes burglarized and vandalized, and in a few cases potential customers, usually elderly women, have been robbed and then murdered. Many police agency suspect that fly-by-night sales crews have committed unsolved crimes in their neighborhoods; the crew comes in, the criminals among them strike, and within days the whole bunch is gone.

What You Can Do

Protect yourself. Remember that any time a stranger is at your door expecting you to let them in, it could mean anything -- they could be intending to rob you or harm you, or they could be looking to scam you in one of a hundred ways. Buy your magazines online, not from door-to-door salespeople.

Help these kids out. Remember, most members of these sales crews are abused, scared kids far away from home and anyone who can help them. ParentWatch Inc. is an organization created by ex-sales-crew and the parents of victimized young people designed to help you stay safe, but also help the kids get back home. If you have a problem with these young people, check their website for ways you can contact ParentWatch for them to help them get a bus ticket back home. (Look for the link at the end of this article.) Never, ever approach them or their sales manager without being solicited, and never bring this up if you are in a vulnerable situation. Some of the sales managers will do anything -- literally -- to keep their crew hostage.

Report sales crews in your area to the police. Though it's good to try helping these kids, your most important priority should always be yourself and your family. The more difficult it is for sales crews to operate in your neighborhood, the more likely they will be to move on; eventually, they won't be able to operate anywhere and will go out of business.

Buy your magazine subscriptions online! They're cheaper, and you don't have to worry about dealing with a stranger.

Takeaways

Magazine sales crews are not as clean-cut as they try to appear. Both you and the sales crew are in danger, often for the same reasons. There are organizations who exist to help kids in these sales crew get back home to safety.

Did You Know?

Though the U.S. Congress tried to address this problem years ago, there has been little or no improvement in the situation. Many blame this on new telemarketing rules that make it illegal to cold-call consumers, but not for the sales crews to operate.

Resources
www.parentwatch.org/
www.travelingsalescrews.info/
By Jamie K. Wilson
Website: Associated Content
http://www.associatedcontent.com
Associated Content is an Open Content Network
Read This Story


Los Gatos, California
Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

March 23, 2007
Teens cited in solicitation case
By Jason Sweeney
Los Gatos Weekly-Times
The Mercury News
Article Launched: 03/23/2007 05:01:39 PM PDT
Two teenagers were cited last week for going door to door in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno asking for donations and trying to sell magazine subscriptions. The pair had allegedly told local residents that they were Los Gatos High School students raising money for the soccer team. Some residents reportedly gave them donations upwards of $100. The teenagers were identified as Tasha Mitchell, 19, of Buford, Ga., and Amanda Wheatley, 18, of Newark, Ohio. Officers seized their sales materials as evidence. Mitchell had previously been warned about soliciting in town without a permit, Capt. Dave Gravel said. Prior to the citations, the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department and Los Gatos High School had received calls over a five-day period from residents asking whether the two teenage solicitors were legitimate. Police officers responded to six reports during that time, but were unable to locate Mitchell and Wheatley until March 16. At about 7:30 p.m. that day, a resident reported that two solicitors were going door to door claiming to be with "the high school." "Our officers went out to the area and located the two girls as they were leaving the front porch of a house on La Rinconada Drive," Gravel said. "Both were cited and released for soliciting without a permit, which is a municipal code violation. It's similar in a sense to a traffic ticket. If they don't pay the fine or show up in court, a warrant will be issued for their arrest." When Mitchell and Wheatley were cited, a person who represented himself as their supervisor arrived on the scene to pick them up. "He was advised of the ordinance and he said they would not be back," Gravel said. Gravel said that if Mitchell and Wheatley do not pay the fine and if a warrant is issued, they could face jail time if they come back into town. One local resident Mitchell and Wheatley had unsuccessfully sought donations from was Councilwoman Diane McNutt. "I was home cooking dinner when they came to the door," McNutt said. "They looked legitimate. They had a really good story. They said they lived a street away and were on the soccer team and needed money for a trip." But McNutt said when she asked for a brochure, they refused to give her one. "That's what gave it away to me," she said. Door-to-door solicitation is legal in Los Gatos if the solicitor has applied for a permit, been fingerprinted, undergone a background check, paid a fee and been issued a solicitor identification card. Mitchell and Wheatley had not taken these steps. Gravel said the pair worked for a magazine subscription company called United Family Circulation Inc. A person who identified herself as an office manager at United Family Circulation Inc. headquarters in Buford, Ga., said it was company policy not to talk to reporters. An Internet search reveals media reports from around the country concerning teenagers working for United Family Circulation Inc. going door-to-door claiming that they are raising money for high school sports teams. According to a report from the Better Business Bureau, United Family Circulation Inc. also goes by the names Platinum Sales Inc. and Tuscan Readers Service. The Better Business Bureau has given the company an unsatisfactory record for unanswered complaints and cites a history of sales representatives from the company falsely representing themselves as neighbors or students. "They travel in groups," Gravel said. "A truck or van will drop off a few here and a few there." He said the young salespeople would then canvas an area before moving on. Gravel said some door-to-door magazine subscription companies are legitimate. However, he said that when salespeople misrepresent themselves as local students, they are taking advantage of unsuspecting residents who believe that the money they donate is helping schools.
By Jason Sweeney
Los Gatos Weekly-Times
The Mercury News
mercurynews.com
Los Gatos, California
Read This Story



Google Search: United Family Circulation
United Family Circulation

Research: United Family Circulation on edumacation.com:
edumacation.com/UnitedFamilyCirculation

June 9, 2004
DMPG INFO CLIP:
Johnson County, Kansas Wins Civil Lawsuit Against
Ultimate Power Sales, Inc. And United Family Circulations, Inc.

Read The Judgment


Research United Family Circulation on Criminal Profiler:
Criminal Profiler



Lafayette, California
Magazine Sales Alert !!!

March 23, 2007
More Police Stuff
City Manager's Weekly Message
Friday, March 23, 2007
Last Friday night at 7:00 PM, K-9 Officer McDevitt was dispatched to the intersection of Acalanes Rd. and Legion Ct. regarding a suspicious person soliciting magazines door to door. McDevitt arrived in the area and saw a white pickup truck driven by a man, passing him in the opposite direction on Legion Ct. McDevitt made a u-turn at the end of the street and drove back toward Acalanes where noticed that the truck was rocking slightly as if the passengers were fighting inside. McDevitt found a woman behind the wheel and a man sitting tin the passenger seat and, after speaking to the driver, noticed she was speaking rapidly and making sudden and rapid movements with her head while looking alternately at him and then into the cab of the truck. McDevitt discovered the woman’s driver’s license was suspended, and she then admitted that she had recently snorted methamphetamine. She also said she had been arrested by Concord P.D. for possession of dangerous drugs on 3-2-07, but had bailed herself out. The male passenger’s driver’s license was also suspended and he was currently on probation for possession of dangerous drugs. McDevitt ordered both the occupants out of the truck. He then had his K-9 partner Doc sniff the truck for drugs. Doc alerted on a black purse sitting on the trucks seat, pawing at it vigorously. McDevitt searched the purse and found a small box containing a plastic baggie of suspected meth. He also found a glass pipe used to smoke meth in her purse. McDevitt arrested the woman for possession of meth and drug paraphernalia.
City Manager's Weekly Message
www.ci.lafayette.ca.us
City of Lafayette, California
Read This Story


Pomona, California
Magazine Salesman Sentenced To 18 Years For Rape

March 23, 2007
Peddler gets 18 years for rape
Door-to-door magazine sales was entry to victim's house
By Rod Leveque, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/23/2007 12:00:00 AM PDT
POMONA - A traveling magazine salesman was sentenced to the maximum of 18 years in prison Thursday for raping a Claremont woman inside her house. In handing down the term, the judge described Rondie Lamont Walz as a wannabe Casanova who tried to seduce and force himself upon women as he traveled door to door peddling subscriptions. Judge Charles Horan said he wanted Walz behind bars as long as possible because the Washington state man is a danger to women and a likely candidate to re-offend. "He's got a mindset that he's God's gift to females, and he can do what he wants, when he wants," the Pomona Superior Court judge said. Horan's words prompted a frustrated retort from Walz, who said he considers himself nothing more than a hard-working, average Joe. Walz, 22, said he has a pregnant fiancee at home, and never ran into any other problems in more than a year of selling magazines door to door. "I'm not a predator," he told the judge. "I'm not a psycho." Walz raped the 20-year-old Claremont woman Dec. 2 after he knocked on the door of her Wheaton Avenue house to sell her a subscription. When she let him inside to write on a countertop he told her she was beautiful and he tried to kiss her on the neck. When she rebuffed him, he dragged her into her living room and sexually assaulted her. Walz claimed during his trial in Pomona Superior Court that the woman consented to the encounter. However, two other women testified Walz also tried to force himself on them around the same time as the rape. One, from San Pedro, claimed Walz followed her inside her house and tried to kiss and grope her before she raised a fuss and scared him away. The second, from Banning, said Walz tried to force his way into her home until she shouted for her husband. The rape victim, wearing a pink and gray striped shirt and her hair in a ponytail, came to court Thursday to see Walz begin his journey to prison. The woman, with both parents by her side, spoke briefly during the hearing, telling the judge of how the rape changed her outlook on life. She used to be trusting, but is now suspicious, even of her friends, she said. She no longer answers knocks on her door and is uncomfortable around anyone she doesn't know. "Everywhere I go I think every guy looks like him," she said. "This incident turned me into something I am not." Walz faced life in prison as originally charged. However, the charges and enhancements that carried the life terms were eliminated by the judge and jury during Walz's trial, which ended Tuesday. Walz must serve more than 15 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. He also must register as a sex offender upon his release from prison. Before adjourning the hearing Thursday, Horan briefly addressed the victim. He encouraged her to stay strong and live a normal life, despite the ordeal she has endured. "With time, everything gets better," he said. "Even this."
Rod Leveque
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
dailybulletin.com
POMONA California
Read This Story


Greensboro, North Carolina
Traveling Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

March 23, 2007
Roberts: Magazine salesman at the door ... again
Rosemary Roberts
NEWS-RECORD
Article published Mar 23, 2007
People of a certain age remember the Fuller Brush Man or encyclopedia salesmen standing at the front door hawking their wares. Now, magazine salesmen have taken over the territory. My neighborhood in recent days has been infested with magazine salesmen. We're used to the occasional door-to-door solicitors but not hordes of them. My friends and neighbors are wondering what's going on. Are the magazine salesmen legitimate or bogus? You won't know 'til the magazine arrives (if it does). One neighbor, however, got suspicious. He paid more than $70 for a 2-year subscription to a magazine, checked the receipt for the name of the magazine clearing house, and then checked the Internet. The company's reputation was not snow-white. He put a stop on the check. So I decided to call the Greensboro police to check out the situation. A police spokesman said that teams of door-to-door salesmen often arrive in town and then move on to the next town. They're called "mag crews," and I have a hunch we're being invaded by one. They're fast- talking young people who are in their late teens or early twenties. They often say they're college students trying to earn money. And they've all seemingly been coached by the same trainers. Here are three sales pitches I heard this week:

Pitch #1: Hi, my name is Jane (not her real name) and I'm a student at N.C. State. I'm trying to earn money to spend six weeks in England this summer, and my father said I have to pay my own way. I get points for selling magazines. I just sold a magazine to (she names somebody on a street a block away) who helped me." (I may or may not know the person who allegedly bought the magazine, but the salesman is trying to establish her legitimacy.)

Pitch #2: "Hi, my name is Joe (not his real name), and I'm so-and-so's son (he names a woman) who lives on (he names a street). I'm a student at UNCG. I'm selling magazines to earn points to raise money for...." (I've never heard of the woman who is purportedly his mother.)

Pitch #3: "Hi, my name is Cindy (not her real name), and I'm trying to better myself. I was just talking to your neighbors down the street (she names them) and I'm not selling anything but...." Whereupon she tries to sell me a magazine.

