Beef Jerky Guru: Round 2

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by Chris Nagus, News 4 Investigates

KMOV.com

Posted on February 14, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 15 at 1:28 PM

 (KMOV)--James Adam Jenkins is the focus of another News 4 Investigation after a new round of complaints from angry employees, former business associates, and people who don't even know him.

The last time we saw James Adam Jenkins we ran all over an Oklahoma courthouse.  At the time he was accused of running a hunting scam.  Since then he's plead guilty, and paid back $91,000 in restitution.

In St. Louis he was accused of selling firefighters distribution rights to a beef stick business but failing to follow through.

Mike Hampton is a north county firefighter who bought into the program.

He says paid $2,500 to get involved with the business but he's been waiting on his refund for months.

Kelli Jones didn't know about any of this when she saw an ad to work for Jenkins on craigslist.

Jones was hired by Jenkins’ food share program to distribute canisters of beef sticks around St. Louis.

His website, www.foodshareprogram.com, states that for every four pounds of product sold the company will donate one pound to a local charity or food bank. But Jones says her supervisor couldn't tell her who they were donating to. 

“ The questions I asked was what food pantries are they partnered with in the area and it took three times for me to ask before I got a response and the response I did get was they don't have that set up but they are working on it” said Jones.

 The website even advertised a link, a place where you could request the charities. We tried but never got a response, the Better Business Bureau of Tulsa, OK couldn't get one either and issued an alert to the public.  

 So News 4 called some of the people listed on the website. Don Homuth's name appeared on the page but he told us it was as “if we endorsed it and we don't”.

 Homuth's quote on the website talked about the need for protein donations at local food banks. 

But it was a quote lifted from an Oregon newspaper unrelated to Jenkins’ company. 

Homuth doesn't even know Jenkins.

 “I'm not even sure if beef sticks are good for hungry people” said Homuth.

 St. Charles Yellow Cab was also listed as a partner in the Food Share pledge.

News 4 called the manager; he was shocked and said his company never gave permission for their name to be used.

So News 4’s Chris Nagus called Jenkins for some answers; Jenkins never called back.

 But Kelli Jones did, a few days after our interview she received her one and only paycheck from James Adam Jenkins. The check bounced, and Jones was charged a $19 fee by her bank.

 Jenkins website advertises a place you can see relationship certificates with local food banks, but we couldn't find anywhere to click. Also for anyone who wants more info the site offers some interesting information "we discourage calling the charity for a reference as we have thousands of customers in any given area and fielding the call volume would become a large distraction."

 Some of the firefighters who claim they were ripped off have been paid back. On February 14, 2012, Kelli Jones called to say Jenkins sent her a money order, she's finally been paid.

Jenkins’ attorney tells News 4, the charities working with the food share program signed confidentiality agreement but he would try to get us some of the names - more than a week later he has not.

Don Homuth complained and had his name taken off the site, so did St. Charles Yellow Cab.

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