A woman who said she was a producer for West Palm Beach FOX affiliate WFLX and promised local business owners “international exposure and publicity” on a TV show has been arrested by Palm Beach police and charged with fraud.
The Sun-Sentinel reports, Jessie Alexander allegedly bilked local business owners out of at least $23,000 by charging them a one-time fee of $3,500 for publicity on a special called “Best of the Palm Beaches.”
According to the police report, “Representatives from FOX 29 and Love PR told a Palm Beach detective Alexander had no affiliation with them and was using their logos without permission.”
“This was not a low-caliber scam,” said police spokesman Fred Hess. “This was somebody who was going after the big bucks.”
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Alexander paid the local CW affiliate WTVX to air a similar show in 2010 featuring local business owners.
In April, according to the most recent arrest report, Alexander approached a dentist, a jeweler, a spa owner, a Realtor and other business owners and said she wanted to feature their companies on a Palm Beach version of the “Best of” show.
The report lays out Alexander’s pitch: $3,500 for a 30-minute television special set to air in May 2013, a DVD of the show fit for commercials, a special event at the Breakers and press releases about the project sent to 60,000 media outlets.
While the shows never aired, the Sun-Sentinel said short videos about the companies that bought in are posted on YouTube. The Sun-Sentinel said when some of the business owners didn’t get their money back when they asked for it they alerted police.