Deputies: Two Door-to-Door Magazine Salesmen Have Felony Warrant - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Deputies: Two Door-to-Door Magazine Salesmen Have Felony Warrants

SPOKANE, Wash. -- After numerous concerns from the community and local law enforcement about a group of young adults going door-to-door to sell magazine subscriptions across Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, the company co-owner and manager reached out to KHQ to defend their company's name Thursday.  

Blue Diamond Subscriptions co-owner Brandon Stice said the company - which travels all over the country but is headquartered in Arizona - has nothing to hide.
 
But after an interview Thursday, in which Stice, 30, and Manager Blaze Osting, 23, tried to set the record straight about their company, KHQ found the pair did have something to hide. Spokane County Sheriff's Spokesperson Deputy Craig Chamberlain said both Stice and Osting have felony warrants out for their arrest, including one that he said was extraditable. Chamberlain said the warrants originated from out of the area but did not say what they were for.
 
Stice's paperwork shows Blue Diamond Subscriptions has a business license out of Delaware but the group is not registered to sell in the City of Spokane nor is it registered through the Washington Secretary of State. According to the company's website, Blue Diamond Subscriptions has offered young adults the opportunity to participate in the National Career Awards, "a points-based sales contest that is held twice a year nationwide." When the young adults reach the goal of 20,000 points, he or she is awarded $1,000. The website says, the four participants who earn the most points also receive a chaperoned get-away to an exotic destination of their choice.
"Everything that we do is just in the view of light," Stice said. "It's all legit."
 
Stice said that every team member is screened, trained for two weeks, and carries identification and certification cards. He also said that each member is encouraged to use the five-step, scripted sales pitch that comes straight out of their handbook. That pitch references the contest and is not to name any other organization.
"You can't stray off of that," Osting said.
 
Blue Diamond Subscriptions came under fire this week after the Spokane County Sheriff's Office sent out a press release calling the company a scam. At the same time, deputies called the Spokane Better Business Bureau, which then launched an investigation into Blue Diamond Subscriptions.
 
According to deputies, on March 26th, a South Hill woman made a report with Crime Check saying that a young man came to her home selling magazine subscriptions for a "fundraiser benefiting the Ferris High School soccer team." The woman gave the young man a $55 check, "happy to support her local high school." However, a few days later, the woman found out Ferris was not involved in any type of fundraiser for the soccer team.
 
Stice said that that man turned out to John Elovich, a newly-hired salesman with Blue Diamond Subscriptions. He said Elovich had only been working with the company a couple of weeks.
 
Earlier in the week, Stice said he received a call from an officer who said someone from his team was selling magazines under false pretenses. After a process of elimination, Stice said he confronted Elovich who, he said, admitted to selling magazines uses several ruses including "raising money for a soccer team."

Stice said, "I spoke to a police officer; I was willing to turn him in so they could press charges because that is fraud to me. Getting them to sign contracts under false pretenses is fraud."

Stice said Blue Diamond Subscriptions has since fired Elovich and bought him a bus ticket back home. According to their website, "John E. is no longer  a participant in the contest due to the fact that he wanted to mislead sponsors. Please let me reiterate WE ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY LOCAL SCHOOL ,CLUB,CHARITY,OR SPORTS TEAM."

For those who question the integrity of the company and the magazine subscriptions, Osting believed the actions of one person should not affect the integrity of the entire group.

"The magazines are always sent out on time," Osting said. "The credibility - that's like saying 'I go to McDonald's and someone messes up my order and now I am just going to hate every McDonald's."

Stice did not respond to questions about the warrants.
 
According to Sheriff's deputies, there has been a complaint made to the Phoenix Office of the BBB. The Phoenix office of the BBB attempted to contact Blue Diamond two times without any success.
 
If contacted by individuals representing this business, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office advises citizens to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233 or the local BBB office at 509-455-4200.
 
 
BBB STATEMENT REGARDING BLUE DIAMOND SUBSCRIPTIONS:
Upon investigation, BBB has determined that Blue Diamond Subscriptions has not obtained the necessary licenses and permits to sell magazine subscriptions in the Spokane region. The City of Spokane has confirmed that each ‘employee' who is selling door-to-door must obtain a City of Spokane Business license with a Peddler's permit endorsement. They also did not register with the WA Department of Revenue to collect and pay retail sales tax as required.
 
Although Blue Diamond Subscriptions does have a valid business license in the state of Delaware, we find it concerning that Blue Diamond's website and receipts show contact information in Arizona, when the BBB in Phoenix, AZ was unable to confirm any licensing to do business in that state.
 
BBB warns of door-to-door selling of any product or service due to the higher potential of predatory tactics used.  Based on victim testimonies and investigation with local law enforcement, BBB believes Blue Diamond Subscriptions has used unethical sales tactics in our community.
 
Sincerely,
Eleanor (Elea) Katzele
President/CEO
 
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