Iowa AG successful against Ariz. company


DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced on Tuesday that an Arizona company has been barred from all future telemarketing and mail solicitations in Iowa.

Miller sued the company, Americans With Disabilities LLC, in June, alleging that it used "blatant lies" about disabilities to elicit funds from Iowans.

Judge Brad McCall filed a consent judgment this month that barred the Phoenix-based for-profit company and its owner, Dale R. Sieck, from future mail and telephone solicitations directed at Iowa consumers.

The judge ordered the company to pay a $2,000 penalty to a state elderly victim funds for the prosecution of fraud against older Iowans and to pay legal costs. District Court Judge Artis Reis, also through a consent judgment, barred telephone solicitor Jeffrey A. Balke, who solicited on behalf of the company, from future mail and telephone solicitations directed at Iowa consumers.

Miller filed a lawsuit against AWD on June 3 alleging that Balke sought money on behalf of the company by falsely claiming that he was blind and seeking a guide dog, that his daughter recently died of cystic fibrosis and that he served in the Vietnam War and was exposed to Agent Orange. Balke also allegedly told consumers that he is a native Iowan. Miller alleged that none of the claims by Balke were true.

AWD is a for-profit company and not a charitable organization. It sells products by phone, including $45 tins of cookies, purporting to use the profits to help disabled people. A company product insert allegedly stated that AWD makes "a special effort to enable handicapped or otherwise disadvantaged workers (by paying) a great percentage (of sales proceeds to workers who) have had trouble in obtaining employment in the mainstream workforce."

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