PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - She's sold real estate in the valley, tabletop advertisements- and now she's selling ads for a new magazine. CBS Local 2 first reported on Theresa Darrah in the spring, when dozens of people offered that she'd scammed them out of thousands of dollars. We confronted Darrah about her newest business venture, and asked her to clear some things up.
CBS Local 2 tried emailing and calling Theresa Darrah over the last several months, but she's never given us a comment.
So we tracked her down to a medical office in Palm Springs where she scheduled a meeting with a new client. She gave us a no comment to nearly every question we asked, including why she's using a different name now than she did just a few months ago, when she was selling tabletop advertisements around the Coachella Valley.
During the course of just one day, we found three different people who all identified a photo of Darrah, but all received different business cards, where she used three different names to do business: Theresa Darrah, Theresa Stacey and Reese Stacey.
The cards also showed two different magazine names: Metro Woman Magazine, and Desert Cities Modern Woman Magazine.
Court records show Darrah filed a petition to legally change her name to Theresa Stacey earlier this year.
John Evans of Contempo Lending in Palm Springs, says he was approached by a woman who called herself Theresa Stacey, to advertise in Desert Cities Modern Woman Magazine. He said she first approached him about a loan, but the conversation quickly turned to sales.
"She's pretty aggressive," remarked Evans, "I think with her sales techniques."
New clients say Darrah, or Stacey, is now targeting doctors and dentists. She's promising them a spread in a new magazine, but they want members of the medical community to know what she's really selling.
Palm Springs physical therapist Michael Gurk told us "Theresa Stacey" promised him a cover story and four to six months of advertising.
Gurk says to his knowledge Desert Cities Modern Woman magazine is set to be published next month.
"But I haven't seen any print," says Gurk. "She was supposed to do some cover photos."
Gurk says he learned about Darrah's double identity and tabletop advertisements after he paid for advertising in the magazine.
"Shortly after that, I called her back to confront her on that, and she said, 'No Michael, don't worry, it would be fine.' That...'We've already got the full advertising and everything will be great.'"
Darrah's tabletop advertisement website no longer works. But Gurk is listed as a featured client on the new magazine website, along with about a dozen others, like the Palm Springs General Store. Some of those listed, like the Desert Woman's Show and Trio Palm Springs, told CBS Local 2 they didn't advertise with her, and said Darrah appears to have scanned their business cards.
"My best hope, is that I may get a little advertising out of this," Gurk says. "And my worst hope is that I won't get any advertisement, and I'll lose my investment."
Dozens of local businesses sued Darrah over the tabletop advertisements, and many are still waiting for their money.
We asked Darrah/Stacey to use the opportunity to let the public know she was not doing anything wrong. She replied. "I'm not."
The new clients we spoke to said the magazine is supposed to be published in September.
Investigators from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department confirm there is an active investigation into Darrah's activities.
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