The Sleaziness Of The Door-To-Door Magazine-Subscriptions Industry Continues

Categories: Cover Story, Crime

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Editor's Note: The following article has been updated to clarify some statements made in the original. To clarify, we did not mean to suggest that Levonia Stancil is the owner of Unified Doers Management Group. And we wish to make clear that it is Darrick Stancil who settled a civil fine for $3,600 with the state's attorney's office in Maryland in 2004.

The Houston Press regrets the errors.

On March 30, Grand Prairie police say, a magazine subscription salesman knocked on the door of a 78-year-old woman, raped her, poured rubbing alcohol on her chest, and set her on fire. The question right now is not "How did this happen?" but "When and where will it happen again?"

Police quickly arrested Daniel Deshawn Neal, 23, who was awaiting trial on trespassing and burglary charges in Maryland. When Neal was arrested, he told Grand Prairie police he worked for a Washington, D.C.-based company called U.D. Management - a so-called processing center for magazine subscriptions sold door-to-door by the following affiliates: Go Doers, Unified Doers, and Unified Stars.

U.D. Management President Darrick Stancil tells us that his company has no business interests in those companies beyond processing their orders and running criminal background checks on the sales agents. After first agreeing to provide us with hire dates for former agents we'd already ran background checks on, Stancil said his "legal counsel" had advised him against it.

After all, U.D. Management has a history of processing orders submitted by agents with extensive criminal histories. In May 2008, Unified Doers salesman Jerwayne Hunter grabbed a 13-year-old girl off her bike near Boston. The 25-year-old Hunter, who in 2005 had pleaded guilty to drug and theft charges in Philadelphia, was subsequently charged with assault and battery, accosting, child enticement, and peddling without a license.

Meanwhile, our background checks have turned up agents with records of assault, larceny, and drug possession - and that's just for starters.

Although Darrick Stancil is listed as the president, U.D. Management is incorporated in Maryland under the name Levonia Stancil. Tax records also show that Levonia Stancil owns several rental homes in North Carolina, which, based on online testimonials of current and former agents, appears to be a state where the companies affiliated with U.D. Management do some heavy recruiting. (In 2004, Darrick Stancil settled a $3,600 civil fine with the Maryland State's Attorney's office, for failure to insure the vans that shuttled folks like Daniel Deshawn Neal around the country).

But between 2001-2008, it appears that Unified Stars, headed by Eugene and Marni Weldon, operated out of Michigan City, Indiana. (That city was also home to one of the most notorious subscription processing companies, American Community Services, which processed orders for 18-year-old Azriel Bridge when, in 2004, he beat a 77-year-old woman with a fireplace bellows and then slit her throat with her own kitchen knife. After Bridge did the deed, he wiped the blade clean and placed it back in the woman's butcher block.)

U.D. Management's crews do a lot of work in Texas. In February 2008, Flower Mound police arrested several sales agents for peddling without a license. The company also appears to have a Houston-based recruiter, who calls herself "Dblock" on MySpace. (Her mood is listed as "horny").

Last week, Wisconsin became the first state to pass a law imposing stiff regulations on door-to-door solicitors. The measure, which was meant to safeguard the health of the sales agents as well as homeowners, had been lobbied against by the industry's trade group, the National Field Selling Association. And last year, the City of Albuquerque was on the path to becoming the first city to sue the owner of a subscription company for negligence, in the hiring of two men who beat an elderly couple to death in December 2007. That litigation was aborted when the owner, Robert Spruiell, was stabbed to death in a Miami hotel room in May 2008.

We will continue to run background checks on agents who knock on doors for U.D. Management. And law enforcement will continue to treat each case of murder, rape, and assault as isolated incidents, without tracing them back to where the subscription orders are processed - and the mainstream publishers that continue to make the door-to-door subscription industry extremely lucrative.
 

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33 comments
Lsargent
Lsargent

I ordered 101.00 worth of magazines in nov. 2012 from this company, I got bamboozled, I sent them the cancelation request and a copy of my receipt. My check was deposited and I have yet to hear from them. I am beyond mad at myself for not going with my gut!

Lsargent
Lsargent

I ordered 101.00 worth of magazines in nov. 2012 from this company, I got bamboozled, I sent them the cancelation request and a copy of my receipt. My check was deposited and I have yet to hear from them. I am beyond mad at myself for not going with my gut!

