PHOENIX, AUG. 20 -- The founder of the "Dare to be Great" motivational program was sentenced today to seven years in prison for using an illegal pyramid scheme to bilk people out of thousands of dollars.
Glenn W. Turner, 53, was sentenced along with Edward G. Rechtor by Superior Court Judge Bernard J. Dougherty, who said he had received scores of letters on behalf of the two Goldenrod, Fla., men.
Turner and Rechtor, who also received seven years, were convicted in July of 19 counts of conspiracy, fraud and promoting a pyramid scheme. Jurors found them not guilty of 27 counts of securities violations involving Challenge Inc., a motivational company.
Turner, Rechtor and a third man, Alan K. Oaks, were accused of defrauding Arizona residents who were promised incomes of $1,000 to $3,000 a month if they invested $5,000 to become sales people for Challenge Inc.
Investors were subjected to highly emotional sales and promotion techniques in a process described by company insiders as "jacking up" prospects, Assistant Attorney General R. Jeffrey Woodburn said.
The $5,000 investment paid for motivational seminars and tapes, but the indictment said the real business of the pyramid operation was to induce more people to invest money to become salespeople who, in turn, were expected to recruit others.
Oaks pleaded guilty last year to one felony count of operating an illegal pyramid scheme and agreed to testify against Turner and Rechtor.
The program was similar to Turner's "Dare to be Great" program, which won him national attention in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the state attorney general's office said