Pitchman Behind Green Coffee Weight-Loss Ads to Pay $30 Million Judgment
Pitchman accused of deceiving consumers using false claims, testimonials, and news websites
A U.S. district court judge has, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), issued a summary decision and a judgment of $30 million against Nicholas Scott Congleton, the pitchman behind Pure Green Coffee.
Congleton allegedly deceived customers with weight loss claims, testimonials, and news websites that were all fake.
The court ruled that the defendant marketed the product for weight loss deceptively using NPB Advertising and several other companies under his control. He is permanently prohibited by the order from the deceptive advertising practices that the Commission challenged.
The court also ordered another man, Dylan Loher, to pay $549,000 to partially satisfy the judgment. Loher was charged by the FTC as a relief defendant, which means that although he was not a direct participant in the scheme, he did profit indirectly from it.
"As this case shows, the FTC is willing to go the distance make sure that defendants like these are held accountable," said Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich. "We're pleased that the court has put an end to Congleton's deceptive scheme."
It was in May 2014 when the FTC first filed a complaint against NPB Advertising, its principals, and related companies. Its amended complaint alleges that the defendants used deceptive marketing techniques to capitalize on the fad of green coffee beans, which became popular after appearing on "The Dr. Oz Show." The defendants' scheme allegedly used mastheads of false news outlets and logos from legitimate news organizations to deceive customers.
Most defendants involved settled the charges in November 2015.