Bad Guy Strikes Twice

Bad guys always strike twice. That’s my experience. Caught running a scam and put out of business, they wake up one morning and start all over again. So it’s little surprise that a scammer shut down by the Federal Trade Commission in 1998 creeped back into the game again.

This one sounds like a can’t believe anyone fell for it scheme, but the FTC says Glen E. Burke and his company, American Health Associates, told consumers they had won thousands of dollars in prizes.

To collect, they had to buy vitamins for $300 to $500. But instead of money they received cheap costume jewelry, or a lithograph print. And in some cases according to the FTC, people were asked to pay more for better prizes.

The FTC says that in 1996 Burke ran a bogus investment scheme and in 1998 was involved in a phony direct-mail sweepstakes scheme. The company told consumers then that they’d won thousands, and even millions of dollars, and to collect they’d have to pay a small fee.

Those who paid the money received nothing and a federal judge in 1998 banned Burke from telemarketing and making misleading claims.

Now a federal judge in U.S. District Court in Nevada ruled Burke violated the 1998 order, froze his assets and appointed a receiver to take over the company.

The FTC says it’s trying to get money for those who were cheated. Stay tuned.



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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.