Door-to-Door Sales Force Tries to Get Home

It sounded like a great opportunity.  A network of companies promised young people that they could earn $800 a week by selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door. 

However, according to people the Hartford Courant spoke to, that wasn't the case.

"Everything they told us was a lie," Macknia Ward, 18, told the newspaper as she waited for a bus ticket back to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

The workers say they were recruited from throughout the U.S. and given free bus tickets to Connecticut.  They say they worked long hours for little or no pay and ended up owing the companies for lodging they thought would be free.

Meriden police Sgt. Lenny Caponigro told the paper that about 200 workers have been staying at the Comfort Inn on East Main Street and Four Points by Sheraton on Research Parkway since about April 21. 

The companies they work for do not have the required permits, police told the newspaper.

Danbury police Capt. Tom Wendel also told the paper that his department also has received "quite a few" complaints about the magazine solicitors and has issued warnings or tickets because they don't have permits.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's office is investigating how the companies operate. 

"It may involve deceptive and misleading information to people buying subscriptions," Blumenthal said. "Second, there may be false promises to the young people who were recruited about how much they will be earning." 

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