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Free power scheme invalid

Fliers promising a future of free electrical power have been circulating in Federal Way.

But the brochures — and the scheme they pitch — are not legal in Washington state, the Attorney General’s office reports.

Neighborhood residents, including many in Twin Lakes, recently received the fliers with the heading “The International Tesla Electrical Company” in mail boxes and newspaper tubes.

The head of the organization advancing the free electrical plan, New Jersey resident Dennis Lee, is barred from advancing the offer here, said Chris Jarvis, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Seattle office.

At least six other states have filed motions to stop him. State attorneys went to court on Aug. 24 to obtain a temporary restraining order against Lee to prevent him from making a scheduled sales pitch at a Spokane hotel that week.

“We are very familiar with him,” Jarvis said of Lee. The fliers indicate Federal Way resident Igor Golodyuk is a dealer representative in the free electricity offer. Attempts by The Mirror to contact Golodyuk were unsuccessful.

However, a Houston-based dealer for Lee’s organization, United Community Services of America, said he recently contacted Golodyuk and told him to cease distributing the fliers when he became of aware of the law. The dealer, who identified himself as Thomas Bruzeszski, said he had been involved in Lee’s free electricity program for five years hoping to capitalize on the investment if the technology panned out.

“If all works then I’ll make lots of money and everyone will be very happy,” said Bruzeszski, an accountant. If it doesn’t, it could cost him some friends, but “I’ll take my licking and go on,” he said.

Bruzeszski, referred other business-related questions to Lee’s company, but attempts to contact company officials in New Jersey were unsuccessful. The automated phone answering system does not permit messages to be left on voice mail.

Andrew Cowan, a retired engineer and Federal Way resident, was among those to get a flier at his home. He did some Internet research on Dennis Lee, and turned up a bounty of information.

Cowan believes the free electricity scheme involving a generator installed in homes “is just is not possible.”

Cowan added that Golodyuk is probably advancing the scheme without knowing that Lee has served jail term for fraud, and was recently arrested and jailed in Kentucky to halt an illegal sales demonstration.

“I think he’s probably being pulled into something he probably doesn’t want to be associated with,” Cowan said.

In various business incarnations, Lee has been known to the state Attorney General’s office since 1985, Jarvis said. His company “have not shown that the relevant technology exists or ever will exist” to fulfill the promise of free electricity generation, state attorneys wrote in a restraining order request filed in Spokane County Superior Court.

In August, Attorney General Christine Gregoire warned Washington consumers not to be taken by Lee’s claims.

“Dennis Lee and his companies have a demonstrated history of trying to defraud consumers,” Gregoire said. “During the current energy crisis, some consumers may be vulnerable to his incredible promises and may fall victim to his scam. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

In recent years, Lee has called himself a misunderstood messenger from God — he has dubbed himself “God’s anointed” — who is trying to break the monopoly of some utilities and bring free power to Americans.

State attorneys say Lee asks supporters to sign an agreement to purchase a dealership, which he claims to be valued at between $30,000 and $100,000. To be eligible to bid on a dealership, consumers must make a “good faith deposit” of 10 percent of the amount they will pay.

But Lee has a history in Washington state of not making good on his agreements. In 1985, he was accused of violating the state consumer protection act. Lee agreed to pay a stipulated judgment of $31,000, but left the state without forking over the fines.

And, in 1999 when Lee came to the state, the Department of Financial Institutions filed a cease-and-desist order against him, calling his activities “a clear and present danger to the investing public.”

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