Friday, April 4, 2014


For more details, see the blog posts listed at the bottom of this page. 


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anglen, Robert  
Date: Sun, Sep 28, 2014 at 9:40 AM
Subject: Story on camelback consign
To: Glenn Michaels 

Story is in today's paper. Your blog is mentioned prominently in the story. Thanks for all of your help. Here is a link:





According to an unattributed source, the Arizona Association of Business Predators (AABP) has recently determined that best legal defense available to its members is a disinterested or otherwise distracted Attorney General supported by a disinterested state legislature.
Published on 4/4/14
Updated 4/6/14

Here's the contract I thought was meant to define the terms of my agreement with Camelback Consign & Design. Nope. Dead wrong. Like waaaaaay waaaaaay wrong.

Which way, you ask? 

That-a-way, friend, that-a-way. As in laughing all the way to the bank, way.

Quoth the raven:

"The key to the scam is the contract each consignor signs. Once inked, that paper protects Burns - and every other member of the presumably thriving Arizona Association of Business Predators (AABP) using this technique - better than Captain America's shield ever could.  
"He can take any damned thing he wants. Keep your cash. Keep your antiques. Because that contract means whatever he steals doesn't amount to "theft." No, no. Legally, it's merely "civil breach." 
"Translated, it means the police won't do a thing. You have to take your AABP malefactor to court and win. Next, you have to prove just how much financial damage that breach of contract actually cost you. Lastly, you have to collect. Since the process is so expensive, miserable and time-consuming, hardly anyone bothers.  
"My attorney says the cost can run to $30,000... in Justice or Superior Court. Even if you - or I - in this case, win in court, a private investigation of Burns indicates that he has no assets of his own. Not even a car. There's apparently nothing to attach or garnishee. (He planned ahead!)
 "But let's say you and do win in court and you do get paid. HURRAY! you and your 
AABP malefactor both cheer. While you recoup a small percent of your costs in time and money, the business predator is free to keep on keeping on - a virtual Energizer Scammer."  

Now if that isn't a weapon of mass financial destruction, you clearly  haven't glanced at the Business Review for Camelback Consign & Design and checked out the complaints and comments sections. Nor have you opened my blog post, Complaints, Complaints, Complaints
 It took me months to catch on to the facts of the matter. But then, I'm slow. I tend to believe what folks tell me and I swallowed AABP member, Mike Burns', bait hook, line and anchor.
Like any other naive citizen, I quickly deployed my super-duper, take that you SOB, stop-em-in-their tracks weapon: a letter from an attorney. My attorney of choice - indeed, the attorney I highly recommend for trust and estate matters - is Phillip Visnansky, of Warner Angle Hallam... (Phoenix, Arizona). 
Phil gives good prose. I canna' complain. But then again, the very best letter ever written is damn near useless if the experienced addressee knows the threat is hollow or just doesn't care.
Here's Phil:
October 9, 2013
 Mike Burns
Camelback Consign & Design, LLC
1030 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85014
 Re: Consignment of property from Glenn Michaels
 Dear Mr. Burns:
 I represent Glenn Michaels and have been asked to touch base with you regarding a few issues arising from your July 9, 2013 contract with Glenn. I understand that you have been represented by Jamie Sparks with respect to issues involving the Estate and Trust of Michael M. Michaels. However, it is my understanding that this attorney does not represent you with respect to issues relating to Glenn. If this attorney does represent you with respect to your July 9, 2013 contract with Glenn, I would appreciate if you could forward this correspondence to such attorney.
 As you know from Glenn's recent email, he does not wish to renew the contract. However, there are three issues that need addressing in order to wrap up your relationship with Glenn.
 First, I would appreciate if you could provide me a complete inventory of items placed with you for consignment by Glenn along with their initial listing prices. I understand you have promised to provide this inventory to Glenn on a few occasions; however, it has not been provided to Glenn.
 Second, I further understand that various items placed with you for consignment by Glenn have been sold. Based on the inventory referenced above, I would appreciate if you could identify the items sold along with their ultimate sale price.
 Finally, as you have sold some of the items Glenn placed with you for consignment, we need to address proving Glenn his share of those proceeds. From the July 9, 2013 contract, Glenn is entitled to receive 65% of any sales price.
 I understand that on September 13, 2013, you provided Glenn check number 1327 in the amount of $2,194.40. From the "memo line" on the check, the draft was related to "#2000."
 Unfortunately, this check was dishonored for insufficient funds.
 I need you to make good this dishonored check immediately. Additionally, please provide a description of what the "memo line" reference concerns.
 Mike, I know Glenn really enjoyed doing business with you. However, he placed a significant amount of trust in you and your end of the bargain has not been maintained. Our sincere hope is that we can quickly and efficiently resolve this issues outlined in this email. The key to accomplishing this goal is clear communication and expectations.
 To that end, I would appreciate if you could provide me the documentation relating to the initial inventory and sales listing no later than October 16, 2013. Please direct it to me via email ( or via US Mail at the above referenced address. I would also appreciate if by such time, Glenn is reissued the payment represented by check number 1327.
 Glenn and I look forward to working with you to wrap this matter up. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. My direct line is 623-777-9050.
 Thank you.
Phillip B. Visnansky
For the Firm
As an active member of AABP, Mike has undoubtedly ignored a great many of these letters. You might say he's good for the legal profession, even if he isn't any good, himself. (To be clear, he is good at what he does, even if he is by my standards, a no-goodnik.) 

