Dallas man pleads guilty to fraud for infomercials promoting seminars


A Dallas man pleaded guilty in federal court in Baltimore yesterday to one count of mail fraud for his role in the Peak Performance Institute, an organization that sponsored one-day seminars that promised to teach people the secrets of getting rich.

John Thomas Polk, 39, admitted that his television infomercials soliciting seminar customers included phony newspaper articles heralding his company's achievements and falsely said that two men became wealthy by attending the seminars.

Peak Performance and its successor company, Success Achievement Systems, were located in Hagerstown and operated between 1993 and 1996.

Polk's sentencing was set for the week of July 12 and he was released on $1 million bond.

David C. Bowen, 36, also of Dallas, entered a guilty plea to one count of mail fraud in the same case last month. His sentencing was set for July 14.

The maximum penalty for mail fraud is five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine and restitution.

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