Forbes names Spokane 'Scam Capital of America'



Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 25 at 3:22 PM

Video: Forbes names Spokane 'Scam Capitol of America'

SPOKANE - A national magazine is putting Spokane in a dubious position.

Forbes Magazine claimed Spokane should be known as the Scam Capital of America because of various schemes that have cost people millions of dollars over the years, including the Riverpark Square parking garage.

Forbes is the same magazine that named Spokane one of the best places for businesses and careers last month.

The latest article mentions alleged scams like Bluestar Technologies, a Spokane firm that settled a securities fraud case by refunding investors and paying $50,000 in penalties. It also mentions a father and son sent to prison for selling non-existent railroad parts on the internet.

The article mentioned a few other events they called scams, including the old Spokane Stock Exchange that closed in 1991 that Forbes said dealt in "questionable penny stocks".

Forbes also mentioned the Riverpark Square parking garage public-private partnership that Forbes called a "$31 million parking garage bond hustle" .

So why spokane? Jan Quintrall, President of the Eastern Washington Better Business Bureau chapter says it's geographical attitude.

"We don't want people telling us what to do, " said Quintrall. "We will make our own decisions."

Quintrall also said scammers are cashing in on Spokane's rural reputation that people here trust each other more.

Quintrall says her office is working on a handful of large scale scams right now. Still, she says you'd find similar problems in cities of similar size.