"Miss Cleo" Scam

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Part
01

"Miss Cleo" Scandal

As requested, findings have been compiled in the attached document. The research provided there includes detailed information on the following subjects:
  • An overview of the "Miss Cleo" Scandal, including victim statements and details of how and why the team of fraudsters participated in the crime.
  • A biography and background of Youree Dell Harris, complete with details of her previous involvement in crime.

YOUR RESEARCH TEAM APPLIED THE FOLLOWING SEARCH STRATEGY

Because this research focuses on a historical event which took place in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a number of sources used here are older than are typically cited by Wonder. This has been done in order to ensure that the most-detailed and relevant information is provided, and these sources have been cited in conjunction with more recent, up-to-date reports and articles on this subject. On that note, we reviewed a wide variety of source materials in compiling this report, including news articles from both the time of the scandal and from the present, court documents, and even advertisements for "Miss Cleo".

In researching this report, despite there being a vast amount of information readily available on the fraud, the ensuing court cases, and the individuals involved, no data or information could be found pertaining to official victim statements. In our attempts to locate this information, we began by reviewing news articles both published at the time and in the present, in the hopes that journalists covering the case may have published quotes from victims of the scam. However, while this provided us with a wealth of information about the case, no copies of victim statements or quotes were available. As a result, we turned next to the FTC itself, hoping that, as they'd been the organization to file suit against the individuals and companies involved in the scam, they may have documents or quotes available from victims. However, this research path also did not prove fruitful. Finally, we attempted to review official court documents from the time of the case, relying primarily on a database of such information called Court Listener. In this process, we were able to find court documents from Dell Harris' copyright infringement cases against the Psychic Readers Network — which continued up until her death in 2016 — but no documentation was available concerning the 2002 case or victim statements from that case.

Additionally, while a vast amount of information has been published about Dell Harris and her past, very little has been published about Peter Stolz and Steven Feder as individuals, outside of their involvement with the Miss Cleo scandal. Specifically, the only information available referred to the sale of Feder's multi-million dollar apartment. In attempting to find information concerning a biography and or the pasts of Stolz and Feder, we started by reviewing articles published both at the time of the scandal in 2002, and in the years since then. Our goal was to find information about the cousins which could be used to construct a biographic profile of one or both of them. While this strategy produced a wealth of information about the scandal itself and about Dell Harris, no information could be found on Stolz and Feder themselves. We then turned our search to biography sites and organizations, such as Biography.com and IMDB. This search also provided a wealth of information concerning Dell Harris, but produced nothing for Stolz or Feder. In a final attempt to obtain this information, we turned to court documents both from 2002, and from the cousins' ongoing copyright infringement cases with Dell Harris. Our hope was that some minor identifying information, such as past crimes or court cases, might be referenced in these documents. However, while we were able to find copies of the cousins' ongoing cases with Dell Harris, no information which could help in constructing a biography was available there.
Sources
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