WASHINGTON, July 23 (UPI) -- A conservative group in Washington has gained members and revenue by enrolling people who thought they were just buying insurance policies, it was reported.
The scheme began with a pitch for a new insurance company offering tax-free medical savings accounts, The Washington Post reported. If an applicant signed an already filled-out application, he would be entitled to a low group rate -- but many applicants later learned they had joined Citizens for a Sound Economy.
Now called FreedomWorks, the organization lobbies for conservative causes -- including a flat income tax -- and questions global warming.
FreedomWorks has reportedly netted more than $638,000 and about 16,000 members through the sale of insurance policies.
Former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, heads FreedomWorks.
Many consumers who signed up for insurance are angry at what many see as a trick, the Post said. Others, however, argue that it was only an effort for a grassroots organization to garner new members.