Hal Martin email about Carleton H. Sheets

(Sheets’ name is sometimes misspelled as Carlton Sheets or Carelton Sheets.)

Seminar and home-study course ratings | Real estate investment page

Here is an email I got on 2/12/01 regarding how a person who buys one thing from Sheets receives solicitations to buy additional things.

Hello John: I happened to find your web site while doing a web search on Carleton Sheets. I found your information most interesting. I ordered Carleton Sheets’ real estate course mostly out of curiosity. In no way did I or do I expect to make a dime in real estate. My concern with Carelton Sheet’s organization is what they try to pull after the sale. After the course arrived, I received some material marked “Here is the information you requested” (which of course, I did not) from some company in Omaha called Value Max. The letter welcomed me to membership in some sort of money saving group, and included a plastic card with my name and an account number on it. Supposedly I could present this card and get discounts at a number of places. On the back was the agreement I supposedly entered. The letter said that I could cancel by calling an 800 number. The fine print on the back of the so-called agreement said that cancellation also required mailing back the card. I made copies of the material and sent it to the Postal Inspector Service and other agencies. At the time, I had no idea that Value Max was one of Carleton Sheets’ personas. However, I thought that perhaps someone had gotten access to my credit card number and turned it over to Value Max. The aforementioned letter indicated that they somehow already had some payment authorization from me. A few weeks later, I received quite similar information from an outfit called Money Master. This one had the logo of Sheets’ organization, the “Professional Education Institute.” Judging by the similarity to the Value Max material, and seeing the account number on the card Money Master sent me was one digit different from that on the Value Max card, it became obvious that both had come from Sheets' front companies. I immediately stopped my credit card. The point is, that Sheets’ questionable activities seem to extend beyond just providing questionable real estate investment information. Hal Martin

Follow-up received on 3/3/01:

Dear Mr. Reed:

I thought you might be interested in some follow-up information on the matter I wrote you about previously. As you recall, I had received some material from an entity calling itself ValueMax. I subsequently received strikingly similar material from another entity calling itself Money Master. A very similar letter was written as though I had already agreed to join their buyer's club, a plastic card was attached to the front, and on the back was an identical "agreement" which differed only in the copyright notice. Like the ValueMax material, it was sent in an envelope which bore the legend "Here is the information you requested", which of course I did not.

The Money Master material had a logo on it with the letters "PEI", the trademark of so-called Professional Education Institute, the hat that Carleton Sheets wears when he peddles his books and tapes. In response, I sent three very caustic letters, one each to ValueMax, Money Master, and Professional Education Institute informing that I had canceled my credit card and would pay the two remaining payments on the real estate material, but only if I received a bill for it which also specifically noted that I owed nothing for either ValueMax or Money Master. These letters were each sent certified mail, and the return receipts from both ValueMax and Money Master were signed by the same person. Both have post office boxes at the same zip code in Omaha.

As you can see, Mr. Sheets' scam works this way. When one calls the toll free number to order his real estate material, they claim that they also ask if the purchaser wants to have a 30 day free trial for these buying clubs. Of course, neither were ever mentioned; the additional purchases they tried to foist off on me were all specifically more Carleton Sheets tapes, newsletters, etc. Since the order was made by telephone, the purchaser has no proof that he didn't request the free trial.

The letter on the front of the page which each entity sends says that all one has to do is call their toll free number and cancel. The "agreement" on the back says that cancellation requires the call and mailing back the plastic card on the front. So, Sheets in both his phony personas can still create a case for billing the credit card for these buying clubs claiming that the "agreement" was not fully satisfied as regards cancellation.

Because I reported ValueMax to about every agency I could think of, including the BBB in both Houston and Omaha, as well as the Postal Inspector service and district attorneys in Texas and Nebraska, ValueMax sent letters specifically apologizing for their "misunderstanding of my intentions" and stated that I would not be billed. I have begun the reporting process for Money Master as well. This is an old criminal technique, intentionally creating a situation which can be viewed as ambiguous when viewed in retrospect by objective observers, then backing down and doing the right thing when confronted.

[I, John T. Reed, called the 800-number for Sheets’s stuff. I asked the operator to whom I should send Mr. Martin’s complaint to get Sheets’ side of the story. Here is my email to that individual, rsinnes@amsdirect.com:

Mr. Sinnes,
Below is an account of a complaint Hal Martin sent me. Mr. Martin gave me permission to post it at my Web site. Before doing so, I wanted to get your side of the story if it differs from Mr. Martin’s
Thank you,
John T. Reed

As of 3/13/01, I had received no answer to this email.]

John T. Reed, a.k.a. John Reed, Jack Reed, 342 Bryan Drive, Alamo, CA 94507, Voice: 925-820-7262, Fax: 925-820-1259, Email: johnreed@johntreed.com