Welcome to the online portfolio of Charles Schelle. Journalist. Beer League Hockey Player. Dude.

I thought I would never write about reality TV again, then cameDiscoverys Undercover Billionaire.

I saw a Facebook post from theErie Times-News about the shows production and upcoming airing on Discoveryand the show didnt pull me too much at first. Yes, I was interested because I lived in Erie for about three months and interned on the Erie Times-News features desk 13 years ago.

However, the thought that of all things a billionaire would do to invest a million dollars in Erie would be a barbecue joint to lift the spirits and inspire the city sounded hokey. Lets all hold our sauce-slathered hands in unity, shall we?

I forgot about the show until my sisters mentioned it Labor Day weekend, so I decided to binge watch. I was captivated. Glenn Stearns story of having the cards stacked against him as a teenaged dad who battles dyslexia, then become a billionaire is inspiring. The challenge of turning $100 into a one million dollar business in 90 days without much help? Suspect.

During the second episode, the car flipping scene kept bothering me as I continued with other episodes. I kept seeing a sign forF&M Trust. I knew Erie never had that bank. Growing up in Hagerstown, Md., I would see that sign all the time going into Franklin County, Pa. And as a kid, F&M Trust confused me because there was a much different F&M Bank in Maryland before the bank was bought out and eventually became Susquehanna Bank (now BB&T, soon, Truist). Farmers and Mechanics obviously need to keep their money away from other farmers and mechanics.

Anyway, after watching a YouTube video and reading through the comments about suspicious aspects of the show, I thought Id rewatch the second episode Start Up or Die Trying. One commenter said how the apartment building was a few hours away.

That commenter was right and as it appears, the car flipping was staged five hours and 300 miles southeast of Erie in Chambersburg along U.S. 11.

Here is Glenns approach to F&M Trust, 2405 Philadelphia Ave., Chambersburg:

The sign beyond F&M Trust is North Pointe Business Center, home to the Orrstown Bank Operations Center.

The dealership that went out of business was Millennium Motors, 1905 Philadelphia Ave., Chambersburg. Heres the Discovery shot:

A shot of Millennium Motors as shown in Discoverys Undercover Billionaire. The car lot is actually located five hours away from Erie, Pa., in Chambersburg, Pa.

Again, here is Millennium Motors from a June 2018 Google Street View:

Glenns Lucky Corner that he parked the Civic at? He pulls into a seasonal produce stand beside bus stop shelter with an ad for S&A Homes. The sign readsCountry Creek Produce Farmwith the phone and address conveniently blurred. The actual farm is down the road, which made it hard to pinpoint this stand.

A view from Discoverys Undercover Billionaire when Glenn Stearns approaches the Honda Civic he is selling on a corner. It is really located in Chambersburg, Pa.

Here is an up-close shot of the same stand across from the McDonalds at 2891 Philadelphia Ave., Chambersburg. Couldnt get a wider angle or else the Street View clicked over to a different year and appearance.

Thankfully, another shot showed theU.S. Inn & Apartments, which turns out is behind it at 2375 Philadelphia Ave., Chambersburg. Thats the location that helped pull everything else together. All of this is north of downtown Chambersburg

Heres the hotels sign in the background of the show:

His lucky car flipping all took place about a mile north of the now-shuttered car dealership. At least thats the only real part of the storyline: Millennium Motors is out of business. (Did it go under before the show? I dont know.)

The significance of the car deal was that Glenn needed to get enough money to put $4,000 down on a house he needs to flip to put seed money into the business. (After watching the latest episode, the house flipping appears to be suspect as well. The house is at least in Erie, but the transactions that led to the house selling looks fishy.) The viewer is under the pretense that Glenn can do this in 90 daysbut if something goes wrong and he cant hit the 90-day deadline, he loses his bet.It didnt work out, so the flipping process appears to accelerate the storyline to illustrate that its kind of possible to do.

My sisters brought up a good point of why it may have been staged there: Franklin County is home to theMason-Dixon Auto Auctionin Greencastle. It would be easy to find a car and flip it either to an individual during the public auction nights or a dealer. Or the other way, bought it at the auction himself and flipped it.

A quick look at Google while writing this and it looks like others have found it out, too. Someone edited theUndercover Billionaire Wikipedia pagewith an uncited entry that the cars were sold in Chambersburg.

Thepersons entry was too adamant and personal(and well, lacking a published source) for Wikipedias standards:

I really hoped this time I wouldnt be deceived by another Discoveryreality  unscriptedshow. TLC arrived in Sarasota when I lived there, andresidents werent too fond of Breaking Amish.

Im still going to watch the rest of the series and see Erie get some screen time. Its a great city that deserves praise and a chance. If you ever visit, go see anErie Ottershockey game, or if its summer time, theSeaWolvesare a good show. Grab a drink atVoodoo Brewing, imbibe atThe PlymouthandCalamaris. Dabble in some beach volleyball and fishing atPresque Isle State Park.

And go buy a copy of theErie Times-Newsto see whats new.

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