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BCSO issues warning to biz owners

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Chief Deputy Richard Smith of the Bandera County Sheriff's Office has issued a countywide warning to business owners.

"This department is currently investigating multiple allegations of consumer fraud that have been possibly perpetrated by Sam Consalvi," Smith said. Consalvi is currently soliciting advertisements from merchants and individuals for "Bandera Brand," a monthly magazine that will purported be mailed to all county residents, beginning in March.

According to the State of Idaho Office of the Attorney General, Consalvi has had complaints filed against him "totaling in the six figures with the Consumer Protection Division," Smith said. In Idaho, Oregon and Washington State, among others, Consalvi apparently sold advertisements in magazines, local telephone books and maps, according to Internet sources.

"If he fails to produce the magazine as promised in March, we intend to charge him with multiple counts of fraud," Smith said.

Until then, he cautioned business owners, "Don't believe everything you read or hear from someone you don't know. In this economy, money is too hard to come by to waste.

The Bandera County Courier began its own investigation after one of the newpaper's advertisers brought in a signed copy of a contract with Consalvi.

County Attorney John Payne is going over the contract to determine if the included verbiage violates Consumer Protection laws.

The Office of the Texas Attorney General has also been apprised of the matter.