Phoenix company named in lawsuit alleging scamsPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX – 3TV confronted a company based in Phoenix that was named in a lawsuit filed by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
He accuses one of the company's employees of posing as a disabled Vietnam War veteran in order to get people to buy products from "Americans with Disabilities."
David Balke claims he's a blind Vietnam vet who suffered, among other things, the ill-effects of the defoliant Agent Orange during the war but he sure maneuvered around 3TV's cameras well when we confronted him Friday.
Balke said, "I'm a Vietnam veteran, a Vietnam-era veteran. I served 14 years in the service, two different branches, Army and Navy."
When 3TV said, "A Vietnam veteran and a Vietnam-era veteran are two different things, which one were you?" Balke answered, "Vietnam-era."
When 3TV asked, “You weren't in the Vietnam War?" Balke replied,”No."
Balke allegedly claimed he was while working as a phone solicitor for "Americans with Disabilities," a for-profit company based in Phoenix.
Recently, he made a call to an undercover phone line set up by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. Now, he's facing a lawsuit.
We went to AWD because they're also named in the suit which was filed Friday.
When 3TV got there, employees covered their faces and refused to comment so we went to the home of the owner of AWD but no one was there.
However, we did obtain a copy of Balke's phone call to the undercover line, which in part, said: "I was in Vietnam from '71 to '75, and I got exposed to all that Agent Orange, and I was losing my eyes to macular degeneration."
Balke later told 3TV reporter Steve Ryan: "I made phone calls, just like everybody else in there made phone calls. Why don't you go interrogate them?"
Balke apologized for what he's accused of doing and added that he was fired Friday.
An unknown number of other people may also be sorry, people who bought the products AWD was hocking.
Attorney General Miller doesn't have an exact count on the number of victims because the undercover line he setup was like a police sting operation.
Although, he did say "We're trying to send a message to Phoenix that we're here, and watching, and we're going to file lawsuits when necessary."