Supplement Maker to Turn Over $10 Million in Assets for Customer Refunds
As part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a California-based company and its operators will be turning over about $10 million in assets which will be used to refund consumers that bought bogus weight loss supplements.
Sale Slash is accused of using spam emails and fake news websites with phony celebrity endorsements and unsupported claims to promote a variety of products.
The FTC's 2015 complaint charged the company and its operators with using millions of illegal spam emails, along with false weight-loss claims and fake, unauthorized endorsements from celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, to market unproven diet pills, including Premium Green Coffee, Pure Garcinia Cambogia, Premium White Kidney Bean Extract, Pure Forskolin Extract, and Pure Caralluma Fimbriata Extract.
The company bilked about $43.4 million from consumers, but a monetary judgement in that amount has been partially suspended. Assets including cash and real estate come to about $10 million, which will be used to provide customer refunds.
The defendants in the case are also banned from:
- Making weight loss or health related claims unless they are supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.
- Misrepresenting the existence, contents, validity, results, conclusions, or interpretations of any test, study, or research, including in the weight-loss context.
- Engaging in a wide range of misrepresentations in connection with the advertising, marketing, promotion, offering for sale, or sale of any goods or services, tailored to the allegations in the complaint.
- Sending emails that fail to identify the sender, sending emails with misleading subject headings, and sending emails that lack a proper opt-out option for recipients.