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Bad Ad! Bad!

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Over the years, a few chaste Boiseans have complained about the adult advertising on the back pages of Boise Weekly. But in the phone sex industry's defense, at least they're straightforward. The ads tell customers what they'll be charged, and customers know approximately what they'll get in return. Compared to one ad for an insurance firm in the Idaho Statesman earlier this year, our porn is downright virtuous.

The ad in question was for Network Investments, a local stock brokerage firm in Boise, which claimed that some real estate construction investments offered by the company were "insured by the SIPC." Problem is, the Securities Investment Protection Corporation doesn't actually insure investments. It was simply created to help investors reclaim their investments after brokerage firms fail. An investment firm should know that.

One sharp local reader caught this error and called it in to the SIPC, who then worked with the Idaho Department of Commerce to look into Network Investments, and specifically broker Shane Turner, 32. The investigation culminated last week when Turner was arrested on seven counts of grand theft, eight counts of securities fraud and a count of money laundering. According to the Ada County Prosecutor's Office, Turner would lure investors in with his bogus ad and then invest their money himself, not through the company for whom he worked.

"He's charged with using people's money in a way that they didn't give him permission for," said Deputy Prosecuitng Attorney Jonathan Medema. "People were losing money for this." On October 22, Turner pleaded not guilty to all charges, according to a story in the Idaho Press-Tribune.

(Full disclosure: Turner was a security guard at Skyview High School during the author's senior year. One beautiful April morning, Turner caught the author trying to skip Calculus, and Turner sent the author back to class. This incident in no way affected the reporting in this article.)