Circus comes to town, leaves without paying up

Circus ringmasterAt least one circus won't be coming to town anymore in North Dakota, after the state's attorney general filed a cease and desist order against its parent company, saying it didn't live up to a promise to share proceeds with local communities.

American United Entertainment LLC, based in Texas, allegedly broke North Dakota state consumer fraud laws after it solicited the towns of Parkton and Grafton to host the Great American Circus of the Stars last summer, and then kept the cities' shares of ticket sales.

A portion of each ticket purchased by consumers was supposed to go to the communities hosting the events. The attorney general's office says that in one instance, the circus left town during the night in order to avoid giving the city its money.

According to consumer complaints detailed in the case, American United Entertainment LLC, engaged in a "deceptive scheme" violating consumers' trust with misrepresentation and false promises.

The attorney general's office says it made several attempts to retrieve funds owed to the cities before filing the order. A telephone call to a number for the company listed on case documents went to an answering service, and was not returned.

The circus company in question is not related to the California-based film and television company with the same name.

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