‘Star Tribune’ Raises Questions About One Company in Circ Fraud Case

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By: E&P Staff

New information has surfaced surrounding claims that the Star Tribune in Minneapolis was inflating circulation.

Last April, the Star Tribune sued one of four advertisers involved in the circ padding claims, alleging that executives of Masterson Personnel were failing to pay their bills. The paper charged that vice president Duane Hendrickson and his wife Jan Hendrickson never paid for $60,000 worth of newspapers they received for distribution, according to a story in today’s Star Tribune.

Masterson Personnel along with Alternative Staffing, Purchasing Professionals, and Vision Staffing Solutions filed a lawsuit against the paper on Tuesday claming the paper puffed up its circulation and overcharged advertisers. The Star Tribune denied the charges.

Duane Hendrickson told the paper, ?This is not a retaliation thing. That other lawsuit has absolutely nothing to do with this. That will be resolved on its own.? A Star Tribune spokesman declined to comment in the story.

Hendrickson and his wife both advertised and acted as distributors for the Tribune. In 2002 Jan Hendrickson’s company agreed to distribute roughly 25,000 newspapers a week. Hendrickson charged the paper hyped the potential payback that could be made delivering papers and they fell 60 days behind in their payment. They also claimed that they were encouraged to dump or give away extra copies. The Tribune sued them and the lawsuit is still pending.

It’s estimated that Masterson bought $250,000 worth of advertising in the Tribune since 1999, according to the article.

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