Checks are in the mail to 82 Iowans who were deceived by a Pennsylvania based direct-mail operator. Iowa Attorney General’s office spokesperson Bob Brammer says the state filed suit against Paul Gluchanicz in May.
Now, Polk County District Court Judge Michael Huppert has order Gluchanicz to refund "fees" that Iowans paid – thinking they needed to do so to collect prize money. "They thought they were told that they’d won huge case prizes, maybe on the order of a million bucks sometimes, but all they had to do was send a 20 dollar administration or registration fee to collect their prize money," Brammer said. "Obviously, they never got their huge prizes."
Gluchanicz did business using official sounding company names like "Sweepstakes Research Legal Department" and "Asset Allocation Authority." And he did more than just pocket the 20 dollars sent by Iowans. Brammer says Gluchanicz identified the Iowans as "susceptible to solicitations" and sold their names to other companies. In addition to returning the registration fees, Judge Huppert ordered Gluchanicz to pay 8-thousand dollars to the State of Iowa.
Brammer says Gluchanicz is also prohibited from using any deceptive mailings in Iowa and any violations of the order would make him liable for a 40-thousand dollar penalty. Brammer says a few Iowans will receive checks for 80, 100 or even 120 dollars. Those individuals paid the "registration fee" several times.