All of the above reminded me of a story published Feb. 21 in The New York Times and headlined: "Door to Door: Long Days, Slim Rewards: For Youths, a Grim Tour on Magazine Crews." I have no idea whether the salesmen ringing my doorbell this week were part of a traveling "mag crew." If so, they're perfectly legal as long as the buyer receives the product. But it's wise to call the Better Business Bureau of Greensboro (1-800-888-9493) before you write the check. The Times story described the life of young, itinerant magazine salesmen who were promised big money and the chance to go places. The reality is often different. "Mag crews" travel from town to town in crowded vans and are packed into cheap motels. They're hired by a sales agency, which sends sales receipts to a clearing house. The salesmen often make small commissions that barely cover motel and food expenses. The Times story makes you feel sorry for these kids, even though they're a nuisance. At week's end, the doorbell rang again. A nice young girl, who said she was 12, was raising money for St. Jude Children's Hospital as a school project. I wrote a check but became suspicious. After all, I've been flooded with dubious magazine salesmen all week. So I called Mendenhall Middle School to see if the fundraising drive was legitimate. It was. And that's the sad side of this story. I'd even become suspicious of a child raising money for a worthy cause.
Rosemary Roberts writes a Friday column. E-mail: rmroberts@triad.rr.com.
Rosemary Roberts
NEWS-RECORD
news-record.com
Greensboro, North Carolina
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Decatur, Alabama
Traveling Magazine Salesman Alert !!!

March 22, 2007
Suspected litterbug in Athens goes to jail
By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com · (256) 340-2445
THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2007
ATHENS — She already had the cops' attention for not following the rules.

In addition, she was walking near the Athens Police Department. On top of that, she was within sight of the department's surveillance camera. So the 23-year-old Missouri woman shouldn't have been surprised she went to jail after leaving a broken bottle in the road and arguing with an officer over whether littering is a crime. Officer Jay Looney said the department received a call about people selling magazines door-to-door in Athens on Tuesday evening. The group from St. Louis did not have a business license. Police found part of the group and brought them, including the woman, to the station. Police identified the woman as Latrice R. Grawer, 23, of St. Louis.

Get out of town

Looney said the group's organizer was going to pick up Grawer and the group and leave town. Looney said Grawer got tired of waiting and walked to a nearby gas station. Lt. Floyd Johnson said that on Shaw Street, which is adjacent to the department, Grawer allegedly dropped a glass bottle, and it broke. He said she refused to pick it up. Looney said the department's outside camera caught the incident. Officer Charlie Clem went to write her a citation for littering. Johnson said Grawer got boisterous and allegedly refused to give Clem her identification. Looney said Grawer told Clem she "didn't see a problem with littering" and that "littering is not a crime." "She wouldn't get out of the roadway and wouldn't stop yelling," Johnson said, "so officer Clem decided to arrest her." The officer showed this woman from the Show-Me State that, yes, littering is indeed a crime. Clem charged her with disorderly conduct and littering, both misdemeanors. Grawer is out of jail on $500 bond for the disorderly conduct. If found guilty of littering in Municipal Court, under the city's newly adopted litter ordinance, she faces fines and community service time picking up litter.
By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com · (256) 340-2445
THE DECATUR DAILY
decaturdaily.com
Decatur, Alabama
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Wisconsin
Traveling Magazine Sales Crew Warning !!!

March 22, 2007
POLICE BEAT
Milton Courier
March 22, 2007
Sgt. John Conger
Milton Wisconsin Police Department
Milton, Wisconsin
The month of March is always a nice time, with the weather changing, and everyone anticipating Spring, and then Summer. However, it is also a reminder of a tragedy that occurred in our community in March of 1999. It was then that the horrible accident on the Interstate took place, claiming 7 young lives from around the Country. The victims were all members of a traveling sales group. Young and adventurous, they were lured into this hideous industry with promises of money and travel. Those dreams were never fulfilled, and they died needlessly, in a large part because of complete disregard for their wellbeing by leaders in that industry.

Therefore, I would like to again warn parents of teen-age children to beware, if their youngsters seem to be interested in becoming involved in this industry. There are endless stories of tragedy, physical assaults, sexual assaults, and deaths in direct connection with traveling sales crews. National television shows such as "Dateline NBC" and "20/20" have run numerous stories cautioning the public about this industry. The sales pitches will be alluring, and if potential employees (your children) have not been educated about the danger they will be putting themselves in, then they could tragically become a statistic. Please take the time to read up on these facts at www.travelingsalescrews.info

Once again the Wisconsin State Legislature is going to be considering a bill that will put strong restrictions on these organizations in this State. However, while we wait for the politicians to act, we can do our part to say "No" to this epidemic. We can accomplish that by educating our children, so they are not to become employees to be taken advantage of.

We can also post notices on our residences here in the City of Milton to prohibit door-to-door salespeople from contacting you at your home. Remember, thereare also many reports of the employees victimizing homeowners once they have "talked" their way into your home. Stickers referencing the City Ordinance for posting on your front door are available at Dave's Ace Hardware. In closing, please be vigilant and report any violations committed by sales people. They are required to register with the City prior to canvassing, and ARE NOT to make contact at your home if you have properly posted your front door.
Milton Courier
hometownnewsgroup.com
Milton, Wisconsin
Milton Courier
Milton Wisconsin Police Department


Pomona, California
Magazine Salesman Found Guilty Of Rape

March 21, 2007
Salesman found guilty of rape
Rod Leveque
dailybulletin.com
Article Launched: 03/21/2007 01:00:00 AM PDT
POMONA - A traveling magazine salesman was convicted on Tuesday of raping a 20-year-old Claremont woman. Rondie Lamont Walz, 22, is scheduled to return to Pomona Superior Court on Thursday to be sentenced. Walz knocked on the door of the woman's Wheaton Avenue home on Dec. 2 while selling subscriptions. She allowed him inside and after chatting for a few minutes, the man tried to kiss her. When she rebuffed him, he dragged her to another room and forced himself upon her.
- Rod Leveque, (909) 483-9325
Rod Leveque
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
dailybulletin.com
POMONA California
Read This Story


Durham, North Carolina
Magazine Salesman Charged With Second-Degree Rape, Second-Degree Sexual Offense, First-Degree Kidnapping And Sexual Battery

March 21, 2007
Police: Rape case evidence found
The Herald Sun
Mar 21, 2007 : 10:27 pm ET
Durham -- Durham police found fingerprints and trace evidence in the Dodge Durango they say was driven by the 25-year-old traveling salesman charged with raping a teen March 14, according to a search warrant filed Wednesday at the Durham County Magistrate's Office. Branden Marquis Crosby, who was living at the Days Inn at 3460 Hillsborough Road when the alleged rape occurred, was charged March 16 with second-degree rape, second-degree sexual offense, first-degree kidnapping and sexual battery. According to the search warrant, Crosby met the 17-year-old woman at a fast-food restaurant on Hillsborough Road and raped her twice in two locations. The victim told police she got into Crosby's Durango at the Chick-fil-A at 3429 Hillsborough Road. He then drove around the corner, the warrant said, where he allegedly raped the teen despite her protests. The teen later drove herself to Crosby's motel to retrieve identification she left in the Durango, according to the warrant. When she arrived, Crosby told her he'd taken the identification into his motel room, the warrant said. Warrants said Crosby raped the teen again in Room 114 and took nude pictures of her with his cellphone. No pictures or cellphone were retrieved from the Durango, where police investigators searched for bodily fluids, pubic hair and any evidence of sexual assault, according to the warrant. Crosby remained in jail late Wednesday under a $350,000 bond.
The Herald Sun
heraldsun.com
Durham, North Carolina
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Durham, North Carolina
Magazine Salesman Rapes 17-year-old Girl

March 20, 2007
Door-To-Door Salesman Charged With Rape
WRAL-TV
Posted: Mar. 20 2:08 p.m.
Updated: Mar. 20 10:13 p.m.
Durham — A door-to-door salesman is charged with rape, and police want to know if there are more victims. Police said Branden Crosby sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl in a grocery store parking lot, then later at a motel. Authorities said Crosby was in town selling magazines for an Indiana-based company. Crosby is currently in the Durham County Jail on $350,000 bond. Investigators think there could be more victims and want them to contact police. If you have any information, you can call 919-560-4440.
WRAL-TV
wral.com
Durham, North Carolina
Read This Story



Search: Branden Crosby
Branden Crosby

Search: Magazine Crew: Omni Horizons
Omni Horizons

Search: Magazine Clearinghouse: American Community Services
American Community Services



Research:
Magazine Clearinghouse:
American Community Services, Inc.
American Community Services Website: americancommunity.com
Indiana Secretary of State:  American Community Services
Criminal Profiles: Search For: American Community Services
Magazine Scams: American Community Services
Consumer Advocacy: Edumacation.com
Consumer Advocacy:
Employer of man who killed Knoxville woman has other employees accused of same
ACS Member of National Field Selling Association: nfsa.com
ACS Sells Magazines For The Magazine Publishers of America:
magazine.org

View the magazines that Branden Crosby was selling for American Community Services and the Magazine Publishers of America when he raped the 17-year-old girl:
View ACS Magazine Selling List In PDF Format


Durham, North Carolina
Magazine Salesman Kidnapped and Raped a 17-year-old girl

March 20, 2007
Police Urge Assault Victims to Come Forward
By Ken Ward
Eyewitness News ABC 11
(03/20/07-- DURHAM) - A magazine salesman is under arrest after Durham Police say he kidnapped and raped a 17-year-old girl. The arrest is drawing attention to a group of traveling salesmen now operating out of a Durham motel. Branden "Heavy" Crosby allegedly sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl in the parking lot of the Kroger store on Hillsborough Road late Wednesday. Officials say Crosby forced the girl into his Days Inn motel room across the street, where he allegedly assaulted her again. Crosby works for a traveling magazine outfit that set up shop at the Days Inn on Hillsborough Road. Right now police aren't sure if the teenage girl is Crosby's only victim and they're asking anyone who may have been attacked to come forward. Crosby was arrested Friday night on rape and kidnapping charges. He is being held on $350,000 bail.
Eyewitness News ABC 11
ABC11 News Team
Ken Ward, Reporter
abclocal.go.com
Durham, North Carolina
Read This Story


LOS GATOS, California
Traveling Magazine Saleman Alert !!! March 20, 2007
LOS GATOS:
DOOR-TO-DOOR SOLICITORS CITED IN LOS GATOS
CBS5.com
kpix TV
03/20/07 2:30 PDT
LOS GATOS (BCN)
Two women have been cited for going door to door and fraudulently selling magazines to solicit donations for the Los Gatos High School soccer team, Los Gatos/Monte Sereno police announced today. Tasha Mitchell, 19, of Buford, Ga., and Amanda Wheatley, 18, of Newark, Ohio, were allegedly making their rounds Friday around 7:30 p.m. and claimed to be with high school. Concerned neighbors reported the incident to police. The girls allegedly claimed to live in the neighborhood of La Rinconada Drive. They were cited for municipal code violations of soliciting without a permit, according to police. The women were in possession of materials that indicated they were attempting to sell magazine subscriptions, according to police. Police confiscated the materials.
CBS5.com
kpix TV
cbs5.co
LOS GATOS, California
Read This Story


Monroe, Wisconsin
March 19, 2007
Traveling sales crew bill protects youth
Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach
Published Monday, March 19, 2007 11:25:34 AM Central Time
THE TimesPlus
Monroe Wisconsin
It has been eight years since the tragic and senseless accident on I-90 near Janesville, which took the lives of seven teenagers and injured seven more young people. All 14 were part of a travel sales crew, hired by an out-of-state company to sell magazines door-to-door in Wisconsin. The crew chief driving the van at the time of the fatal accident did not have a valid driver's license. As he attempted to switch seats with another passenger while racing at 90 miles per hour to avoid the law, the van swerved out of control and crashed. The magnitude of this tragedy remains incalculable and many of our hearts remain heavy. Working closely with Phil Ellenbecker, the father of Janesville accident victim Malinda Turvey, we are calling for passage of legislation regulating traveling sales crews. Our bill was stopped last session by the State Assembly, but with a January change of leadership in the State Senate and a change of Assembly Speaker, we are hopeful our bipartisan bill will pass. Businesses operating traveling sales crews consistently ignore city, state and federal laws, exploiting a legal loophole that allows them to put both the young members of their crews, as well as the public, at serious potential risk. While operating in Wisconsin the supervisor of the crew in the Janesville crash obtained no local solicitor permits to sell door-to-door in any community. The plan was to stay in motels located near the state border so they could skip across the border and avoid prosecution if they ran into any questions from local authorities. The businesses hiring these magazine traveling sales crews call their employees "independent contractors" and label their summer of selling door-to-door an "internship." But that is a means allowing them to manipulate young people into jobs walking door to door all summer long -- and many times with their paychecks withheld for weeks at a time. Company policies usually require the sales crews to work out of state, isolating them from friends and family. Their shifts on the streets can be six days a week from 7:30 in the morning until 9:30 at night, followed by a debriefing with the supervisor. The remaining day includes mandatory attendance at sales meetings. The entire time they are under constant scrutiny by their supervisor. There is no reasonable reason to characterize the young people working for these companies as anything but employees. Classifying them as "independent contractors" is simply a means for these companies to engage in legalized indentured servitude. Our traveling sales crew legislation, often called "Malinda's Law" will stop this by requiring sales crews in Wisconsin to register with the Department of Workforce Development and all members of sales crews be considered employees and prohibiting the use of independent contractors as crewmember salespersons. We also would set up reasonable workplace standards for crew members such as a requirement of semi-monthly paychecks, work hour limits and more comprehensive disclosure of work responsibilities. Our bill not only will protect vulnerable members of traveling sales crews, but also consumers and homeowners. In numerous states, consumers have not received the products they agreed to buy from these door-to-door sales crews. More seriously, in Wisconsin and in other states there have been stories of crew members preying on elderly homeowners, women and young people -- committing violent crimes including armed robbery, sexual assault and murder. In August 2006, an out-of-state magazine salesman was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the sexual assault of a Menomonie woman. The momentum to pass this bill is on our side. The more the public hears about the abuses perpetrated by these companies, the louder are the voices for reform. On a personal note, Phil Ellenbecker is owed a debt of gratitude by the people of Wisconsin for his tireless work on behalf of this legislation. I applaud his determination and his spirit. For the victims and their families and for the people of Wisconsin, we must move forward.

