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Michigan Suing Robin Leach

July 14, 1999

LANSING, Mich. (AP) _ Michigan has joined 13 other states in a suit against entertainer Robin Leach and two Florida companies, claiming they misled consumers about tropical vacation packages.

Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm said Tuesday that Ramada Plaza Resorts and National Travel Services of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., mailed ``official-looking″ documents telling consumers they had won a Florida vacation and a cruise to the Bahamas.

Accommodations were described as ``world class,″ Granholm said. Leach, best known for the TV series ``Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,″ endorsed the travel package.

Granholm said consumers actually won a chance to pay $1,000 for a 7-day trip to Florida. The cruise to the Bahamas consisted of a ride on a car ferry, she said, and ``Las Vegas-style″ gambling was a game of bingo.

Granholm said the companies also failed to tell participants that they would have to sit through a lengthy presentation on timeshares. ``Having to sit through a sales presentation and pay inflated prices for a `free’ vacation is nothing more than a scam,″ she said.

Rich Epstein, an attorney representing Leach and the two companies, did not return a message Tuesday. A spokesperson for Leach has said that the entertainer cut his ties with the Florida companies last year.

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