Young workers recruited from around the country and promised $800 a week for selling magazine subscriptions were given free bus tickets to Connecticut but were paid almost nothing and ended up owing the company for lodging they thought would be free, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Wednesday.
"Everything they told us was a lie," said Macknia Ward, 18, who waited all day Monday for a bus ticket back home to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Police say about 200 workers had been staying in two local hotels in Meriden, Conn., since around April 21.
The workers said three different companies, all linked to a business called Ultimate Unity of Michigan City, Ind., had hired them.
Complaints about unreceived magazines have followed the companies, which have been operating in Connecticut for the last two years, officials said.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said his office is investigating how the companies operate.
"It may involve deceptive and misleading information to people buying subscriptions," Blumenthal said. "Second, there may be false promises to the young people who were recruited about how much they will be earning."