Rebecca Dauler: State Says She Ran One-Woman Extortion Racket
Say what you will about Rebecca Dauler, but if what the State of Texas is alleging about her is true, you can't deny that the 33-year-old Clear Lake woman has plenty of pluck and good-old-fashioned gumption in spades.
Rebecca Dauler: Take your little cease-and-desist letter and stick it, Texas Workforce Commission!
According to a deceptive trade practices suit the Texas Attorney General's office has filed, Dauber concocted the following business plan.
1. Start a company called 4Compliance Texas
2. Obtain a bunch of free posters from the Texas Workforce Commission. (You can download them here.) You know these posters -- they are official notices of things like the payday law, worker's compensation and stuff like that. It is required by law that they be hung on the walls somewhere in the business where employees can see them.
3. Load up the truck with laminated copies of these free posters and head down to some office parks. She would then go door-to-door to various office suites, claiming that her 4Compliance Texas was a subcontractor of the TWC and that she was there for an inspection. She would invariably cite the company for various infractions -- maybe their posters were absent, or the wrong size, or not laminated. Not to worry, though -- she had the cure. These businesses could pay her $49.99 for the correct posters and she would find them "in compliance."
4. The suit says she would threaten people who turned her down. The suit says she told an employee at one company that she would be filing a negative report with the TWC and that the business could be "shut down." On being refused entry to a medical clinic she wanted to "inspect," she allegedly told the gatekeeper that she would "make a note" of their refusal to let her in.
See? That's just downright spunky.
The TWC's office got wind of these shenanigans and sent Dauler a cease-and-desist letter in August. The letter threatened legal action if Dauler kept leaning on businesses. However, as we've seen, this is not a woman who gives up easily, and the suit says the indomitable Ms. Dauler was back at it by September.
The suit alleges deceptive trade practices and asks for $20,000 in civil penalties per violation, restitution of the money she allegedly finagled, court costs, attorney fees and interest.