Map salesman banned in WisconsinPublished 10:15pm Wednesday, January 25, 2012
A Kenosha, Wis.-based sales representative who visited Niles in October has been prohibited from doing business in Wisconsin and has been ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution to his victims.
According to WITI-TV, Edward Zapencki — who gave the name “Edward Zapanski” to the Star when interviewed at the Niles Inn Oct. 10 — was convicted in a scheme to sell locations on his cartoon-like treasure map highlighting local businesses.
Zapencki did not produce the maps for sometimes years, if at all, to several businesses in Wisconsin.
Niles resident Lyle Unger Jr. contacted the Star after Zapencki solicited his girlfriend’s parents, Kenny and Mary Duncan, owners of Kozy Kitchen, 110 N. Front St., on Oct. 8. The Duncans were initially going to purchase a spot on the treasure map.
Advertising started at $150 per spot, Unger said.
The October visit was not Zapencki’s first time in Berrien County. A map from four or five years ago that Zapencki presented to Niles police — the “Berrien Springs County” map — showed legitimate Niles businesses. Zapencki explained that the map’s name was part of a game; it was not incorrect.
Niles Chief James Millin said in October that Zapencki had been promising Niles businesses an April delivery.
“From what we can tell right now, we can’t say he’s not a legitimate businessman … I’m not real familiar with this map,” Millin said. “Certainly, it was brought to our attention he was being investigated in Illinois. They didn’t have anything to substantiate any charges.”
Millin said if Zapencki does not produce maps to Niles businesses that purchased spots, they are encouraged to call the Niles Police Department.
Zapencki also visited the Coloma area in October. Coloma Township police issued an advisory to local businesses encouraging them to take caution when purchasing advertising from Zapencki.
Tags: Fun Treasure Maps