LIBERTY, Mo. - They bought advertising space hoping it would increase their number of customers. Instead, the ad campaign turned out to be bogus.
Dixie Edwards owns Nelle Belles Diner in Claycomo. She decided to advertise when Sean Pinedo stopped into the restaurant and gave her a sales pitch. Ads for the diner would appear on the back of receipts printed at a local grocery store.
Edwards paid Pinedo $270.
"It sounded good. I went ahead and gave him a check for it. Never done that before in my life but I did it," Edwards said.
Dusty Anderson owns Heavenly Olive Oils in Zona Rosa. She says Pinedo gave her a similar sales pitch. She too decided to advertise paying him $280.
"We thought it would be a really great partnership for us," Anderson said.
Both women said they could not reach Pinedo after that. The grocery stores where he promised the ads would appear told them they don't do business with his company, Cooperative Marketing and Advertising.
"I don't want other people to get taken and that's exactly what happened," Edwards said.
Call for Action has tried for months to track down Pinedo by stopping by his Liberty, Mo., business address only to find an empty store space. No one came to the door when we stopped by his home two times. He also did not show at the Clay County Courthouse during a recent proceeding involving a civil matter.
"Hopefully another business owner out there sees this and does a little bit more double checking before they sign and give a check away," Anderson said.
Pinedo's business now has an "F" rating on the Better Business Bureau website. Before doing business with anyone, it is always a good idea to check consumer websites to see if there are any complaints against a business.