-- State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, is serving his third term in the Legislature and is the chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
THE TimesPlus
themonroetimes.com
Monroe Wisconsin
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Wisconsin Legislation
March 15, 2007
Traveling Sales Crew Bill Will Protect Young People
A Column By State Senator Jon Erpenbach
March 15, 2007
It has been eight years since the tragic and senseless accident on I-90 near Janesville, which took the lives of seven teenagers and injured seven more young people. All 14 were part of a travel sales crew, hired by an out-of-state company to sell magazines door-to-door in Wisconsin. The crew chief driving the van at the time of the fatal accident did not have a valid driver’s license. As he attempted to switch seats with another passenger while racing at 90 miles per hour to avoid the law, the van swerved out of control and crashed. The magnitude of this tragedy remains incalculable and many of our hearts remain heavy. Working closely with Phil Ellenbecker, the father of Janesville accident victim Malinda Turvey, we are calling for passage of legislation regulating traveling sales crews. Our bill was stopped last session by the State Assembly, but with a January change of leadership in the State Senate and a change of Assembly Speaker, we are hopeful our bipartisan bill will pass. Businesses operating traveling sales crews consistently ignore city, state and federal laws, exploiting a legal loophole that allows them to put both the young members of their crews, as well as the public, at serious potential risk. While operating in Wisconsin the supervisor of the crew in the Janesville crash obtained no local solicitor permits to sell door-to-door in any community. The plan was to stay in motels located near the state border so they could skip across the border and avoid prosecution, if they ran into any questions from local authorities. The businesses hiring these magazine traveling sales crews call their employees “independent contractors” and label their summer of selling door-to-door an “internship.” But that it is a means allowing them to manipulate young people into jobs walking door to door all summer long – and many times with their paychecks withheld for weeks at a time. Company policies usually require the sales crews to work out of state, isolating them from friends and family. Their shifts on the streets can be six-days-a-week from 7:30 in the morning until 9:30 at night, followed by a debriefing with the supervisor. The remaining day includes mandatory attendance at sales meetings. The entire time they under constant scrutiny by their supervisor. There is no reasonable reason to characterize the young people working for these companies as anything but employees. Classifying them as “independent contractors” is simply a means for these companies to engage in legalized indentured servitude. Our traveling sales crew legislation, often called “Malinda’s Law” will stop this by requiring sales crews in Wisconsin to register with the Department of Workforce Development and all members of sales crews be considered employees and prohibiting the use of independent contractors as crewmember salespersons. We would also set up reasonable workplace standards for crew members such as requirement of semi-monthly paychecks, work hour limits and more comprehensive disclosure of work responsibilities. Our bill will not only protect vulnerable members of traveling sales crews, but also consumers and homeowners. In numerous states, consumers have not received the products they agreed to buy from these door-to-door sales crews. More seriously, in Wisconsin and in other states there have been stories of crew members preying on elderly homeowners, women and young people – committing violent crimes including armed robbery, sexual assault and murder. In August 2006, an out-of-state magazine salesman was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the sexual assault of a Menomonie woman. The momentum to pass this bill is on our side. The more the public hears about the abuses perpetrated by these companies, the louder are the voices for reform. On a personal note, Phil Ellenbecker is owed a debt of gratitude by the people of Wisconsin for his tireless work on behalf of this legislation. I applaud his determination and his spirit. For the victims and their families and for the people of Wisconsin, we must move forward. State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) is serving his third term in the legislature and is the Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. As always, you can reach my office by calling 608-266-6670 or e-mail me at Sen.Erpenbach@legis.wi.gov. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) is serving in his third term in the state Senate is the chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
A Column By State Senator Jon Erpenbach
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Visit Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach's Website


Dayton, Ohio
March 14, 2007
Dream jobs become nightmarish traps
Area teen lured by promises of adventure
describes a life of lies, drugs and abuse.
By Jim DeBrosse
Dayton Daily News
Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
MIAMISBURG — Jonathon Pope, 19, was jobless and in the middle of a nasty break-up with his girlfriend when he spotted a classified ad in the Dayton Daily News last spring that promised a traveling sales job with "road rules atmosphere." Pope called a recruiter and, over the phone, was hired as a door-to-door magazine and books sales person. In two hours he was on a bus to St. Louis. "I was just looking for a way to get out of Miamisburg, get out of Ohio." What Pope didn't realize was that he would start out working 8- to 12-hour days, six days a week, learning how to make up lies to customers to meet his daily sales quota. He would adopt the traveling crew's hard-partying lifestyle and turn to drugs. And after six months, when he wanted to go home, he would be dumped at a Wal-Mart near San Antonio, Texas, with just $17 in his pocket. Pope's long, strange and often dangerous trip is being played out by thousands of young adults all over the country seeking adventure and easy income, only to find themselves trapped in an itinerant world of drugs, sex, crimes and sometimes mental and even physical abuse, says Earlene Williams, director of Parent Watch Inc., a nonprofit group that helps young traveling salespeople find their way to safety. Williams said she gets hundreds of calls and e-mails a year from young people who want to get out of the business but who are afraid of retribution from managers or have nowhere to go, or both. The National Consumers League lists traveling youth crews among the five most dangerous jobs for teens. Both organizations want to end the door-to-door sales industry's exemption from labor laws that they say allow abuses to continue. Industry representatives say the problems have been greatly exaggerated. The Magazine Publishers Association estimates that door-to-door sales account for 1 percent of all sales while the National Field Selling Association puts the figure at 2 percent to 3 percent. "The media pick up on the aberrations and the things that happen in the industry that are unfortunate," said Dan Smith, an attorney representing the National Field Selling Association. The association issues professional guidelines for firms to follow, he said. But Williams says she's hearing a different story from young people on the road. "You can tell they are afraid just by how they talk on the phone."
By Jim DeBrosse
Staff Writer
Dayton Daily News
daytondailynews.com
Dayton, Ohio
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Dayton, Ohio
March 14, 2007
Area teen learns tough lesson through door-to-door sales
By Jim DeBrosse
Staff Writer
Dayton Daily News
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
MIAMISBURG — Jonathon Pope kept his door-to-door sales pitch simple and sweet, saying he was the son of the woman down the street and selling magazines to help the Blackhawks select baseball club. If customers asked which woman, he'd say, "You know, the one who walks the golden retriever every morning." Only one problem — none of it was true. And the better Pope got at lying, the more sales he made as part of an itinerant sales crew that traveled the country working all day and partying all night, the 19-year-old Miamisburg resident said. Pope spent six months in an industry under growing scrutiny for allegations that its young sales people are encouraged to spin stories to meet quotas and are either induced or coerced to stay on the job by easy access to drugs, limited access to their paychecks and mental and even physical abuse from managers. Earlene Williams, whose organization Parent Watch Inc. filed a racketeering lawsuit against the door-to-door magazine sales industry in 1982, says she has been trying for 25 years to get Congress to end the industry's exemption from labor practices laws. She says her organization is getting five to six calls a day and as many e-mails from young adults who want to get out of the traveling sales business but can't find a way. That's four to five times as many emergency contacts as the organization received in the 1980s and double the amount in 2003, she said. Williams said she has heard from sales people who were beaten for not meeting quotas or for trying to leave the crew, either by their managers or other crew members. "The thing is, they do it very publicly so that everyone sees it. It leaves the whole crew in fear." She said victims have told her that some crews play a game called "geeb," in which sales people who fail to meet quotas for the day are loaded last on the van and are beaten by the others already on board until they reach the last seat, she said. Sales people often share cramped motel rooms, with the lowest seller of the day sleeping on the floor, she said. Crews range anywhere from six to 25 people and often recruit in malls and door to door as they travel. Many traveling sales crews advertise they will pay for transportation home for those who want out. But Williams said she has heard from hundreds of sales people who, like Pope, say they were denied bus tickets and dumped hundreds and even thousands of miles from home. Pope's crew manager, John Wigman of Periodical and Publications Connections, did not return several phone calls to his recruiting number requesting an interview. Industry representatives say labor advocates like Williams exaggerate the number of abuses among hundreds of crews employing young adults, mostly ages 18 to 25. "A lot of that stuff is rare, and it gets played up in the media like it's a common practice," said Dan Smith, a Washington, D.C., attorney who represents the National Field Selling Association. While most magazine subscriptions are sold directly by publishers and through direct mail, insert cards and the Internet, many publishers also hire clearinghouses, who in turn subcontract with crew managers who hire door-to-door sellers. Both Williams and Smith say the number of crews is on the rise because the No Call List has hampered telemarketing sales. Pope said he was never the victim of physical abuse and never directly witnessed any, but the verbal and mental abuse from managers and other crew members was like boot camp. "They yell at you, they cuss at you. They would tear you down in every way possible so they could build you up again the way they wanted you to be." But Pope also admitted that he got into drugs, including methamphetamines and crack, while traveling with the crew. He was never given those drugs from managers, he said, but their use was popular among many crew members. "The lifestyle just sort of sucks you in, and you get stuck. I thought at one time there was no way I would ever get out." Pope said members of his crew were given a minimum of $15 a day for meal allowances, on up to $20, depending on whether they met or exceeded their quota of 15 subscriptions for the day. "Most of the time I met my (daily sales) quota early and I'd end up taking a two- or three-hour nap," he said. In the evenings, the car-handler would pick up the crew members, return them to the motel, where the partying would last until 4 or 5 in the morning, he said. The working day would begin again at 8:30 a.m. for those who didn't meet their quota, and 9:30 a.m. for those who did. To meet his quota, Pope said he was instructed to make up stories by more seasoned sales people, but never by a manager. "They're smart. They know they can't do that themselves, or they'll get caught," said Malinda Quattlebaum, Pope's mother. The standard line was that the crew was selling subscriptions to raise money for a select baseball club, usually called the Blackhawks "because nearly every town has a team named the Blackhawks," Pope said. The pitch was further personalized by having the sales people say they were sons or daughters of a neighbor "down the street." But once the crew hit Texas, Pope said, word had spread about the phony select baseball clubs, so he and other crew members began posing as University of Texas students working their way through college. Pope said managers never officially endorsed the college student ruse but they paid for University of Texas sweatshirts and T-shirts for crew members to wear. The turning point for Pope came in Texas, where he was arrested by police for false representation and threatened with a lawsuit by the University of Texas. When his managers refused to give him any legal backing, Pope said he purposely failed to meet his sales quotas to get out of the business. Within days, he was separated from the rest of the crew, dropped off at a Wal-Mart parking lot near San Antonio with just $17 in his pocket and told to find his own way home, he said. Pope's traveling days are over. He now works at a McDonald's restaurant he can walk to from his mother's home in Miamisburg and is saving up his money so he can go to technical school. "I'm just trying to get back on my feet again." Pope said his magazine sales crew experience taught him at least one important lesson. "I learned that you can easily be manipulated by other people and what they tell you. I just learned not to follow anyone but me."

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2437 or jdebrosse@DaytonDailyNews.com.