Jctraynham
Jctraynham

Today I purchased a magazine from Unified Doers Management Group, LLC.  I purchased Jack and Jill, bimonthly magazine for my grandaughter.  The person from whom I purchased the magazine was Treasa McIntocsh.  She was very polite and professional and I'd like to see her succeed.  However, my husband was very skeptical when I told him and even more so after reading some of these comments.  NOW, I expect to receive my magazine as promised in a timely fashion for the next two years so as not to disappoint my grandaughter and not take away my belief in my fellow man.  The name is Judith B. Traynham  and the magazine was purchased on June 28, 2012.  The #  I was to refer to is:  736056  I'd like immediate response to this comment to my email so I do NOT have to cancel the transaction before the end of the third business day.  Respectfully, Judith Traynham

Hoosier123
Hoosier123

They are in Indianapolis and in the northern suburbs. They are preying on weak people.Don't buy any magazines from them since they do not deliver what you buy.

Jane Doe
Jane Doe

I. Will Just like to say yall can believe what yall want but i was on the crew with letell and moody they only care about them and how many sales u bring in i guess all crew are not da same but unity managerment is a fraud i was also one of the vitictms dat got stranded at da greyhound where me and another co worker had to go to someone else for them to send us home but they ms thompson didnt have a proble when i wanted to join to send my tix but when they send us home we waited eight hours for somebody else to pay our way and i thank god for them because we got back safe somebody should do something about this is not fair how they lie and gas u up and u work six days a week like a slave and the ppl that did make money lettell never gave them their money i wonder is thats why moody left # fact Z

me
me

i use to be a top seller for moody i want to bring them down they have put me threw some stuff now to where i got a warrant for my arreset afteR a year of working for them this what they do me?its crazy i got a ticket for being in the wrong neighborhood and they never paid my fine off so now 3 years later i got a big warrant out for me that is in texas that i nowhere live or am by,lattel garret all he could say is well you dont work for us anymore and hung up on me.if anyone knows what can i do to tell them everything that goes down where is it that they station at let me know send me an email unity mgn ud mgn and stars will be brought to justice..email me @clyfordgranizo@yahoo.com

Scoobydoo4600
Scoobydoo4600

Yeah ud is dirty I know cliff personally and he was a top when seller I had ta leave when i started to see how they basicslly rob u blind then leave u high and dry at a bus station I saw robbery, assault, credit card fraud, everything! Plus

Tha shit with slim was way fuckd up bet they stay outta texas now any former employee s get at me on facebook stevie ishottupac thompson dey fuckd u 2 huh cliff

MRZ BoZ
MRZ BoZ

They are actually IN Texas right now at this moment, at least the crew that "ms wilson" is running.

standup
standup

Unity management is a dirty fraudulent company. Lettel fired ms. Thompson known as "Block", and she didn't get all her money. All he cares about is himself and the things he can afford. He sell you on the idea and show you all the luxuries the magazine business can offer but what he doesn't tell everyone is he inherited the company from his father who was also a ponzi artist.

Karaun johnson
Karaun johnson

I HAVE BEEN A MEMBER OF A FEW MAGAZINE CREWS BLACK ONES AND WHITE ONES.MAN SOMEBODY REALLY NEEDS TO PUT A END TO THIS MESS I MEAN IVE SEEN SO MUCH BAD STUFF HAPPEN TO PEOPLE I WOULDNT WISH THE MAG CREW ON MY WORST ENEMY.THEY PREY ON PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO WHERE TO GO PEOPLE WHO HAVE BURNED THERE BRIDGES AND THEY DRIVE U IN THE GROUND THEY TAUGHT ME HOW TO LIE AND SCAM PEOPLE. IVE BEEN IN SO MANY SITUATIONS WHERE I COULD HAVE LOST MY LIFE DEALING WITH THESE PEOPLE IVE SEEN SO MANY PEOPLE GET LEFT IN DIFFRENT CITIES WITH NO MONEY OR FOOD SO PEOPLE TAKE IT FROM ME YOUR BETTER OFF WORKING AT MCDONALDS THAN DOING THIS. AMERICA WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THESE CREWS I WISH YOU COULD SEE ONE FROM THE INSIDE THEN U COULD REALLY FEEL WHAT IM SAYING.

DARRYL B
DARRYL B

well well all u ever hear is the negatives barry bonds and mark mcgwire r 2 og the biggest rule breakers in baseball do people stop watching baseball there is a lot of crap going on in door 2 door sales world but crap and shady dealings r in alomost every buisness in america u have crooked cops but if u need help will u stop calling police. i had my differences with marni geno and a few other magazine managers but as a whole the good that comes from these groups far outweigh the bad of all the people who knock on doors imagine where those young people would b without a job viva la magazine crews

Hotel
Hotel

Although I have never worked with a Magazine Crew, I have been working in the hotel industry for 4 years. In the past 4 years I have had numerous magazine crews stay at my property. One of the crews being Unity Management, and out of every crew i have ever had stay at my property i must say that Unity Management is one of the most well put together crews I have ever encountered. I have spent a lot of time talking to a lot of the crew members from numerous crews, and majority of the crew members tell me the same story, they were looking for a second chance and joining the crew has showed them another way to life. Granted i am on the outside looking in, but i could not sit here and agree with some of these stories especially about Unity Management. I would love to have them back at my property anytime.

