‘Honesty doesn’t make me money’ | VailDaily.com

‘Honesty doesn’t make me money’

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY ” Honesty wasn’t a part of the job description of her door-to-door magazine sales job, Latoya Davison says.

Davison, 20, said she left Kay’s Naturals LLC, after Avon police arrested her on suspicion of theft for, according to police accounts, deceiving a Wildridge woman about where proceeds from a door-to-door book sale would go.

“We knew that it was morally wrong,” she said. “As far as illegal goes, we weren’t clear on that.”

Kay’s Naturals LLC salespeople did not break any Colorado laws when they lied to Eagle County residents about where proceeds from their sales would go, said District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.

Salespeople told Eagle County residents that the money from their high-priced books ” around $50 each ” would go to a soccer camp, but money went toward their commission, police said.

Managers at the Phoenix-based Kay’s Naturals know that employees use the “soccer camp canvas,” as Davison calls it, she said.

“They don’t condone it, but they don’t do anything to prevent it,” Davison said.

Kay’s Naturals LLC has not responded to e-mails requesting comment for this story or for previous stories.

Ashley Renee Jones, 22-year-old Arizona resident, and Davison, 20-year-old New Jersey resident, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and criminal attempt to commit other misdemeanor, according to an Avon police report.

Davison also was charged with theft and Jones was charged with false reporting to authorities, said Krista Jaramillo, spokeswoman for the Avon police department.

Jones refused to comment.

These people who claimed to work for Kay’s Naturals were using a legitimate company’s name to commit theft, said Ann Jones Kazemzadeh, president of Kay’s Naturals Inc., a different company.

Kazemzadeh’s Kay’s Naturals sells high-protein snacks for athletes and diabetics, not books, she said.

“If we could find out who they are or where they are then, absolutely, we would stick our lawyers on them,” Kazemzadeh said.

Around 2002, the company began receiving calls from people across the United States who said they were victims of scams in which someone had used the name Kay’s Naturals. The calls come in waves and then die down for some months, she said.

Giving door-to-door salespeople a bank account or credit card number could lead to identity theft and financial loss, police said.

Consumers should ask for written information about the company, including information about canceling orders, said Sara Cross, spokeswoman for the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

“They should be willing to give out their information so you can contact them at a later date,” she said.

Vail and Avon residents can ask solicitors to display their peddler’s licenses that those towns require.

Unincorporated Eagle County does not require a license for solicitors, said Brenda Wright, accounting generalist for Eagle County.

Magazine salespeople at companies like Kay’s Naturals work to gain points for trips to exotic locations, such as Hawaii, Davison said.

Davison called magazine selling an “addictive lifestyle” ” salespeople work hard during the day and party hard at night, she said.

Salespeople also make commission, according to Kay’s Naturals LLC’s Web site, which mentions nothing about a soccer camp.

The woman who reported Davison and her co-worker to police willingly handed her a check for books, Davison said. Davison never stole anything and the woman would have received her books, she said.

“Honesty doesn’t make me money,” Davison said. “Honesty didn’t feed me when I was out there.”

Michael Hanrahan invited a group of young men selling magazines door-to-door into his Homestead home to watch football in September. He received his magazines seven months after placing the order, he said.

Hanrahan acknowledged he and his neighbors ” who also bought magazines ” may not be as wary as they could be, he said.

“We’re all pretty trusting here in the valley,” Hanrahan said.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.

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