________________________________________________

How to protect young sales people
Earlene Williams of Parent Watch Inc., a nonprofit clearinghouse for information on traveling sales crews, offers this advice: Don't buy magazines or books from door-to-door sales people. "If the kid suffers more in the short-term (from lack of sales), they may leave faster and find a safe haven." Don't invite them into your home, but ask the sales person if he or she is in trouble and wants to make a phone call for help. If they have no family to call, recommend Parent Watch (212) 666-4221 or www.parentwatch.org. If you do plan to buy a subscription, ask to see identifying information for both the sales person and the organization they say they are raising money for. Always pay with a check. Some sales people will pocket your cash and not turn in your sales receipt.

Sources: Parent Watch Inc. and Jonathon Pope a former door-to-door sales person
By Jim DeBrosse
Staff Writer
Dayton Daily News
daytondailynews.com
Dayton, Ohio
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Miami Beach, Florida
WARNING - Door to Door Magazine Saleman Alert !!!

March 13, 2007
Knife Wielding Man Invades Miami Beach Home
Police Arrest Three Suspects In Home Invasion
Mar 13, 2007 7:37 pm US/Eastern
(CBS4) MIAMI BEACH An upscale Miami Beach neighborhood was shaken up and an elementary school was forced to be put on lockdown after a knife wielding suspect invaded a home. The incident occurred Tuesday morning at a home located at 2324 North Bay Road when police say a man approached the house and rang the door bell, claiming he was a magazine salesman. The housekeeper inside of the home opened the door and said she was not interested, but the suspect took out a knife and forced his way inside. Police say the housekeeper was able to leave the home and ran to a neighbor’s home to call for help. Construction workers who were at the neighbor’s home rushed over to try and stop the suspect, but he was able to escape in a car with two other men. The workers were able to give police a detailed description of the vehicle and the suspects. Miami Beach Police issued a BOLO (Be On The Lookout) for the suspects and ordered a lockdown for West Little River Elementary School, which is just a block away, as a precaution. The suspects were spotted in their car a short time later, prompting two men to bail out of the vehicle at 2485 NW 85th Street. The other suspect remained in the car and was arrested. Officers were able to apprehend the other two suspects a short time later. The three men were arrested, but charges against the suspects were not immediately known. The housekeeper was not injured during the home invasion and the lockdown on the elementary school was lifted. Police say the home that was targeted had been put up for sale, but they believe there were still valuables inside and that could have prompted the suspects to burglarize it. The home is located in an upscale community in Miami Beach and is just the houses away from professional wrestling legend Hulk Hogan.
CBS4
cbs4.com
Miami Beach, Florida
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Madison Wisconsin
March 6, 2007
New Effort Takes Aim At Traveling Sales Crews
Bill Would Likely Keep Companies Out Of State
POSTED: 8:53 pm CST March 6, 2007
Channel 3000
WISC-TV CBS
MADISON, Wis. -- Sweeping legislation is back at the state Capitol in a new effort to push traveling sales crews out of Wisconsin.

The new effort stems from a fatal van crash involving a traveling sales crew eight years ago, WISC-TV reported.

The bill would make sweeping changes to the door-to-door sales industry, and if it passes, it would likely keep most of the companies out of Wisconsin.

In March 1999, seven teenagers died and another seven were seriously injured when the van they were in rolled over on the Interstate near Janesville. They were part of a traveling magazine sales group.

Malinda Turvey, 18, died that night, WISC-TV reported.

"It's in my mind constantly," said Phil Ellenbecker, Turvey's father. "I promised my daughter that I would go after these people and that's exactly what I'm doing."

Inside the Capitol, Ellenbecker is becoming known as the man who won't quit until changes are made. "Phil's been at this forever. I really admire his tenacity," said Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, who sponsored the bill.

"Social change is like a snail and the legislative process is worse," Ellenbecker said.

Traveling sales companies place newspaper ads that promise big money and a chance to travel the country.

"Sometimes minors get into a situation where there's trouble at home and they want to get away and they join up with these crews," Erpenbach said.

The sales companies, listed officially as "independent contractors," don't have to follow labor laws, which means no minimum wage, no workman's comp and no benefits for workers.

"One of the key provisions of the legislation is change 'independent contractor' into actual employee. So that the firms that do the hiring, they become employees of the firm," Erpenbach said.

But Southwestern Company, based on Nashville, said that poses a problem. The company has 3,000 students selling children's educational books door-to-door.

Communications Manager Trey Campbell said the bill "throws the baby out with the bathwater." He said it would "hurt our business model" and that it lumps Southwestern in with fly-by-night traveling magazine sales crews.

Campbell said the students run their own business out of choice.

"They can continue to do exactly what they're doing. All Southwestern has to do is treat them as employees -- that's all," Erpenbach said.

Campbell said that Southwestern isn't a big enough company to do that.

But Ellenbecker said the company won't do it because it will cost them money.

"Everyone that works like that is entitled to have rights, and all these kids need rights and that's what we're fighting for," Ellenbecker said.

Southwestern Company said it is different than magazine traveling sales crews in that students stay in one area, work alone and live with host families. The company's Web site says that successful students work 75 hours a week or more.

Campbell said the company wants to be part of the solution and is willing to find a way to regulate the bad apples of the industry without harming Southwestern.
WISC-TV CBS
channel3000.com
Madison, Wisconsin
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Madison Wisconsin
March 5, 2007
Shut sales crews out of Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Journal editorial
MON., MAR 5, 2007 - 9:51 AM
When Tracie Onaya Jones was last seen alive, she was part of a 10-member crew selling magazine subscriptions in North Little Rock, Ark.

That was in late November. A few days later the body of the 19-year-old from Albany, Ore., was found near Memphis.

Jones' death, among the latest in a long list of horror stories involving door-to-door sales crews, illustrates why Wisconsin families should beware.

This spring will be prime season for traveling sales businesses to come to Wisconsin in search of teenagers and college-age men and women to recruit into their crews.

Don't listen to them.

Typically, recruiters promise travel, cash and scholarships. But all too often the young people lured into traveling sales crews end up broke, stranded or even worse - the victims of accident or assault.

Wisconsin has firsthand experience. In 1999 seven young members of a sales crew died when the van in which they were riding rolled over on Interstate 90 near Janesville.

The van was driven by a 20-year-old serial traffic offender whose license was suspended. The company employing the crew was cited by state officials for nearly 100 violations of employment and wage laws.

Members of sales crews are not the only victims of the industry. With alarming frequency, crew members victimize customers. In the summer of 2005 a woman in Dunn County Wisconsin was brutally beaten and sexually assaulted by a man who came to her door to sell magazine subscriptions.

In August, Brandon Green of Minnesota was convicted of the crime. Attempts to improve regulation of the traveling sales industry have been made at the federal and state levels with no success. A regulatory measure passed the state Senate in 2005 but died in the Assembly. In Congress, bills from Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., and Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., went nowhere.

Improved regulation is needed. But the most effective way to protect against sales crew abuses is to deprive the industry of the two things it needs: employees and customers.

Not only should Wisconsin families reject the recruiting pitches of traveling sales crews but households also should keep their doors shut to traveling salespeople, unless they represent a local, identifiable group.

Wisconsin should make it clear that traveling sales crews are not welcome in this state. We are not buying what they are selling.
Wisconsin State Journal
Opinion
madison.com Madison, Wisconsin
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Portland, Oregon
Portland Police Bureau
Warning !!!

March 2007
Portland Police Bureau (Portland, Oregon)
Door to door magazine sales crews
Consumer tips on how to avoid becoming a victim
The Oregon Department of Justice wants consumers to know about door-to-door magazine subscription sellers, who may use fraudulent or intimidating tactics when attempting to make magazine sales. Frequently, magazine sellers tell consumers that they may purchase a subscription and donate it to a charity in lieu of receiving it themselves, or that the solicitor works for a charitable organization. ODJ believes this may be a fraudulent sales pitch and no benefit goes to charity. Some door-to-door sellers have serious criminal records and are dangerous. Nationwide and in Oregon , serious crimes against persons have been committed, as well as property crimes. Some use threatening or intimidating tactics to frighten consumers into purchasing a subscription they would not otherwise purchase. Other sellers are “at-risk youth” types or young adults who were recruited or lured into a sales crew by promises of travel and easy money, and are now hundreds or thousands of miles away from their hometown. Due to the financial aspects of working for a sales crew, these individuals are frequently in a situation in which they may be unable to leave the sales crew because they fear they will lose the wages the team leader is purportedly holding for them. They may not have money to pay for a bus or plane ticket home. An organization called Parent Watch, Inc. (http://www.parentwatch.org/) may be able to assist individuals who are stranded or want to leave a traveling sales crew. Sales agents travel in groups, usually in passenger vans. These groups come into a town for a few days and then move on to the next town, never staying in one community for long. The groups are led by crew leaders and managers who most likely started out as door-to-door sellers themselves.

Here are tips that may be useful to consumers and avoid becoming a scam victim: Be suspicious of receipts where the delivery name or address for the subscription is different than the address of the purchaser. Or, the subscription is to be delivered to a nonprofit, or is a "donation", sometimes to a vague charitable cause. Also be suspicious of receipts where the purchaser paid by "cash" which can be easily pocketed by the sales agents. If sales agents suggest that purchasers make a donation to a specific Oregon nonprofit (example: donate a subscription of a children's magazine to Doernbecher Children's Hospital), this is illegal without the prior written consent of the nonprofit (ORS 128.856). Doernbecher and other Oregon nonprofits generally have not given permission for such activities. Sales agents often try to convince purchasers that the sales agents are local students, on a local sports team, etc., to make the sale. Sales agents have been arrested by police agencies for theft by deception by lying to make a sale. Sometimes sales agents have been reported to use threatening behavior and intimidation tactics to make sales that consumers wouldn't otherwise make. Consumers are encouraged to report this type of activity.

For more information on how to protect yourself from becoming a victim or if you want to report a scam, contact:

Oregon Department of Justice Financial Fraud/Consumer Protection Section 1162 Court St. NE Salem, OR 97301-4096

You may call the Attorney General's Consumer Hotline and request a form to be mailed to you. Portland area: (503) 229-5576 Toll-free: (1-877) 877-9392 To download a Consumer Complaint Form, click here (PDF) http://www.doj.state.or.us/finfraud/pdf/concompform.pdf

Oregon DOJ Charitable Activities investigates and takes civil action against the companies if the activities involve a charitable-sounding pitch. Typical violations include: False or misleading solicitations (ORS 128.886) or other violations of the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act (ORS 646.608 et seq.).

OR DOJ Financial Fraud/Consumer Protection Section also monitors crews that go door to door for violations of the law, such as the home solicitation (3-day right of rescission) law. This includes crews selling magazines or other products such as Advantage Cleaner, jewelry, meat products, "local fruit" and others.

(Information provided by the Oregon Department of Justice, Civil Enforcement Division) http://www.doj.state.or.us/index.shtml
Portland Police Bureau
portlandonline.com
Portland, Oregon
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Vista California
Magaizne Salesman Admits Kidnapping Elementary School Kid

Febuary 27, 2007
Man admits dragging teen into bushes near Carlsbad school, trying to molest him
By: North County Times wire services -
North Country Times
VISTA - A Long Beach man admitted today that he dragged a teenage boy into some bushes near a Carlsbad elementary school and tried to molest him, and now could be imprisoned for the rest of his life. Eric Rodney Hill, 28, pleaded guilty to kidnapping to commit sodomy before Vista Superior Court Judge K. Michael Kirkman. "He's going to where he needs to be, for as long as he needs to be gone," Deputy District Attorney Christine Israel said. Hill, who told authorities he was a door-to-door magazine salesman, was arrested on Dec. 1 at Jefferson Elementary School. The defendant first followed two children home from school, and they told their parents, Israel said. Police were called, and a father of one child drove around the neighborhood before spotting him on a street corner with the 14-year-old kidnapping victim, who appeared to be uncomfortable, the prosecutor said. The father turned his car around, but the two were gone, with only the teenager's backpack still at the corner, she said. The man then found them in the bushes and since officers were in the area by then, Hill was arrested, Israel said. An "unbelievable chain of fortunate events" kept the situation from being much worse, according to the prosecutor. Hill later told police what he planned to do with the boy, she said. The defendant will be sentenced March 27 to life in prison with the possibility of parole, which is the maximum he could have received whether he went to trial or not. He'll be eligible for parole after seven years.
By: North County Times wire services
North Country Times
nctimes.com
San Diego/County California
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Congress Fails to Curb Magazine Sales Abuses
consumeraffairs.com

