Restaurant owner pays for advertising, gets scammed

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GLENDALE -- A Glendale restaurant owner says he was ripped off big time, so he called 3 On Your Side for help.

When it comes to making sushi, Joseph Kim says he's one of the best.

"I love what I do," Kim said. "I love dealing with customers and serving good food. I'm very confident in my sushi and I enjoy it very much."

Kim owns Fresh Wasabi, a Japanese restaurant just off of 67th Avenue and Bell Road.

Although he's been there for two years, he thought it might be a good time to start advertising. After all, he says he has great specials.

Kim says he gave two checks totaling more than $575 to an advertising salesman named John Stone.

The money was for takeout menus and other advertising materials.

But after taking the money, Kim says Stone took off and hasn't been seen since.

"I feel that I was ripped off," Kim said.

3 On Your Side got involved and went to the address listed on Stone's business card.

But it wasn't a business at all, just a mail drop where he can pick up mail.

A little more digging revealed that Stone, who according to authorities refers to himself as the Rev. John Stone, is in jail on 17 counts of fraudulent schemes.

He was arrested just a few weeks ago and even profiled in a 3TV news report.

Stone was only arrested because the Maricopa County Attorney's Office spearheaded an investigation following a number of complaints from business owners who claim they were ripped off.

Kim was not one of those owners, but he now realizes he's not the only one who got taken advantage of by the Rev. John Stone.