About 100 people, most of them retirees, crowded into 3rd District Judge Tyrone Medley's courtroom to testify that Edgar M. Brandenburg sold them virtually worthless medical identification cards.
The cards feature microfilm containing a person's entire medical history. However, the information is virtually useless because special card readers are needed to view the information, and there are only two of them in the whole Salt Lake Valley, authorities said.The victims came to court hoping to be reimbursed the $20 card fee they paid Brandenburg, who they said sometimes wore a uniform-type shirt and displayed a badge while soliciting sales.
However, a potentially long day in court was avoided when Brandenburg agreed to supply card readers to all seven Salt Lake Valley hospitals and provide 12 more readers to West Valley City fire and paramedic units.
Medley gave Brandenburg 30 days to make card readers available to area hospitals and 60 days to get them to West Valley paramedics. Brandenburg also was fined $1,250 and placed on a year's probation.
Last year, Brandenburg, 50, pleaded no contest to impersonating a public servant and soliciting without a business license after he was arrested selling the cards door-to-door.
Brandenburg was selling the cards for Med-Alert Inc., a Wisconsin company that has since black-balled him, said West Valley City Prosecutor Keith Stoney.
"The company is reputable," Stoney said Friday. "He (Brandenburg) just fed you a line."
Those who bought the cards here said they were told card readers were available in every hospital in the country. That is not true for Utah, but there are many other states that are well-supplied with card readers, authorities said.
The victims who came to court reaped an unexpected bonus from another medical identification company that was trying to make sure they were not confused with Med-Alert.
Representatives from MedicAlert promised free lifetime memberships to all those present. The MedicAlert program requires no special equipment or readers. The medical history of their members is available by calling an 800 telephone number.