Febuary 27, 2007
February 27, 2007
The National Consumers League (NCL) and the Child Labor Coalition (CLC) are calling on Congress to enact protections for the thousands of teenagers and young adults who are abused and cheated by the traveling magazine sales industry. The organizations cited a recent New York Times article that documented the abuse and mistreatment young people commonly encounter when they are roped into traveling magazine sales schemes. The groups said they welcomed the Times story but were disappointed at Congress' failure to act. "Why hasn't Congress acted," asked Darlene Adkins, NCL vice president and CLC coordinator. "There's been legislation introduced year after year that addresses this problem and the reaction has been disinterest and a shrug." Two decades ago, in 1987, a Congressional investigation of the magazine sales industry uncovered a track record of abuse, fraud, and indentured servitude involving its often teenage or young adult salespersons. Nothing came of it. As the Times article put it: "More than two decades after a Senate investigation revealed widespread problems with these itinerant sellers, and despite several highly publicized fatal accidents and violent crimes involving the sales crews in recent years, the industry remains almost entirely unregulated. And while the industry says it has changed, advocates and law enforcement officials say the abuses persist." In the 20 years since those hearings, the Young American Workers Bill of Rights (in 2003 renamed as Youth Worker Protection Act) has been introduced in Congress nine times. Sponsored by Rep. Tom Lantos (D_CA), the bill would revise the nation's child labor laws to include a prohibition on minors under the age of 16 from working in door-to-door sales. This bill has never made it to the floor for a vote. In both 1999 and 2001, the Traveling Sales Crew Protection Act was introduced. The lead sponsor is Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI). This bill would regulate the industry, close loopholes, and better protect salespersons in door-to-door sales. This bill has never made it to the floor for a vote either. "We do applaud the members of Congress who have valiantly raised this issue," says Adkins. "Despite their efforts, Congress has proved to be unwilling to step up to the plate and pass legislation that is sorely overdue."
consumeraffairs.com
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Concord New Hampshire
N.H. Supreme Court

Febuary 23, 2007
Salesman appeals rape conviction
By ANNMARIE TIMMINS
Monitor staff
February 23. 2007 8:00AM
Joseph Haniffy, the magazine salesman serving 7½ to 20 years for raping a woman in her Concord apartment nearly two years ago, is appealing his conviction. A lawyer for Haniffy told the state Supreme Court yesterday that Haniffy was unfairly denied the use of critical evidence at trial because it would hurt the victim. Haniffy's public defenders wanted jurors to know that the victim had had sex with her boyfriend several hours before the rape. The defense also wanted jurors to know that the victim's boyfriend initially thought her allegation of rape was her idea of a joke because she seemed calm. That evidence, appellate defender Theodore Lothstein told the court yesterday, was necessary to help the jurors evaluate the victim's credibility. The woman's relations with her boyfriend were denied because the judge believed it violated the rape shield law and harmed the victim more than it helped the defense. The judge denied the use of the boyfriend's impressions of her rape allegation as inadmissible under the rules of evidence. Susan McGinnis of the state attorney general's office asked the court to uphold the conviction yesterday, saying the testimony denied at trial doesn't add as much as the defense says. The appeal was heard by only three justices, instead of the usual five, because questions raised affect this case but are not precedent setting. McGinnis and Lothstein each had about five minutes to argue their points. Haniffy and two members of his traveling magazine sales crew - Cassidy Coburn and Christopher Armstrong - raped the then 19-year-old woman in her apartment after she initially invited them in and served at least Coburn and Armstrong alcohol. The men admitted they had had sex with the woman, but they said it was consensual. The jury disagreed and convicted Haniffy. Coburn and Armstrong pleaded guilty after Haniffy's trial and each received about two years in jail. They are still serving their sentences, said Ron White, superintendent of the Merrimack County jail. As part of his appeal, Haniffy is also arguing that Coburn and Armstrong should not have been allowed to testify at his trial. They did so reluctantly. But the lawyers handling the appeal used their brief time before the court to discuss what jurors weren't allowed to hear at trial. After the woman began to feel uncomfortable with the men in her apartment, she said she tried to contact several people by computer or phone for help. One of them was a man from out of town whom she had never met but only corresponded with on a singles website. She never tried to contact her boyfriend, who'd been over earlier that day. When asked at trial why she called a stranger instead of her boyfriend, the woman said the relationship was new and "shaky." Haniffy's public defenders questioned that, given that the boyfriend had been over earlier in the day and the two had had sex. But Judge Edward Fitzgerald denied that evidence, saying it violated the rape shield law. McGinnis said that evidence would only make the victim look bad without saying anything about her credibility. Chief Justice John Broderick also questioned the significance of that detail yesterday. "Aren't you saying," he asked Lothstein, "that a woman would never have sex with someone when she wasn't comfortable? That doesn't make sense to me." McGinnis also defended Fitzgerald's decision to keep the boyfriend's initial impressions of the victim's allegations from jurors. The defense tried to admit that testimony into evidence after several of the prosecution witnesses said they believed the victim was telling the truth about being raped. One of those witnesses, a nurse whose daughter is friends with the victim, said she never knew the victim to lie. The defense asked to counter that by allowing the victim's boyfriend to share his less favorable impressions with the jury. The prosecution objected and Fitzgerald denied it as inadmissible according to the rules of evidence. McGinnis said the defense's mistake was not filing its own objections when the prosecution witnesses were offering their own impressions of the victim's credibility. That very well may have been kept from jurors too if the defense had objected, she said. "They can't just sit back and let inadmissible stuff in and then try to counter it," she said. Judge James Duggan questioned that logic yesterday. "Once it's in, the only question is, 'Can they counter it to cure the error?' " he said.
By ANNMARIE TIMMINS
Concord Monitor
Monitor staff
concordmonitor.com
Concord New Hampshire
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Would You Like To Buy A Magazine?

Febuary 21, 2007
By: Todd Mitchell
Article of Faith
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Read This Story

Article of Faith Website


New York NY
For Youths, A Grim Tour on Magazine Crews

Febuary 21, 2007
By IAN URBINA
New York Times
Read This Story

New York Times:
Life on a Magazine Crew

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Letters To The MPA and Publishers
Letters To The MPA and Publishers
Posted: 02/21/07



New York NY

Febuary 21, 2007
Magazine sellers speak out
Young crew members tell of violence, sex, drug use on the road
By IAN URBINA
New York Times
11:50 PM CST on Tuesday, February 20, 2007
From Wire Reports
Two days after graduating from high school in June, Jonathan Pope left his home in Miamisburg, Ohio, to join a traveling magazine sales crew, thinking he would get to "talk to people, party at night and see the country." Over the next six months, he and about 20 other crew members crossed 10 states, peddling subscriptions door to door, 10 to 14 hours a day, six days a week. Sleeping three to a room in cheap motels, lowest seller on the floor, they survived some days on less than $10 in food money while their earnings were kept "on the books" for later payment. By then, Mr. Pope said, he had seen several friends severely beaten by managers, he and several other crew members were regularly smoking methamphetamine with prostitutes living down the motel hallway, and there were warrants out for his arrest in five states for selling subscriptions without a permit. "I knew I was either going to be dead, disappeared or I don't know what," Mr. Pope said. After persuading his manager to let him leave, Mr. Pope was dropped off, without a ticket, $17 in his pocket, at a bus terminal near San Antonio, more than 1,000 miles from home. More than two decades after a Senate investigation revealed widespread problems with these itinerant sellers, and despite several highly publicized fatal accidents and violent crimes involving the sales crews in recent years, the industry remains almost entirely unregulated. And while the industry says it has changed, advocates and law enforcement officials say the abuses persist. In interviews over seven months, more than 50 current and former members from almost as many different crews painted a similar picture of life on the road. With striking uniformity, they told of violence, drug use, indebtedness and cheating customers during their cross-country travels. "The stories about life on crew you hear from these kids are almost unbelievable," said Officer George Dahl of the Louisville, Ky., Metro Police Department, who estimated that his department had cited or arrested more than 70 sellers for assault, unlawful solicitation or drug possession in the last two years. "But you get them alone and start hearing the same sort of thing over and over from different crews and you start believing them." In Collinsville, Ill., Daniel Burrus scrolled through digital photographs of bloodied faces as he described how, on a crew he helped manage for several years, men who missed their sales quota were forced to fight each other. In Flagstaff, Ariz., Isaac James sat with his wife and newborn daughter as he told how he and others on his mag crew – as they are typically called – used to steal checkbooks, jewelry, medicine-cabinet drugs and even shoes from customers' homes. Earlene Williams, director of Parent Watch, an industry watchdog group, said her organization got about 10 e-mail messages or calls a day, double the number since 2003, seeking help from sellers, their families or lawyers. Up at 7 a.m., typical crews start the day with a sales meeting where they rehearse their pitches. "We're selling magazines to earn points in a contest to win a trip abroad" is the standard and sometimes fictitious spiel. Around 9 a.m., the crews pile into vans to be dropped off at the day's territory. "You work hard during the day, but you also party pretty hard at night," said Stephanie Blake, 23. While she and others used methamphetamine, Ms. Blake said it was mostly marijuana, alcohol and sex that filled the nights. Still, some current crew members said the work had helped them turn their lives around. "I was in and out of juvenile facilities, and now I'm actually going somewhere," said Jordan Friedley, standing in a shopping mall in Oceanside, Calif., near San Diego, where, for two days, a reporter shadowed two crews. "They keep things on the up and up, no drugs or none of that, and I bring in $700 a week." Asked about incidents in the last five years involving the two crews, including two fatal drug overdoses and the deaths of two crew members in the crash of a crew van, Mr. Friedley fell silent.
The New York Times
By IAN URBINA
New York Times
dentonrc.com
From Wire Reports
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Marshall Texas
Traveling Magazine Sales Agent Found Dead

Febuary 21, 2007
Blair Jennifer Dimmick
Magazine Sales Agent Found Dead in Her Sleep
Blair Jennifer Dimmick, age 22, of Redding died Saturday February 17, 2007 in Marshall, Texas.
DMPG Alerts
Read Ms. Dimmick's Obituary


Austin Texas
Traveling Magazine Sales Agent Murdered

Febuary 14, 2007
More Details Emerge Around Brutal Weekend Slaying
KXAN
Austin Texas
Feb 14, 2007 08:38 AM CST
A young man was found dead in the middle of a street in an Austin neighborhood early Saturday morning in the 6900 block of Blessing Avenue. And now, Austin police reveal new details about what happened. Police and neighbors tell us this area of town, in Northeast Austin, has a reputation as a neighborhood ripe with drugs and prostitution. Now police detectives say that reputation might have led 27-year-old Steven Talley to the area this past weekend, and it might have gotten him killed. When police first got the call before dawn Saturday, they didn't even know the victim's name. Talley's battered body lay in the road for all to see. "He was just the most wonderful person there was," said Carla Rowland, Talley's girlfriend. It was an end that those who love him cannot bring themselves to think about. "I talked to the sergeant and asked him, 'Are you sure?' Because I didn't want to believe it," Rowland said. From her home in Dayton, Texas, Talley's girlfriend told KXAN he was a good person who battled a terrible addiction. "He was getting a hold of it," Rowland said. "I do know that." "The tragedy of this is that we believe Steven was there in the neighborhood where he was killed, possibly for the purpose of purchasing some drugs," said Sgt. Hector Reveles with the APD Homicide Unit. Police also believe now that Talley was killed in the place where his body was found. They believe robbery is the motive, which could ultimately make this a capital murder case. But if anyone saw what happened, they haven't come forward. "People who see this are just as appalled by it as anyone else, and sometimes they may be scared to call," Reveles said, "but, hopefully, we'll get a call from somebody." That's what Rowland hopes, too. "It's the most important thing there is right now because whoever did it, I know there was no good reason for it," Rowland said. KXAN's Shannon Wolfson said, "It's still very hard for you?" Rowland said, "Yeah, it is. I just don't want to accept it because he was my life, my whole life." Talley lived in Arkansas, but he was in Texas on business. He'd been selling magazines door-to-door. Neighbors KXAN spoke with say they didn't see or hear a thing Saturday morning. If you have any information, please call police.
KXAN
kxan.com
Austin Texas
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Florence, South Carolina
WARNING - Door to Door Magazine Saleman Alert !!!