MAGAZINE SALES AGENT
MAGAZINE SALES AGENT

I THINK ALL OF THESE NEGATIVE STATEMENTS ARE RIDICULOUS. MOST THE PEOPLE ON THIS THREAD HAVE NEVER BEEN DOOR TO DOOR OR HAVE HAD ANY AFFILIATION WITH A SALES ORGANIZATION. MOST OF THIS STUFF IS HEAR SAY. IVE BEEN A AGENT WITH UNITY MANAGEMENT FOR 5YRS NOW. I AHVE BOUGHT A BRAND NEW SUV, SENT MONEY HOME TO MY MOM AND FAMILY, AND I HAVE DEFINITLY HAD SOME GREAT EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD OF SALES. I HAVE TRAVELED THE U.S. IN A WAY THAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO BETTER THEMSELVES. YES YOU HAVE TO SELL TO EARN MONEY. TELL ME BUSINESS THAT DOESNT SELL ANYTHING AND I WILL SHOW YOU A BUSINESS THAT OUT OF BUSINESS PERIOD. MARTHA STEWART IS STILL IN BUSINES AFTER HER LEGAL AFFAIRS AND HER PRODUCTS ARE SOLD WORLDWIDE IN DIFFERENT DEPARTMENT STORES THAT MOST OF US ON THIS THREAD FREQUENT. HAVE YOU BOYCOTTED THOSE STORES YET OR YOU STILL A VALUED CUSTOMER? IN EVERY INDUSTRY THERE ARE NEGATIVES BUT DOES THAT MAKE EVERYONE IN THAT INDUSTRY NEGATIVE? LETS BE REAL PEOPLE BEFORE YOU CRITICIZE TAKE A LOOK AT YOURSELF AND YOUR SURROUNDINGS. HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Matt
Matt

wow. Just approached by a couple of these guys on my small street here in Massachusetts.

I almost went through with it, but decided to make the donation of only $20, instead of apparently the $35 total it comes out to (20 + a 15 "processing fee").

The guy gave me back the 20 in the end because I wouldn't up the ante. I like to give, but now I know that's not legit...and a quick search on the company name led me here and elsewhere to know for sure.

Neighbor then came up as he was leaving and ripped into him for telling his daughter allegedly to open the door or something when he was there...then the cops showed up shortly after and sent them out.

I used to do something like this for a while (few weeks), but it wasn't magazines being sold. Same philosophy and idea, running a route/area, making either decent money in a day or peanuts depending on what you sell. Quite honestly you're better off working a part-time job to get some steady income WHILE you study and work on bettering yourself into something more tangible.

desolationdesigner
desolationdesigner

Here is an open door invite to anyone to email me information. I lived and breathed mag crew for a long time. I was also working for a company investigating the company I was employed by. I have since disclosed information to parent watch and credit insurance services to bring to light the real story behind the mag process. Please e mail me I would love to hear anything.

Msmommy
Msmommy

I worked for this so called company for about 3 weeks.When i started i was with child...at the time i did not know. i only took the job becuase i was promised that i would make so much money a day selling magazines.I allways felt uneasy knocking on doors not knowing who would behind that door.But i had no other choice at the time i had no were else to go.I was no felon or criminal on the run i had never been arrested or in troble with the law in whole life,untill i worked with this company from bieng aressted for selling magazines witout a permit..After the first week working there i hated it.I was mentally and emotionally abused. i was called a wab... which means im not a good salesman so others are not allowed to talk to you your basically outcasted and made to sleep on sleezy hotel room floor becuase u cant get a sell.i was forced to work 6 12 hour days a week.And was left on dark deserted roads for hours at time.Marni and Eugene are vicious people they buid you up and tear you down. I was fired becuase i was left in the poaring cold rain for hours close to midnight i nice woman gave me a ride back to hotel and Marni Weldon became irate with me. She called me out of my name and told me to leave her sight.I was dropped off at the greyhound the next day worse off then when i had arrived phically and emotionally torn down. My self esteem had been riped away.

Mr.j
Mr.j

Yea I worked for this place for two weeks and all they payed me was $15 a day. They would barely let you sleep, with all the brain washing sessions and phony meetings it was impossible to rest. Most of the people working there are criminals or brainwashed into thinking that this is the best job of all time. The managers are greedy demons that feed off the weak and misguided. Everyone has sex with eachother this was a surreal zoo. They didnt like me much because they were transparent to me and I could see the games they play. I ended up quiting and they stranded me in la with no pay. I called the police and told them about the stolen credit cards and all of the other illegal things that i witnessed. They need to be shut down the managers know whats going on.

james
james

srew all of you steareotypists i sold magazines for a up and up company for 7 years people always got there magazines and i made a living and how dare everyone say go to jail for making a living

hivelozity
hivelozity

former seller? victim of a magcrew manager? just want to tell your story or perhaps read others' accounts of this bizzare industry? find out the real inner machinations of the traveling magazine salescrew...and add YOUR story/comments at www.travelingmagseller.blogspo......see you there! getabunch...

