Nice Work If You Can Get It

Fly-by-night job agencies are promising -- but not delivering -- fat paychecks in faraway places

Kirk Smets thought that the classified ad sounded too good to be true. But with no job, three kids and a fourth baby on the way last summer, the 28-year- old plasterer from Palmdale, California, was willing to try anything. The ad from a Florida company called Roblan Inc. described a spectacular offering: a tax-free $70,000-a-year job working on a construction crew overseas. Food, housing and medical expenses were all paid for. The lady at Roblan was enthusiastic. "They said I'd be working on hotels in the Caribbean, the Bahamas," says Smets. "They said I'd be leaving in three to four...

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