'Frankly Speaking' investigation expands - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

'Frankly Speaking' investigation expands

September 30, 2003

Tifton - A state investigation into an Albany business called Frankly Speaking is expanding. Apparently, the people who run Frankly Speaking also opened a big paint ball facility in Tifton last Spring. Customers and employees say they got ripped off.

Twenty-year-old Corey Preston is a hardworking college student. He says, "I'm trying to get enough money so I can pay for myself to go through college without having to depend on anyone else."

Right now he works for a concrete company, but earlier this year he worked weekends at Paintball City in Tifton. He adds, "Sometimes anywhere from 12 to 16 hours."

Preston had problems getting paid for those long hours. "Sometimes you had to hound them for the money that you were owed. And you really didn't know at the end of the week if you were going to get a full paycheck or a paycheck at all."

Members and employees of Paintball City say owners left like bandits in the night. We have e-mails from angry parents, whose kids cut grass to afford a membership. Like Preston, those kids are now out hard earned money. Preston says, "I had two or three of my paychecks bounce."

A viewer watching an unrelated story about Frankly Speaking recognized Donna Morse. Morse and Don Lasker were both involved in Paintball City. They are also accused by the state of illegally charging credit cards for a donation to a drug prevention program in Albany. The state has issued a cease and desist order for that business.

Preston may never see that money again, but one thing is concrete, he's learned a lesson. He adds, "Once things start going bad, open your eyes and see what's really going on around you."

The owner of the warehouse, Bobby Lord, says he's out nearly $21,800 in un-paid rent. Paintball City opened in March and were evicted in May. Lord has sued the co-owner, Jim Dehart.

Donna Morse and Don Lasker both deny any wrong doings in Frankly Speaking. It was never registered with the State of Georgia.

After we notified the Secretary of State about the Paintball City complaints, they opened an investigation into that business.

posted at 6:05PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com