A California man has been charged in a felony complaint filed by the U.S. attorney's office with operating a boiler room scam in Salt Lake City to sell memberships in a bankrupt travel club.
The felony information was filed against Edward Kane of Santa Monica, Calif. It says that from June 1 through August 1984, he and others set up a "boiler room" operation to sell memberships in Sunsets Unlimited, a Utah-based travel club that at the time was in bankruptcy court.The boiler room consisted of a room equipped with multiple telephone hookups and a sales staff that telephoned people throughout the country trying to sell memberships for $149 each, it says.
It charges that Kane instructed telephone solicitors to obtain customers' credit card numbers by means of misrepresentations. Among the misrepresentations, according to the document, were that credit card information would be used only to verify the customer's status as a credit-card holder and that the card would not be charged unless the customer agreed to become a member of Sunsets Unlimited, it says.
It adds that another misrepresentation was that a customer would receive a package of discount coupons good for reduced rates at hotels, restaurants, car rental agencies and tourist attractions.
It claims Kane knew that Sunsets Unlimited was "systematically charging $149 to the customer's credit cards as soon as the credit card number was obtained."