Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

Oregon Department of Justice - Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum
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Attorney General Cautions Consumers on Purchasing Investment Certificate for Energy-Generating Machines

March 20, 2000

Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that a New Jersey businessman marketing investment opportunities in "free electricity" devices will no longer sell the machines in Oregon. Named in an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance filed today in Marion County Circuit Court are Dennis Lee of Newfoundland, New Jersey and his companies, International Tesla Electric Company and United Community Services of America, Inc.

"As we approach total deregulation of electricity and open the electricity market to residential consumers, we must be cautious of advanced technology claims," Myers said. "Not only did this energy-generating device sound suspiciously like a perpetual motion machine but the investment certificates were illegal securities."

Last fall, Lee held technology demonstrations of the "free electricity" machines in Portland and Eugene. He also promoted the product over the Internet and through company dealers in Ashland and Agness, Oregon. Department of Justice investigators determined that the devices were not certified or evaluated by state electrical inspectors and that Lee could not substantiate with competent and reliable evidence the benefits of the devices.

Lee also pitched the purchase of "certificates of beneficial interest" for $275, an investment that Lee said would eventually entitle the buyer to use the generating device to produce energy in his or her home. The Department determined that the certificates were not registered as securities with the Department of Finance and Corporate Securities and that Lee was not registered to sell securities in Oregon.

Lee will provide refunds to Oregonians who paid the initial investment amount. The agreement prohibits Lee from selling unregistered securities or uncertified electrical products and from making unsubstantiated product claims.

Consumers who want general information about consumer protection issues may call the Attorney General's toll-free consumer hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only) or (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or write Financial Fraud/Consumer Protection, 1162 Court Street, N.E., Salem, Oregon 97310.

Contact:

Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) jan.margosian@doj.state.or.us |
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