Wednesday, September 05, 2001
State officials skeptical about businessman's claimsCASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming officials are skeptical about a New Jersey businessman's claims of engines that can run on a variety of fluids and a device to neutralize nuclear waste.
About 80 potential investors listened to Diennis Lee speak at Casper's Radisson Hotel recently.
"There's a rumor about me that I'm a scamster, a con man, a fraud," he told the crowd.
"Well, we're doing things that oil companies and electric companies and gas companies are real scared of," he said. "After you see the show tonight you'll see why they're so scared."
Lee discussed how people, for $15, can sign up for memberships in a free electricity program or call a number to become dealers.
He promised that his organizations, Better World Technology and United Community Services of America, can offer jobs, a better quality of life and a clean environment.
"The bad news is, if somebody here wants to try to resist that, then we're going to do everything we can to put them out of business," he said.
Resistance has come from Wyoming and elsewhere.
In October 1999, the Wyoming Attorney General's Office urged people to use extreme caution in considering Lee's proposals.
Assistant attorney general Christopher Petrie, who issued the warning, remains skeptical.
"You'd better think long and hard before you give any money to this guy for a free electricity machine," he said.
Some states have taken legal action. Vermont filed a consumer fraud complaint, alleging that the technology does not exist to provide free electricity.
Lee has a criminal and civil record, according to a 1999 temporary restraining order filed by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.
In 1988, he pleaded guilty in California to fraud and misappropriation of $800,000 from 200 victims. He served two years in prison.
He also allegedly has not paid a $31,000 fine for violating Washington's consumer protection act. Eight arrests in New Jersey between 1974 and 1979 alleged fraud, forgery and drug-related offenses.
Eric Kreig, an electrical engineer from Philadelphia, has tracked Lee's business practices and claims. Lee has been promising for 15 years to put a device on the market for free electricity but never has, he said.
The U.S. Patent Office does not list any patents for Lee for any of his inventions.
In one demonstration, Lee handed a beaker he said contained 200 milliliters of gasoline to an assistant, who poured the liquid into a glass jar next to a small engine.
Lee then handed the assistant some Pepsi, Coke, red Gatorade, Frappuccino, pickle juice, sugar, salt, A-1 Sauce, Tabasco, Aqua Velva, used transmission oil and a jar of urine to mix with the gasoline.
The assistant poured the mix into another jar containing Brillo pads, screwed on a lid with two hoses in it, then pulled a starter cord a half-dozen times. The engine sputtered to life and sucked the mixture through the hoses.
Lee put a white handkerchief over an open hose on the device. He then displayed the handkerchief and claimed the engine produced no pollution. He said the engine will also run off a 20 percent gasoline, 80 percent water mixture.
"The secret is in the reactor," he said. "Nobody knows how it works. ... Whole universities are studying this."
He claims his other technologies include a heating and air conditioning system that runs off septic tank fumes, a device that uses water to produce a flame that will not burn flesh yet can slice through a seven-inch block of steel and a system to neutralize nuclear waste.