Febuary 13, 2007
Police say magazine salesman tried to break into house
WPDE-TV News Channel 15
ABC Myrtle Beach - Florence, SC.
2/13/2007 6:37:49 PM
Police have arrested a man they say tried to break into a house in broad daylight. They tell us Britt Groves was going door-to-door last Wednesday in a Florence neighborhood, selling magazines. They say he knocked at one home, didn't get an answer, and tried to climb in a back window. Investigators say he made it halfway inside, before someone inside saw him and called 9-1-1. We're told the K-9 unit tracked Groves to some apartments nearby, where he was taken into custody. Groves is charged with second degree burglary and possession of marijuana.
WPDE-TV News Channel 15
wpde.com
ABC Myrtle Beach - Florence, SC.
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Savannah, Georgia
WARNING - Door to Door Magazine Saleman Alert !!!

Febuary 10, 2007
Police warn of magazine vendors
Adam Crisp
Savannah Morning News
Coastal Empire | Local News
Saturday, February 10, 2007 at 12:30 am
Police want citizens to question magazine salesman rather than simply handing over cash and potentially losing money to criminals. Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police re-emphasized Friday that anyone soliciting in the city of Savannah or in the unincorporated areas of Chatham County is required to have a license. Recently, police have encountered a number of unlicensed peddlers. SCMPD also has recorded a spike in crime, particularly drug sales and drug abuse, in the areas these sales people are known to frequent or stay. On Wednesday, police responded to a report of a fight in progress at a gas station at Ga. 204 and Interstate 95. Officers found several groups of magazine solicitors feuding over territory. The groups ranged in size from seven to 25 people. The agitators left before police arrived. However, several peddlers who remained claimed they worked for subscription companies, including DSS Inc., Success Unlimited, Gregg Sales and Atlantic Circulations. The officers discovered a number of the men questioned were convicted felons with extensive criminal histories, although none of them was caught soliciting anywhere in Chatham County. Soliciting without a permit is a violation of city and county ordinances that carries a penalty for violation of up to 12 months in prison or a $1,000 fine. Sgt. Mike Wilson, an SCMPD spokesman, advises that citizens should not invite salesmen into their homes or make purchases from door-to-door vendors. Anyone who encounters someone soliciting magazine subscriptions without a proper license is urged to call police at (912) 232-4141.
Adam Crisp
Savannah Morning News
savannahnow.com
Savannah, Georgia
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Savannah, Georgia
WARNING - Door to Door Magazine Saleman Alert !!!

Febuary 9, 2007
Police: 'Beware of Door-to-Door Salesmen' WTOC - TV Reported by Michelle Paynter
A strong warning from police tonight--be careful who you open the door for. A group of about one hundred traveling salesmen, who Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police said are also ex-cons, have been causing all kinds of problems in this area. Police say they've done everything from breaking into cars, starting fights, selling drugs, illegally selling magazines door to door and trashing hotel rooms. Police say the two groups of salesmen came to Savannah on Sunday. They rented 25 hotel rooms at the Rodeway Inn and Quality Inn near the I-95 and Highway 204 interchange. Police say that's when officers started responding to fights at nearby businesses and they were getting calls from concerned west Chatham County neighbors about the salesmen coming to their doors. On top of that police learned the salesmen were convicted criminals. "Those are not the kind of people that I would want coming to my door to try to sell magazines," said police Sergeant Mike Wilson. "If they see an opportunity to commit a crime, they probably will," he said. Yesterday police kicked the ex-con salesmen out of the hotels, but they don't believe they went far. Wilson said say they operate between South Carolina and Brunswick, Ga. and could be in your neighborhood next. Police have some tips in case a salesman comes knocking at your door. Wilson said all legitimate salesmen have a local permit from the revenue department, ask to see it. If you're home alone, don't answer the door at all. You can also call the police and let officers check them out. Reported by Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com
WTOC - TV
Reported by Michelle Paynter
wtoctv.com
Savannah, Georgia
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VISTA California
Door to Door Magazine Saleman Charged With Kidnapping, Attempted Sodomy

January 30, 2007
Man Charged With Kidnapping, Attempted Sodomy Will Stand Trial
Defendant Accused Of Dragging Teen Into Bushes
POSTED: 11:39 am PST January 30, 2007
UPDATED: 11:54 am PST January 30, 2007
10 NEWS.com
VISTA, Calif. -- A man accused of dragging a teenage boy into some bushes near a Carlsbad elementary school and trying to molest him waived his right Tuesday to a preliminary hearing. The move means the case against Eric Rodney Hill, 27, will proceed directly to trial, which Judge K. Michael Kirkman scheduled for March 21. Most criminal defendants have a preliminary hearing to test the prosecution's evidence. At the conclusion of such a hearing, a judge determines whether there if enough evidence to justify a trial. When Hill was arrested on Dec. 1 at Jefferson Elementary School, he told authorities he was a door-to-door magazine salesman from Long Beach. Deputy District Attorney Christine Israel alleged the defendant first followed two children home from school, but they told their parents, who called police. A parent found the man with the teenager in the bushes, and since officers were in the area by then, Hill was quickly taken into custody, Israel said. The defendant later made admissions to police about what he planned to do with the boy, the prosecutor said. Hill is charged with kidnapping to commit sodomy and attempted sodomy of someone under 16 years old, along with two misdemeanor counts of annoying children for allegedly following the youngsters home. The defendant could be imprisoned for life if convicted of the kidnapping charge, Israel said. Hill was convicted of a misdemeanor in 2005 for masturbating in the children's section of a library in Long Beach, the prosecutor said. He also has an assault with a deadly weapon conviction for his role in a home invasion robbery that took place about seven years earlier, Israel said.
10 NEWS.com
10news.com
VISTA, California
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Encinitas California

January 26, 2007
Encinitas Sets Limits On Door-To-Door Solicitors
CBS News 8
KFMB TV
Last Updated:
01-26-07 at 7:21PM
A knock on your door could be a harmless salesperson, or it could be a con artist staking out your place. That's why the City of Encinitas is telling salespeople when it's OK to come calling, and when it's time to knock off. We all get those knocks at the door, sometimes at dinner time. Not only are they a nuisance, but they are also a safety concern. That's why the City of Encinitas is cracking down on solicitors. It's now illegal to solicit before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m., and for good reason. Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan says the council made its decision after the sheriff's department raised concerns about criminals possibly posing as solicitors. "You case the place first, see what's going on, act like they are there for legitimate reasons, looking in the house," Houlihan said. Tom Dayock says the ordinance makes sense. "I'm a trusting person, but you never know," Dayock said. But keep in mind -- not everyone has to follow the new rule. "There are exceptions. People canvassing on behalf of political candidates, government officers... Girl Scouts... Boy Scouts," Houlihan said. "I think the limitations will make people feel safer." Solicitors who want an Encinitas permit need to pay an $80 fee and pass a background check before they start going door to door.
CBS News 8
KFMB TV
kfmb.com
Encinitas California
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POMONA California
Magazine Salesman To Stand Trial
For The Alleged Rape And Sexual Assault Of Two California Women

January 25, 2007
Traveling salesman to be tried on sex charges
Man forced himself on them, women say
By Rod Leveque, Staff Writer
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Article Launched:01/25/2007 12:00:00 AM PST
dailybulletin.com
POMONA - A traveling magazine salesman must stand trial on charges he raped one woman and sexually battered another, a judge ruled Wednesday. The ruling came after the judge heard testimony from both women describing their encounters with 22-year-old Rondie Lamont Walz. A San Pedro woman said she was buying a subscription from Walz on Nov. 27 when he entered her home without permission and kissed and groped her. The second woman testified she invited Walz inside her Claremont home on Dec. 2, where he then dragged her to another room and raped her. The 20-year-old said she repeatedly told him to stop during the rape, but he did not relent. "He said, `When I'm done you're going to thank me,"' the woman testified. Walz, of Gig Harbor, Wash., is charged in Pomona Superior Court with three felony counts related to the attacks, as well as kidnapping to commit rape and misdemeanor sexual battery. He faces life in prison if convicted as charged. He appeared in court for his preliminary hearing on Wednesday shackled in chains and dressed in a blue jail jumpsuit. He sat quietly throughout the hearing as his accusers described their encounters with him to Judge Bruce Marrs. Both women said Walz came to their doors selling magazines. The first woman testified she told Walz to wait outside her home while she went inside to get her checkbook. She said he followed her inside anyway and tried to kiss and grab her. She said he ran when she spurned his advances and pushed him away. The Claremont woman said she had no such luck. She testified she let Walz come into her house on Wheaton Avenue because he asked for a countertop to write on and he "seemed like a nice guy." After chatting for a few minutes, Walz told her she was "beautiful" and tried to kiss her on the neck, she said. When she rebuffed him, she said, he grabbed her by the arm and dragged her through her kitchen into her living room. She said she couldn't stop him because her kitchen has hardwood floors and she was wearing socks on her feet. "He was just stronger than I was," she testified. He eventually pushed her on the couch, held her down and raped her, she said. When he was done he used her bathroom for a few minutes and left, she said. She said she was scared and didn't know what to do, so she called two friends. One of them immediately called police. Both of the woman's parents watched from the courtroom gallery - only about 15 feet from the accused rapist - as she described the attack. She broke down in tears once during her testimony, prompting the judge to declare a brief recess. After hearing the testimony, Marrs ruled prosecutors have sufficient evidence to try Walz on the five counts. Walz will return to court Feb. 7 to be arraigned. He remains jailed in lieu of $3.3 million bail.
Rod Leveque
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
dailybulletin.com
POMONA California
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Massachusetts
Solicitation Ordinance !!!
January 18, 2007
Hanshaw: Ordinance restricts door-to-door solicitation
By Tom Hanshaw/Watchwords
Amesbury News
Thursday, January 18, 2007 - Updated: 01:21 PM EST
Imagine that you’re sitting at home and there’s a knock upon your front door. You open the door and observe a man standing there with a clipboard and a big smile. Although he’s a bit rough in appearance, you listen as he explains that he’s doing work in the neighborhood. He happened by your home and noticed that your driveway was in need of repairs. It’s your lucky day because he has some leftover materials and can give you a great deal. You pause for a moment, give a glance to the cracks in the pavement and wonder if you should take advantage of his offer. He continues for a few more moments and you agree on a price that seems reasonable to you. You pay with a check or cash, his crew is busy for a little while and before you know it, the job is finished. The job is complete until you examine the work more closely. After he’s long gone, you discover a few cracks that weren’t repaired. You also notice that the driveway is uneven and a week later, the hot top remains sticky. Then you speak with a few friends and learn that the price you paid was much higher than comparable jobs. The bottom line; you’ve been scammed. Unfortunately, this type of scam is all too common today. Similar door-to-door scams involve home repairs, the sale of merchandise, a fake charity or the promise of providing a service. In an attempt to prevent some of these scams, the Municipal Council recently passed a new City Ordinance that requires any person wishing to solicit from door to door to register at the Police Station. The Ordinance states that no person shall go from house to house within town, without registering with the Chief of Police or his designee, to solicit the sale of any commercial article or product or to solicit a contract or order to purchase any product. The ordinance also covers soliciting funds or contributions made by the person going door to door or on behalf of another person, organization or business. Simply, anyone who wishes to go door to door to sell something or solicit a donation must register with the Police Department before doing so. Once at the station, the solicitor will be required to present proper identification and other information so that a records and warrants check can be performed by Communications personnel. The information will be forwarded to the Chief or his designee and the solicitor(s) will be granted or denied permission to solicit door to door. The only group or person(s) exempt from the procedure are bona fide religious organizations that go door to door for religious purposes and are not soliciting funds or offering anything for sale. Religious organizations are asked to notify the Department when they are going door to door so that residents can be advised if calling to report suspicious activity.
By Tom Hanshaw/Watchwords
Amesbury News
townonline.com
Massachusetts
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Claremont California
January 17, 2007
Claremont sets up Internet dragnet
Police look to e-mail as method of bringing alerts to community
By Will Bigham, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 01/17/2007 12:00:00 AM PST
CLAREMONT - When a woman was allegedly raped in early December by a door-to-door magazine salesman, Claremont police distributed more than 1,000 fliers to track down witnesses he visited the day of the crime. The flier campaign paid off, and police arrested the salesman soon after, but the cumbersome process of physically distributing reams of fliers took a great deal of manpower that now may not be necessary. Last week, Claremont police sent the first message of its Neighborhood E-watch program, an e-mail subscription list police will use to send tailored messages to specific neighborhoods in the wake of a crime. Last month's rape case, interim Police Chief Paul Cooper said, is a perfect example of a crime in which the system would have been a key police tool. "That would have been the first thing we did," he said. "We would have done it that night, versus waiting a day or so later to gear up our volunteers to deliver fliers to the 1,200 or so homes they were sent out to." The idea for the Web-based system came to Cooper when the department was brainstorming last year, trying to find ways to reinvigorate the stagnant Neighborhood Watch program. Several of the traditional system's shortcomings - it requires a time commitment from busy residents and is only well-attended in the wake of a major crime - could be blunted by a similar online system, Cooper believed. The response so far has been encouraging, Cooper said. More than 500 residents have already signed up, and the department expects that number to grow once messages are sent more frequently. Police departments in San Diego, Bakersfield and other cities throughout the country already have Neighborhood E-Watch systems in place, but Claremont is the first department in the Inland Valley to use such a system. A similar service has proved to be successful in San Antonio Heights, where a former association president set up an e-mail list to alert residents to local crime trends and other information. "The list keeps growing and growing," said Ken McNeil, who said a quarterly newsletter was previously the only way residents could connect. "If anything happens that I think people should know about, I send it out." In addition to alerting specific neighborhoods to crime trends - such as car break-ins and mail theft - Claremont police will use the new system to help educate residents on how to avoid being a victim of identity theft, home burglary or similar crimes. "We don't want to have information overload so people feel it's a nuisance," Claremont police Capt. Gary Jenkins said. "We want it to be a tool that provides relevant and timely information when we feel it's important to provide that information." Claremont residents and business owners can sign up for the Neighborhood E-watch list through the police department's Web site at www.claremontpd.org. "We hope to make Claremont a less desirable place for criminals," Jenkins said.

