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Donald Trump and the Sweepstakes Scammers » Scammer News


It was nighttime in Atlantic City. A man with a tight Afro and a broken ankle hobbled on crutches toward the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. On the covered driveway, bathed in neon light, sat a Cadillac Allanté convertible—the grand prize in Trump’s 1987 Drive-In Dreamstakes. The contest had been designed by Charles (Chuck) Seidman, a gregarious, boundlessly enthusiastic pitchman who called his business C.B.S.—short for C. B. Seidman Marketing Group—in the hope that the television station would sue him, giving him free publicity.

By the late eighties, America was in the grip of a sweepstakes mania. The industry had grown to an estimated value of a billion dollars, and every company, from Toys R Us to Wonder Bread, seemed to be running giveaways and promotions. Even Harvard University’s alumni magazine was offering ten thousand dollars in Sony electronics. C.B.S. had a unique business proposition: it would come up…

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