THE DEATH OF
Dong! The Bit-
The case has now been finalized by the FCC against the woman who cyber stalked me back in 2001. Yep, I'm talking about the phony-psychic phony-Jamaican telling-lies-about-yer-sweetie, Miss Cleo (real name, Youree Dell Harris - born in August 12, 1962 in a Los Angeles, California county hospital to American parents: Her Dad, David, is from Texas and her Mother, Alisa, is from California - a mixed marriage to be sure! Well whatever else her punishment may be, at least she won't be deported!).
You know, there are an awful lot of lethally ignorant folks who will bray up and down that there should be NO government regulation protecting consumers! That the free market should determine all! To these folks I say, "Cool! Then you won't mind me giving your email address, snail mail address, and telephone number to every spam, junk, and telemarketing firm out there right?" Don't ask for government intervention when they bother you night and day with their crap. Let the magical Free Market* determine how long they should pester you!
But I digress!
The "Miss Cleo" moniker is owned by the soon to be defunct companies', Access Resource Services Inc. and Psychic Readers Network Inc. who, at their height, had bills for over one billion dollars sent to various suckers and chumps throughout the USA. The FCC kicked their butt in court, supported by lawsuits from various states, which in turn, were called for by individuals.
See, that's how it should really work in the U.S.!
Regulation is determined by the Individual and NOT by some mythic, nameless, Nanny-State "them" which has neither responsibility or accountability for its actions. Those Individuals were having their phone bills inflated and their credit wrecked (HA! Still believe in no government regulation? Wait until a credit research company or insurance research company - like C.L.U.E. - starts filing false statements on you: then try to get them to stop and reimburse you for all the time and money they caused you to lose. How will the *Free Market* determine your losses then, eh? You naive idiot.).
As part of Access Resource Services Inc. and Psychic Readers Network Inc. fraud charges settlement with the government, they have to cancel over $500,000,000 dollars worth of bills to their conned clients. That's not a typo: I really DO mean Five Hundred Million dollars! The two Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based companies, must also pay the FTC a $5 million fine - chicken feed by comparison but it does add insult to injury.
At five hundred million, this is the largest settlement the FTC has got to date, far eclipsing the $214,000,000 that CitiGroup Inc. had to pay in September to customers THEY blatantly ripped off.
The FTC also said many potential "consumers" received up to 10 calls a day, usually automated messages telling them that "Miss Cleo had a dream about them and they should call back." that should sound way familiar to long time feoamante.com visitors who read about my personal exploits with Miss Cleo in 2001.
The two Florida scam companies had agreed in October to pay $1.9 million to Connecticut residents to settle charges of deceptive practices. Settlements also have been reached in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
I wonder how much of that half a billion is left?
Scum/scam artists Steven Feder and Peter Stolz, owner of the two companies, are never allowed to deal in telemarketing ever again. That said, in October, a Missouri court sentenced them to probation and fines, for unlawful merchandising practices.
Youree Dell Harris last appearance was in June where she invoked her Fifth Amendment
rights when asked questions like,
Why did all of this happen? I mean, many customers were satisfied and besides, if someone wants to be stupid, let them, right?
Well, one of the things that Feder, Stolz, and Harris got busted on was the fact that those highly touted "Call now for your free reading" wasn't free at all. In fact, people who called only for their single free reading wound up getting billed $60 for their one free call. You won't pay it? No problem, any half-assed credit reporting bureau will report you as delinquent, regardless of the veracity, credibility, or fraudulent business practices of the complaining company. As of this writing, many are STILL waiting for credit reporting agencies to clear this dirt off of their record. Be patient gang! Credit reporting agencies are notorious for being premature quick to tag, impotently slow to correct, and never checking for authenticity unless specifically required by law and the person slighted.
Another thing was what I said earlier. You know how aggravating telemarketing is? Well even if you agree with a company's right to call you at home, at night: should they be allowed to repeatedly call you, as many as ten times in one night, even though you've told them to "Stop! Leave me alone! Stop calling me!" ?
Probably not, unless you are an ass or a crook or both, all of which Feder and Stolz are, and the FTC proved it in court. Consumers also complained, by the thousands, of being charged for calls they never made. Call once and Feder and Stolz will try and haunt you forever, and ruin your credit while doing so. At this stage, the companies continue to do a very small business with their credit card carrying customers.
And that leads to yet another thing. The way these psychics ruin lives. Anyone
who saw the television commercials for Miss Cleo frequently saw setups
like this one: Miss Cleo is talking to someone on the phone and says,
Sometimes she would go on to imply that the caller's best friend was also working against them. In other words, part of the normal business of Miss Cleo (and no doubt her un-psychic employees who were doing most of the actual consultations) was to libel and slander total strangers they knew nothing about. Like all psychics and certain questionable religions, she not only preyed on people in their weakest moments, but worked to isolate them from those they trusted the most, so the caller would be more dependent on her, and thus bring more money into the scam.
No matter how bad things ever get for you; in your loneliest moments, recognize this trap when you see it. Someone pretending to have your best interests at heart is trying to use you. It seems that Terrorists, Drug pushers, and some religious figures, work their "magic" in just this way. John Edwards and James van Praugh certainly do.
Of course, some people can be just plain stubborn about believing against all reason. No matter how much truth you reveal to them, they mule-headedly believe (or pretend to believe) in a crook. Their oddball thinking is a matter of personal ego. No matter what, you'll never get them to admit they were wrong. That's why some people still believe in Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, Peter Popov, James van Impe, and Louis Farrakhan. Hell, some people still believe in Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson despite their traitorous remarks in 2001, when they applauded Osama bin Laden, justifying his actions by saying that bin Laden was acting under God's blessing because many Americans were "throwing God out of the public square." and they speculated that more punishment would come, "...because God will not be mocked."
So the Miss Cleo^ persona is dead - but there will be other liars, scam artists, and con men to take their place. There is already the bare-faced lying duo of phony psychics John Edwards (John Edward McGee, Jr.) and James van Prague. They had best stay off the telephones and out of spam marketing or they will get their feelings hurt too.
Mystics, spiritualists, quacks, crooks, hoaxsters, hucksters, and phonies will lead the weak, gullible and stupid, and no one should expect this latest bust to change anything in the sense of opening anyone's eyes.
Still, its such fun to see the bastards get theirs!
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^UPDATE: Where is Youree Dell Harris now?
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