Staff writer Will Bigham can be reached by e-mail at will.bigham@dailybulletin.com, or by phone at (909) 483-8553.
By Will Bigham, Staff Writer
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
dailybulletin.com
Claremont California
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POMONA California
Door to door magazine salesman pleads not guilty to rape!!!
January 12, 2007
Door to door magazine salesman pleads not guilty to rape
Article Launched: 01/12/2007 12:00:00 AM PST
Rod Leveque
dailybulletin.com
POMONA - A traveling magazine salesman pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges he raped a Claremont woman inside her home. Rondie Lamont Walz, 22, will return to Pomona Superior Court on Jan. 24 for a preliminary hearing. Prosecutors said Walz was inside the 20-year-old woman's home on Wheaton Avenue completing paperwork when he forced himself on her early last month. The charges against him include rape and kidnapping for rape, which could land him in prison for life if he's convicted.
- Rod Leveque, (909) 483-9325
Rod Leveque
dailybulletin.com
POMONA California
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Tallahassee Tennessee
Magazine Sales Alert !!!
January 12, 2007
Surly salesmen interest police
Originally published January 12, 2007
By Daniela Velazquez
DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER
A group of salesmen has some deputies and Tallahassee residents feeling a little uneasy. Leon County deputies say a group of people from outside Leon County has been selling magazine subscriptions without a solicitor's permit and using aggressive tactics. Since Wednesday, the Leon County Sheriff's Office has arrested three people on misdemeanor charges of solicitation without a permit in the northeast area of town. The second offense is a felony. LCSO spokesman Chris Chase said at least one of those arrested had no identification. "Yesterday (Wednesday) morning all was quiet," Deputy Ted Phillips said. Then, the Sheriff's Office was "inundated" with a series of calls from concerned residents. Chase estimates LCSO has received more than 50 suspicious-person calls related to the group. Phillips said the group takes van loads of eight or nine young adults and drops them off into a neighborhood. The group has used aggressive techniques; Phillips said one resident reported being sworn at. He said the office has not received any notice that the subscription sales are a scam, but he said it's possible. "Because they're not carrying a permit, we cannot guarantee their legitimacy," he said. A person selling door-to-door for profit has to pay an $8 fee for the county permit if he's selling less than $25. If selling more, a state permit is $75. Both require a background check. Contact reporter Daniela Velazquez at (850) 599-2161 or dvelazquez@tallahassee.com.
By Daniela Velazquez
DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER
tallahassee.com
Tallahassee Tennessee
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TampaBay Florida
Magazine Sales Alert !!!
January 12, 2007
Magazine solicitors may be trying to sell you a line
That friendly sales spiel at the door may be the cover for a scam.
By ELISABETH DYER, Times Staff Writer
Published January 12, 2007
St.Petersburg Times - TampaBay Florida
The spiel goes something like this: A friendly young man at your door says he's selling magazines to raise money for his volleyball team's trip to play in a championship game in Maui. He says he's a student at the University of Tampa, and he's your neighbor; you've probably seen his mom walking her dog on the street every morning. And hey, if you don't want any magazines, you can always donate them to the Boys and Girls Club. Before pulling out your checkbook, you may want to call the police, said Tampa police Officer Lisa Parashis. "If you feel that they're misrepresenting who they are, definitely call," she said. During the past month in Beach Park, Emmy Reynolds has had three such solicitors. One, a girl, said she was a student at Tampa Catholic and lived on a nearby street. Reynolds, who works in real estate, then asked the girl her address. She knew the girl's response was bogus and told her so. "Too many people are so trusting," Reynolds said. "These people are here for no good." Police answered a similar call months ago. Solicitors who claimed to be students at the University of South Florida were selling magazines to support their athletic department. A detective verified that USF was not supporting the fundraiser and notified neighbors. Police couldn't catch up with the solicitors. In Washington the local Better Business Bureau issued a warning in October about a Georgia company, United Family Circulation, which was canvassing neighborhoods in Spokane, Wash. The company, which has a record with the bureau because of unanswered complaints, also operates under the name Ultimate Power Sales Inc. According to the complaints, a young adult "represented him- or herself as neighbors or students trying to earn money for a school in the area." Sounds familiar, although no such complaints have been filed with the local bureau. In Hyde Park, resident William LaMartin knows the spiel. "They seem to come in spurts; a couple in one month and then you won't see them for a while." He never buys. "My philosophy is be polite; be firm; close the door." Often these solicitors are persistent. "One wouldn't leave the porch," said Reynolds. "He said 'I'm not trying to sell you anything' and pulled a pamphlet from his pocket." When she told him to leave, he replied: "I'm not going to hurt you." "I tell them, don't come back." Elisabeth Dyer can be reached at edyer@sptimes.com or 813 226-3321.

Fast Facts:

Don't be a victim

Here are tips from the Better Business Bureau to deal with solicitors:

1. If you have an unresolved issue concerning United Family Circulation, file a formal complaint with the Atlanta BBB at: www.atlanta.bbb.org and your State Attorney General's Office.

2. Research the companies with the BBB before signing, agreeing to or paying any door-to-door merchant or salesperson. Go to: www.bbb.org to look up their reports.

3. Be very wary of letting strangers into your home. If you feel suspicious activity is occurring or the salesperson won't properly disclose who they are, who they are with, and some form of identification, contact your local police department and file a report. Give a description, etc., of the people and/or the vehicles they are driving.

4. Checks should be made payable to the company, not to any individual's name.

5. Take notes. Consumers are advised to not let anyone walk away from a transaction without getting the proper information on the company. Obtain and keep a record of the company's name, address and phone number, as well as the date of the transaction and the titles of the magazines ordered.

6. Be cautious. Consumers should be cautious about giving credit card numbers to unfamiliar persons or companies.

7. Check them out. If someone says they are representing a familiar school or official organization, tell them to leave you materials and you will research before deciding whether to get involved before you agree to anything. Call the official association or school to determine whether the pitch is legitimate.

Source: Better Business Bureau
By ELISABETH DYER, Times Staff Writer
sptimes.com
St.Petersburg Times - TampaBay Florida
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BOLIVIA, North Carolina
Door to Door Salesman Charged With:
breaking and entering, attempted second-degree
forcible sexual offense and assault on a female
January 10, 2007
Salesman held in assault at home
Charges may lead to predator status due to convictions
By Jason M. Rodriguez
The Sun News Posted on Wed, Jan. 10, 2007
BOLIVIA, N.C. - A 49-year-old Sumter door-to-door salesman was charged Tuesday, police said, after a man punched a woman at her doorstep, forced into her home and tried to sexually assault her. Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett said Dennis James Glenn, of Wilmington, N.C., is a registered sex offender and told authorities his sales route stretched as far south as Horry County and as far north as Onslow County. Police said shortly before 1 p.m. Friday, on his 49th birthday, Glenn was traveling in rural Brunswick County near Ash, N.C. Brunswick County Sheriff's deputies said a woman answered her door with a small child in her arms. Deputies said a man punched the woman in her face and forced his way into the home. With the child in her arms and another child in the home, a man attempted to sexually assault the woman, Hewett said. "We thank God that this lady was not hurt or killed," he said. The sheriff said the woman, who speaks limited English, told the man that her husband should be on his way home at any time. The man left the home, then attempted to get back in, Hewett said. Before he could get in, the woman locked the door and called the sheriff's department. Soon afterward deputies began searching the area for a black pickup truck with a freezer in the back. The New Hanover County Sheriff's Department helped with the search and Glenn was arrested Monday at East Bay Gourmet in Wilmington, authorities said. He was charged in Brunswick County with breaking and entering, attempted second-degree forcible sexual offense and assault on a female. He is being held in the Brunswick County Jail on $1 million bail. Glenn's criminal record includes two convictions for first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the early 1980s in Pennsylvania, according to the S.C. Law Enforcement Division Web site. He has been a registered sex offender in South Carolina since May 2006, according to the Web site. Hewett said Glenn was released from prison in South Carolina at that time, after serving three years for burglary. Glenn had not registered as a sex offender in North Carolina, which is required by law, authorities said. Hewett said nature of the crime could result in Glenn being classified a sexual predator, if he is convicted. S.C. records show that he is not currently considered a sexual predator. Hewett said U.S. Marshal's Office is reviewing the case to see whether Glenn will face federal charges for not registering as a sex offender and for the attempted sex act he is charged in. The case would be the first filed under the Adam Walsh Act in the district, if federal charges are filed, Hewett said. The act was signed into law last year and calls for stricter prison sentences for offenders who fail to register and keep their information current. Hewett said any other victims who may have been assaulted should contact the sheriff's department at 910-253-2777. He said Glenn didn't keep receipts, so it's difficult for police to trace his route during his six months of working for East Bay Gourmet. Hewett congratulated his Special Crimes Unit and the work of his department with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Department. "Anyone who takes and punches a woman in the face with a child in hand and attempts to sexually assault her, that is a dirty, lowdown criminal that needs to be taken off the street," Hewett said.

Contact JASON M. RODRIGUEZ at (910) 754-9868 or jrodriguez@thesunnews.com.
By Jason M. Rodriguez
The Sun News
myrtlebeachonline.com
BRUNSWICK COUNTY
South Carolina
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Atlanta Georiga
Magazine Sales Alert !!!
January 10, 2007
LAW & ORDER
Lack of permit sullies record
By STEVE VISSER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 01/10/07
The door-to-door salesman had posted a perfect record across the Southeast. Then he came to Gwinnett. The 20-year-old Florida man sold magazine subscriptions door to door. He had peddled them in his home state, the Carolinas and Georgia. But, apparently because of his persistence, he unnerved a resident on Nelms Point Landing near Lawrenceville. The resident called the cops. An officer found the man, clad in black slacks and a gray jacket, making a sales pitch at the front door of a house. The cop asked what he was doing. Just working, the man said. He then told the officer that he understood the concerns. When you sold door to door, it came with the territory. He said police had checked more than 40 times whether he had a criminal record. His record always came back clean, the man said. The Gwinnett officer took a different tack. He asked to see the man's county solicitation permit. The man said he didn't think he needed one. The cop handcuffed and jailed him. He doesn't have a perfect record anymore.
By STEVE VISSER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
ajc.com
Atlanta Georiga
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Denton, Texas
Magazine Salesman Wanted Alert !!!
January 10, 2007
Local News
Police Blotter
Denton Record-Chronicle
5300 block of East Mc­Kinney Street — A woman told police Saturday afternoon that a magazine salesman kissed her and stole an intimate photograph of her. The woman said she bought two magazines from the salesman and then allowed him to use her bathroom. When he came out, he grabbed her and kissed her, she said. She bit him. While she was tending to a child, the man rifled through some photographs and put one in his pocket, she said. He kissed her again when he left.

