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100,000 Stand to Receive Refund From Defunct Sweepstakes Scam

January 18, 2000
By: Michael Patrick Carney
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - A sweepstakes surprise is snaking its way to some Missourians. No, it's not that infamous prize van, nor is it a solicitation to get in on a real deal. It is a letter. Well, actually, 10,000 letters.

Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon secured $1.2 million in a bankruptcy settlement with Direct American Marketers, a now-defunct California company alleged to have tricked almost 100,000 Missouri residents into calling a telephone number--at $25-30 a pop.

In a 1997 Boone County case, the state was awarded $10 million but never collected because the company went under.

The 10,000 people who lost at least $100 should receive a letter in the mail. Others (all 90,000 of them) will have to contact Nixon's office for a claim form. Information is available by calling 1-877-325-3587 or on the Internet at www.ago.state.mo.us.