As Phil's letter generated no acts of self-abasement and atonement, I called upon my third line of offence: the upstanding citizens'  rock-em, sock-em enforcement tag-team: the Better Business Bureau and the good offices of the Attorney General of Arizona

Around here, we give them the proud moniker, Arizona's "Maginot Line."
Oy. This is scary. While they look like monsters, and routinely trumpet their commitment to high standards and effective enforcement, inside those bulging bureaucracies beat the hearts of skittish kittens.  Wanna guess who really takes the beating?  (Pssst! It's us, the good people of Arizona!)

As regards the Attorney General of Arizona, I shoulda known. An AG with a last name of Horne is either:
  • A unicorn -  able to work magic - but only if you can catch it, or
  • Rosemary's Baby all grown up and working for his dad
Now, I almost apologize to Mr. Horne. He's clearly a much more important person than am I with responsibilities that dwarf my own. Arizona's citizens voted to place him in the high office he occupies. 

Heck, the only campaign I ever conducted successfully was the one to win my wife's permission to pledge my troth. Yours truly had a lot more hair back then... on my scalp. I'm not so sure I would be as successful if I had to start again from scratch. 

Come to think of it, that's exactly what Mike Burns left me with, when all is said and done: scratch. Me and all those other folks he scammed. 

You might say I've been left scratching my head, wondering how on earth I can get back the $21,000 Mike owes me, or at a minimum, prevent him from ripping off yet more folks.

I can now report, however, that the AG's office is hard at work on the case. Just yesterday (4/3/14), I received a third letter from the AG's office. 

In it, Nikki Harvey, the Consumer Information and Complaints Manager (who can't possibly make enough money to be scapegoat for the rest of the management team), apologizes for having sent me a letter in February that was a duplicate of the first letter I received from the AG's office, in November 2013.  Aside, however, from the apology and the possibly personal signature on the bottom, it, too, was a duplicate of the earlier letters.

Just like the form letters that preceded it, Nikki's version noted that the Consumer Protection and Advocacy Section of our office "has reviewed your complaint is attempting to make contact with the business. The complaint process can sometimes be very lengthy."  Sounds like pure understatement to me, Nikki. 

I'm no mathematician, but a few numbers are required to obtain a correct perspective on the hard work of the AG's office.

  1. The "business"  (identified in my complaint as Camelback Consign & Design, but known around here as Scam Central) is located under 6 miles from the AG's throne. 
  2. My complaint to the AG's office was mailed 10/27/13.
  3. The AG's office first response to me was dated 11/12/13.
  4. The AG's office second response to me was dated 3/20/13.
  5. Nikki's letter is dated 4/2/14.
So, by my count, after five months of concerted effort, the AG's busy little bureaucrats are still hard at work trying to make contact with a business located under its virtual nose! 
Points of reference. 

  1. In 1999, the first recorded  circumnavigation of the entire earth in a hot air balloon required 19 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes. The distance involved: 26,600 miles
  2. My wife just flew to Bahrain and back (17,328 miles), participated in a couple of  business meetings, did a little shopping and sight-seeing, wangled her way onto a new flight after her original carrier's  pilots called a strike and did it all in eight days. 
Really? Really? After five long (expletive deleted) months the good people working for a man who is already running for a second term as AG, haven't been able to "contact" a putative business predator located at 1030 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, from their office, whose address is 1275 W. Washington St., also in Phoenix.

May I point out that I am almost certainly not the only individual to have made a complaint about "the business" known as Camelback Consign & Design to the Attorney General?

I've recently gotten the impression that the Republican Party stood for cost-efficient governance, based on standards associated with the for-profit, business sector. In my years as a self-employed business person, the key to success was commonly understood to be satisfied, referral-happy customers. 

Why does this matter? Because the Attorney General, Tom Horne, runs for office as a Republican. For that matter, our state legislature is and has been of late a predominantly Republican-run institution. 

Assuming that the Attorney General believes that all Arizonans are "his customers," it would seem logical that he would want to satisfy their needs insofar as his office is empowered to to that. The question becomes, who does the Attorney General see as his primary customers?