Denton CountyCrime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in these or other crimes. Callers will remain anonymous. Call 1-800-388-TIPS (8477 Police department: 940-349-8181
Denton Record-Chronicle
Donna Fielder
dentonrc.com
Denton Texas
Read This Story


Knoxville Tennessee
Door to Door Perfume Sales Alert !!!
January 8, 2007
Knock off perfume sales jobs make big promises, may not deliver
January 8, 2007
By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Reporter
KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Good paying jobs that don't require experience are hard to come by. But a new local company is advertising for employees to sell knock off perfumes and it sounds too good to be true. Perplex Management's ad says the company seeks fun minded young adults who thrive in a fast paced environment. You train for six weeks and within months, you could earn $1,000 a week. No experience is necessary. The company opened three months ago, working out of a building in South Knoxville. Recently, "Dan" (who asked 6 On Your Side to conceal his identity) began his training at the office but he didn't like what he heard. "What you do is, they give you a bottle of generic cologne or perfume and they tell you to sell it for $30," Dan says. He would sell knock off fragrances manufactured by a company called Scentura. Dan found Perplex Management's ad on the Internet. As a 27-year-old college graduate, he was looking for something new. "They want people who have worked in the service industry, can come up to a stranger and try to sell them something." Dan says at first, the promises sounded great. "You're going to open up your own branch. You're going to be a manager, have six to eight employees under you, guaranteed $30,000 a year." But there have been problems with similar local companies in the past. For instance, in 1997, 6 On Your Side met Tracey Stewart and Matt McGhee who were involved in similar sales positions with a different company, Southwest Communications. Tracey and Matt sold designer fake fragrances for about $30 a bottle. The sales person kept $8.00. The company operators said their sales teams were independent agents. However, "They snowed us over good, snowed us over good," Matt said. "They just completely fooled us," Tracey said. A short time after the story aired, the business closed. In November 1999, Rob Shahan told 6 On Your Side how he became involved in selling knock-off perfume going door-to-door, even out of state. But he claimed the money earned was never paid. At the time, Rob worked for Jack Cooper and Cooper Enterprises. Shortly after the story aired, Cooper closed his business. Recently, 6 On Your Side looked for the manager at Perplex Management to find out about his business plan. We tried to ask Roland Purdy about the claims made in the want ad but he was reluctant to talk and finally closed the door. People on the consumer web site ripoffreport.com refer to the Scentura's fake perfume sales business as a scam and a rip off. Dan is already looking for another job opportunity. Still, "There's probably 20 to 30 other people my age, young adults in there, who are oblivious to what is going on." Perplex Management is a legal business registered with Knox County in September 2006. If it follows the pattern of similar companies, some people will make money. But in interviews with former salespeople, 6 On Your Side found it's tough to make $1,000 a week within a few months, as the want ads suggest.
By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Reporter
Wate 6
The NEWS Station
wate.com
Knoxville Tennessee
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Madison Wisconsin
Door to Door Legislation
January 8, 2007
Catching Up:
Father of young van crash victim wants reforms
Heather LaRoi
Wisconsin State Journal
MON., JAN 8, 2007 - 10:21 AM
It was almost eight years ago, on March 25, 1999, that a van crash on Interstate 90 in Rock County killed seven young people and injured five others. All were working at the time as part of a traveling magazine sales crew. One of those killed that day was 18-year-old Malinda Turvey. Since then, Malinda's father, Phil Ellenbecker of Verona, has made it his mission to push for legislation that would more strictly regulate the traveling sales industry and help protect young workers from exploitation. Taking up that cause, a proposal known as Malinda's Act was introduced last year by Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton. It unanimously passed in the state Senate but got hung up in the Assembly's small business committee chaired by Rep. Karl Van Roy, R-Green Bay. Some of the more vocal opposition to the bill came from Southwestern Co., a Nashville, Tenn.-based company that uses mostly college students to sell educational books and software. "They didn't like that Wisconsin would consider the students employees rather than independent contractors," said Ellenbecker, pointing out that the distinction potentially opens a loophole in regulating their business practices. The bill has not died, however. It will be reintroduced in the next session, according to Tryg Knutson, an Erpenbach aide. "We're going to be right out of the gate with this," Knutson said. "It's a pretty simple redraft." The proposal would require such companies to register with the state and undergo background checks. It would also strictly regulate the conditions under which employees could work. This will be the bill's third trip to the Legislature. "We've made some progress and there's a lot of activity right now," Ellenbecker said. "There's nine lawsuits going on across the country against these companies for very serious crimes and that would include murder, rape and vehicular homicide. "If we do pass this, then we've got a grass-roots thing, and we'll move that bill across the country. Every state has had problems like ours. . . . Maybe this time people will pay attention.
Heather LaRoi
Wisconsin State Journal
madison.com/wsj
Madison Wisconsin
Read This Story

For more information on Malinda's Traveling Sales Crew Protect Act
Wisconsin State Legislation


Biloxi Mississippi
Magazine Sales Alert !!!
January 4, 2007
Biloxi Police Warn Of Phony Door-to-Door Salespeople
WLOX ABC 13
Jan 4, 2007 07:06 PM CST
A warning from Biloxi Police: Beware of door-to-door sales people, who may not be legitimate. Police say there have been cases where homeowners bought magazine subscriptions, but never received their orders. Officers are also concerned that there are people canvassing neighborhoods, posing as salesmen. "Yesterday in the Sunkist subdivision, we contacted two individuals that were going door to door selling magazine subscriptions. Come to find out they had criminal records. So, not saying all of them are like this, but we're cautioning everyone, use caution, use common sense, just like always, if someone comes to your house wanting to sell you something, call us and let us check them," said Jackie Rhodes with the Biloxi Police Department. If you want police to check the background of people who come to your door, just call dispatch at (228) 392-0641.
WLOX ABC 13
wlox.com
Biloxi, Mississippi
Read This Story


Little Rock Arkansas
January 1, 2007
Death puts new scrutiny on magazine sales teams
BY JIM BROOKS
ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
01/01/07
Tracy Jones, a 19-year-old Oregon native, was more than 2,000 miles from home selling magazine subscriptions at a North Little Rock truck stop when she disappeared on Nov. 15.

Eleven days later her body was discovered in a southwest Memphis ditch, and federal authorities are now investigating her murder.

The teen’s death is drawing attention to the world of door-to-door subscription sales, an industry that critics say puts young sales people in vulnerable situations, exposing them to unscrupulous employers or to criminals.

Jones worked for Epic Subscriptions, a company owned by her boyfriend, Robert Blair, but North Little Rock police say her real employer was Atlantic Circulation Inc., of York, Pa.

A spokesman for Atlantic Circulation offered no comment, saying that if Jones was employed by an independent contractor, Atlantic wouldn’t talk about it. When asked if Epic Subscriptions was a subcontractor of Atlantic, the spokesman again declined comment.

Calls to the National Field Selling Association, a trade group that represents the direct sales industry, were not returned Friday.

Traveling sales crews have existed since before the Depression, and critics claim that young people often find themselves victims of crime.

Earlene Williams is director of an organization called Parent Watch, which over the past 24 years, she says, has helped hundreds of men and women get home after they walked away from traveling sales crews.

She says that crew members are sent out in pairs early in order to be trained, but after a few days, the salespeople are sent out alone.

Williams said she hears regularly from women who have been attacked while on their routes.

“They tell the kids that if they get into the home they have a better chance of making the sale,” Williams said. “And if you go alone, you can cover more territory.” “I do get calls from girls that have been snatched into the home and have managed to get away,” she said.

Williams’ web site — www. parentwatch.org — includes accounts by former door-todoor magazine sales members and links to news stories of other employees who have been victims of crime or accidents while working in magazine crews.

“In the magazine sales industry, girls are often set out to sell on military bases, truck stops and on college campuses,” Williams said. “Those are considered really good territories for selling.”

Law enforcement officials say that door-to-door sales can be made less dangerous if companies would follow some simple guidelines.

North Little Rock City Attorney Paul Suskie said door-todoor sales groups doing business in that city are required to obtain a permit.

“The purpose of the statute is to help protect residents from unscrupulous businesses who come into town and sell subscriptions for magazines that are never delivered or sell them at inflated costs,” Suskie said. “But it’s been my experience that the door-to-door magazine subscriptions outfits don’t bother to get permits.”

The North Little Rock city clerk had no record of Epic Subscriptions or Atlantic Circulation obtaining permits to sell door-to-door.

Because the magazine sales crews usually operate without permits, they typically don’t approach the police to ask about any neighborhoods where salesmen might want to travel in teams.

“We definitely don't want them to send salesmen out alone,” said North Little Rock police spokesman Sgt. Terry Kuykendall. “There is safety in numbers. While that may not be the most efficient way for their business to operate, it might help keep their employees more secure.”

Kuykendall said that sending sales people out in pairs might have helped their investigation into Jones’ disappearance.

“If Tracy had not been at the truck stop by herself and had a partner, we would certainly have more information to work with,” Kuykendall said.

Blair, who said he doesn’t have a crew any more, said he believes that while his employees may sell separately, he believes they are close enough to help each other if needed.

“We're normally within shouting distance of each other,” Blair said. “They're always within a street of each other and are a phone call away.”

“But normally, at truck stops, there are a lot of other people around,” he said. “Tracy felt safe at the truck stop and that’s why I let her out there.”

Crime is not the only danger faced by traveling sales crews, critics argue.

Phil Ellenbecker’s daughter was killed with six others in a 1999 van crash two days after she joined a subscription sales crew.

The driver of the van was unlicensed and the wreck occurred as he tried to switch places behind the wheel with a passenger while the van was traveling 80 mph on a highway.

After his daughter’s death, Ellenbecker established a Web site, www.travelingsalescrews.info, where he posts articles and other information about crews.

The Wisconsin man’s site includes numerous references to Atlantic Circulation.

“This has turned into a multimillion-dollar industry, which we believe involves the exploitation of young adults,” he said. “The kids are considered to be independent contractors by the company and they get no benefits, no health insurance,” Ellenbecker said. “Basically the kid is an indentured servant.”

Subscription sales companies routinely subcontract the door-to-door sales aspect of their business, in what Ellenbecker says is an attempt to escape responsibility for the sales teams’ actions.

“Basically, it produces a barrier between the owners of the company and the kids so that when the kid does something wrong and the cops go to the company, they can say the kid’s not my employee,” Ellenbecker said.

Ellenbecker said there is a high attrition rate in the subscription sales business.

“The kids don’t last very long and a lot of the kids don’t come home,” he said. “Sometimes, when they get sick or hurt the owner or manager or supervisor will just basically abandon them with no money.”

Despite what opponents claim about the subscription sales business, Tracy’s mother said her daughter didn’t complain about the work.

“The only thing she complained about sometimes was her feet hurt,” said Catherine Barbour. “Other than that, she was happy.”

Barbour last talked to her daughter on Nov. 13, two days before she was last heard from. “The last time I talked to her, everything was fine,” Barbour said. “She was homesick but she didn’t talk about coming back any time soon.”

“I told her ‘you are welcome to come home any time,’” Barbour said. “But, she was happy, fun, and she said she was going out to get her quota.” “She’s got a cat with us and everything and she asked me if I could get one of those throwaway cameras and take a picture of the cat and send it to her,” she said. “She always seemed happy.”

Barbour said Jones and Blair had been dating, and her daughter never complained about him to her.

“He gave her a gold necklace with a diamond for her birthday,” Barbour said. “Her death hit him as hard as it hit me.”

Barbour said that at first police told her they thought her daughter might have run away.

In an interview last month with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Blair said he dropped Jones off at the truck stop because she had success selling subscriptions at truck stops in the past.

Blair said that when he last talked with Jones, she had already sold six subscriptions at the truck stop and was motivated to finish out her quota of 10.

“She was going to go tear it up,” he said. When later calls to Jones’ cell rolled over to her voice mail, Blair began to get concerned, he said.

But thinking that Jones might just be off having a good time, he waited until the next day to call her mother in Oregon. And when neither of them had heard from Jones for another day, she was reported missing to North Little Rock police.

On Nov. 26, Memphis police investigated a report of a body in a ditch in the southwest part of the city, near U.S. 61.

“Police told me that a man walked down that street one day and saw what he thought was a pile of clothing in the ditch,” Barbour said. “The next day, he saw the same pile and looked closer. He went home and told his mother what he saw and she called police.”

According to Memphis police, Jones had several apparent knife wounds to her head and body.

Her body was positively identified on Dec. 11, when Blair was shown a picture of the body found in Memphis and identified it as Jones.

Barbour said she believes magazine sales crews should change the way they do business.

“They really should take a look at their practices about sending girls out by themselves,” Barbour said. “I think they at least should pair up.”

Barbour said family members have discussed the possibility of suing the company, but she didn’t want to go through the lengthy legal process.

“What I want to see is closure,” she said.
BY JIM BROOKS ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
arkansasonline.com
Little Rock, Arkansas
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