Businesses buying 'spirit products' scammed

Companies thought they were helping their local schools


Spirit products like cups, pom poms and basketballs are at the heart of this scam.  Her customers thought the products they were buying, promoting their businesses, were helping local school.  But they found out, that wasn't the case.

"The owner of the business would solicit local doctors, orthodontists, dentists, to see if they want to sponsor local schools by putting their advertisement on the products and the product would be shipped to school after they paid," explained U.S. Postal Inspector Christopher Davis.

Mimi Clark was the owner of "Spirit Boosters" and before that "American Boosters."

"In reality, the owner never really shipped the product, she just kept the money, she spent it on herself," said Davis.

More than $1 million worth of products were purchased through Clark's two companies. Inspectors say the scam lasted more than three years and Clark thought it was fool- proof.

"If the doctors or the small businesses never called the schools to make sure their product was delivered - they would never know," said Davis.

Clark was sentenced to just under three years in jail and ordered to pay restitution of $900,000.

Meantime, inspectors advise before you purchase a product, research the company.

"Do some follow-up questions, call the school, if you're sponsoring the school go to that function. Just make sure you get what you're paying for," said Davis.