03-Mar-87 11:52 MST Sb: APpa 03/03 Fraud Suit MERCER, Pa. (AP) - State prosecutors are see
03-Mar-87 11:52 MST
Sb: APpa 03/03 Fraud Suit
MERCER, Pa. (AP) -- State prosecutors are seeking an injunction to stop a Mercer County magician from soliciting funds for a purported drug education show.
The state attorney general's office said in a lawsuit filed Monday in Mercer County Court that Jason Michaels falsely claimed to have the support of local school, police and drug-prevention officials when he asked merchants to donate money to an educational magic show.
The suit also claimed Michaels' Project Drug Abuse was not registered with the state Bureau of Charitable Organizations as required by law.
"By claiming to have endorsements which don't in fact exist, Project Drug Abuse has created illusions that our suit alleges are designed to deceive the public," said Attorney General LeRoy S. Zimmerman.
Last September, Michaels, 32, of Grove City, a magician also known as Donnie Lee Adams, was publicly discredited by University of Pittsburgh professors after he claimed he could bend a spoon using psychic powers.
Confronted at a news conference in Pittsburgh, Michaels admitted he had used trickery to bend the spoons. He was attempting to claim a $10,000 prize offered by the Paranormal Investigating Committee of Pittsburgh to anyone who can prove psychic claims. [See ParaNet File:SPOON.PSI (offline at present)] Michaels' telephone number at a Grove City trailer park has been disconnected. His attorney, Gerard Egan, said he was not aware of the suit.
Michaels rented the auditorium of Grove City High School for March 14 to present a program called "Magic with a Message," according to the suit.
The suit alleges Michaels and an assistant contacted several merchants and asked them to donate $20 or $35 in return for a book of tickets for the program. Prosecutors also are seeking a court order instructing Michaels to offer a refund to contributors.
Robert M. Post, Grove City's superintendent of schools, said the district's policy is to rent school facilities to any Grove City residents or businesses that want them.
Post said he was "studying" whether Michaels will be allowed to put on the show in the auditorium.
Copyright 1987 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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