Rod and Susan Mathis opened My Made in America Store in Gillette last fall and were excited to sign the business up as a sponsor to a sport and RV convention scheduled in May at the Cam-Plex. But this event didn't exist.
"Jim Sorensen came in and I signed up with him. They were going to get some big names out of Nashville," said Rod Mathis.
Mathis lost $300 to Sorensen and his phony High Noon Productions. That is a lot for a brand new small business, but Mathis knew of others who lost much more.
"I heard $2,500," said Mathis.
You can try calling Sorensen to find out why there won't be a Boat, Sport, and Travel Show, and you'll discover the number he gave clients is no longer in service.
His rented office space at a First Interstate Bank in Gillette is also empty. The Cam-Plex never signed a contract with him. So some vendors called a former employee of Sorensen's.
"A lady plainly threatened me on the phone, saying that I better pay her $2,000 back now. I had nothing to do with this," said Tammy Timmons.
Timmons worked for Sorensen as an office assistant for a month and quit after he refused to pay her any wages.
"Almost $5,200. And then I took him to court. He didn't even show up.
Timmons went to the Campbell County Sheriff's Department and officers are investigating.
The department and Timmons didn't have a photo available of Sorensen. He's described as 6'4, in his late 50's, and balding with long gray hair.
But charges may come soon because he used contracts with some clients.
"A lot easier to investigate. A lot easier for prosecution because there has been a binding contract," said Undersheriff Scott Matheny.
The ripped off sponsors look forward to seeing Sorensen again.
"I would like to find the fellow and talk about this," said Mathis.
Sorensen also told clients the show would stop in Sheridan at the Holiday Inn. A hotel worker said a contract was sent to Sorensen in February. He never signed it or contacted the hotel again.