John Doe
John Doe

The companies have a duty to screen their 'agents' better once they realize the potential harm they cause due to their possible criminal background. No matter how you look at the situation, both parties are at fault. A few questions should be asked of theses owners: "What if one of these tragic events occured in your family? What if it were your mother or father or children that were the innocent victim? What if you couldn't find out who caused the crime in order to seek justice? What if the roles were reversed? What actions would you suggest to the police and those whom are in these power position take to feel safer in your own home?" Crimes are committed everyday and that is a fact but when we have an opportunity to maybe prevent a few of them, why not try?

Emerson
Emerson

I feel sorry for america for posting these comments about these young americans we are in a recession no one is hiring and these magazine companies give these young ADULTS the oppurtunity to make somwthing better with thereselves....I stress the fact of adults because they are they make these decisions to do things I'm pretty sure there not getting taught to beat old people be real criticize the agents not the companies

John Doe
John Doe

los: Post more details about what you are planning to do, I will assist and\or follow suit. It's a shame these type of companies are legal and no one thinks to investigate them. Let something insignificant happen in a major chain and the press will be all over it. Yet with these animals, it takes a terrible situation to occur.

los
los

these companies need to be shut down as they need to be stopped before more people get hurt. I have been in trouble in the past and although they gave me the opportunity i regret ever going with it. They are about to get some publicity as all it takes is one to start the process and i refuse to let it go by unnoticed. Anyone else?

NuNu
NuNu

Anonymous & John Doe, after reading this article and your comments. I would like to know more on the magazine crew were involved in. I feel bad for people such as yourselves who were trying to better your life's.

mr. lawyer
mr. lawyer

I find it amazing nobody has tied the big publishing companies to these managers and agents who commit crimes on the job in their name. This is a plaintiff lawyers dream - to be able to sue the big publishing companies for negligent hiring (or worse) should be motivation enough to bring them all down.

ray_norm
ray_norm

so is true and not true alot of these young adults have had a bad life to call all criminal is not right because i did it before and had the time of my life we have the opp to be around successful people and the a chance to do something positive but true indeed there are bad crews out there but the good out weights the bad believe me i love going door to door it a good career and it exciting

John Doe
John Doe

Anonymous!!!!! You're right..I was a criminal, just looking for an opportunity in todays tough job market! I was there also but on Lettel & Moody's crew! What you've said is so true with much more to be told. They're a sick group of crews all linked to eachother and claim no affiliation! If the chance came for you to be able to speak up publically or in court...are you willing to do so? The things that go on are horrible and manipulative...it's all a trick and people who don't know any better, get brain-washed and stripped of any pride or self-worth. The sad part is that it has been going on for so many years and the authorities have yet to step in and save theses people or jail the ones responsible! Instead, time is wasted and lives get ruined!

jane doe
jane doe

these people are criminals DO NOT SUPPORT THEM

Anonymous
Anonymous

you are so right about the unified stars they take people who have no where to go and use them til they can not be used anymore true some people they hire are bad but most of them are just looking for an opportunity to have a better life the unified stars promise them that and then pressures them to sell magazines mentally abuse them and sometimes physically also they give them 40 percent of half of the total cost sometimes less than that and the managers are fake they have sex with the agents and they are not a happy couple as they claim. they claim that they are an organization to lift people but most people leave worst off than they came and broke and broke down and they leave people stranded at the greyhound bus station so dont invest in these people they are very fraudulent it is sad really that these young people do all the work yet the managers marni weldon makes all the money. i should know i was a victim i racked up so many police charges just for soliciting w/o a permit they claim to take care of these charges but they dont care about people just money.

John Doe
John Doe

I wish someone would contact me for the best and most accurate details! If this could go to court and cause the organization to be SHUT down, I'd be first to tell all! Names, locations, pictures, recordings, positions, inter-workings, tactics, witnesses, ect...! The USA is at risk if this operation continues! Don't take this lightly!

Julianp1
Julianp1

How do I get a hold of you? Create an account on Yahoo and post it...we need to talk.

jim sherman
jim sherman

There used to be something called a "Green River Ordinance" and if you saw signs saying "Green River Ordinance Enforced" at the city limits it meant if you knock on a door and make a sales pitch you are going straight to jail. Haven't seen one of those signs in years.

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