According to, our AG graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and is "is the author a legal text on construction law published by the State Bar of Arizona.[5] He is peer-rated 5/5.0 (AV Preeminent) by Martindale-Hubbell.(Author's note: Horne is clearly an intellectual overachiever.) 
Wikipedia also reports:  Horne was the president of T.C. Horne & Co.,... After the firm went bankrupt in 1970, Horne received a lifetime trading ban from the Securities and Exchange Commission.[31]  
(Author's note: Horne's credentials as a business owner manager are less than stellar.) 
The 1973 SEC report alleged that as president of T.C. Horne & Co, Horne "among other things, violated the record-keeping, anti-fraud, and broker-dealer net capital provisions of the federal securities laws and filed false financial reports with the commission." Horne stipulated to an SEC finding that he and his firm "willfully aided and abetted" in violations of securities laws. (Author's note: Horne did some very bad things and admitted it.) 
The latter was undoubtedly a youthful indiscretion of a highly ambitious Ivy-leaguer. 
I really, really believe our public servants are well-intended, attorney generally speaking. Of course, my reputation for recognizing scams before the fact isn't outstanding. 
Nonetheless. To be completely honest, this customer is utterly disgusted with the service he has gotten from the Office of the Attorney General. If the manager of that organization answered to me, he would be fired in a heart-beat.
Do I think the AG is working for the enemy? Not intentionally.

It's more likely that the AG's servants haven't discovered or can't afford modern technology. Things like the telephone, email, and the car.  How is it that someone couldn't simply drop by "the business"  on the way into or out of the office? 

Hell, I would be shocked if there aren't multiple employees of that office who haven't made a purchase from Camelback Consign & Design. Mike Burns told me some months ago that he had spent a lovely evening at the home of an Arizona Supreme Court Justice with antiques to appraise, discussing valuations and, as I recall, smoking cigars.  

Yeah, ok, Mike's a professional liar. Nothing he says deserves much credence. 

Still, Mr. AZ AG, Tom Horne must have some free time to pursue this issue. My wife saw him visiting the offices of the lobbying firm, Arizona Governmental Affairs, a few months ago. It's just a short drive from there to "the business." He coulda stopped in, himself. 

Wikipedia also says that between 2007 and 2011, Mr. Horne accumulated 7 speeding tickets. So you know he coulda driven over to "the business" pretty durned fast, if he felt so compelled. Or instructed a minion to do it in his stead. 

But then again, governmental affairs can be all-consuming. Don't you agree? 

Turns out that the head of the firm, Gretchen Jacobs, is a blonde, "Lobbyist. Lawyer. Oxford-educated scholar. Arizonan. Mother" and ..."without a doubt one of the best, most talented political consultants in the state." Talk about a one-stop shop for Mr. Horne!

The website of Arizona Governmental Affairs, reports the following:
For a decade, Gretchen has been eliminating legislative confusion and creating order for clients from IBM to Cisco, Symantec to Deloitte. With an approach that combines aggressive smarts and dogged coalition building, Arizona Governmental Affairs gets results.
Just imagine what she might be able to accomplish if she worked for the people of Arizona... sorta like our AG is supposed to. 

Well, Ms. Jacobs, you sound like a winning proposition: for IBM, Cisco, Symantec and Deloitte. 

What about us, Ms. Jacobs? You know, the "good people" of Arizona. Any chance you could lend a hand in their defense and protection with the legislature? 

Heck-a-roonie, is there a chance you could be induced to ask Mr. Horne, for example, to help defuse existing contract law as a weapon of mass financial destruction? That way, you see, those of us in Arizona least able to afford the cost of legal representation might have some extra money for campaign contributions to the AG! 

That's a win-win proposition, Mr. Horne, Ms. Jacobs, if ever I heard one. 

Help. Help us! Please. 
And, as long as we're on the topic of accountability, why is it that the office of the Attorney General of Arizona doesn't report to Arizonans:
  • How many complaints it has received for any given firm /entity? Each year? 
  • How many other complaints are on file for a given firm /entity each time it responds to a consumer complaint?
  • How many convictions or other legal victories it wins - annually - and against whom?
Don't Arizona's citizens deserve to know what the AG's office must know... assuming it has computers and folks who can tabulate a spreadsheet?
As it stands, the AG's office, by failing to report such information, essentially screens firms that are accused of malfeasance from public view. The BBB manages this (sorta)... and it's a non-profit. 

Published on 4/4/14
Updated 4/6/14

For all of the juicy details the BBB has to offer, use this link.

Mike Burns wasn't born yesterday. He wasn't born on the Fourth of July, either. NOPE. Mike Burns was born on 9/11 in 1952. He was destined. 

I don't know if the truth will set you free. But fuss loud enough with a big 'nough bunch a friends and I swear folks 'll do near anything to get you to shut up. Fast as they can. 


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