Home Consumer “Diet Health Craze” Scammers Settle With Feds For $9.2 Mil And A...

“Diet Health Craze” Scammers Settle With Feds For $9.2 Mil And A Ferrari

Health Formula, LLC Image: www.ncconsumer.org

It was the latest “diet health craze” from just a few years ago that dominated the internet and Late Night Informercials. But now Uncle Sam says it was all a scam and it just cost the promoters $9.2 million dollars and a Ferrari!

The FTC alleges Health Formula, LLC made false claims about products like its’ “Green Coffee Bean Extract” and illegally withdrew money from consumers Bank Accounts.

According to the FTC “The proposed stipulated final order bans individual defendants Danelle Miller and Jason Miller and 42 corporations the couple controlled (the Health Formulas defendants) from advertising or selling weight-loss supplements and negative option sales plans, making unsupported health claims for other products, and debiting consumers’ bank accounts without their consent.

“The defendants made misleading claims about their products, locked people into recurring charges, and debited bank accounts without permission, said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “As a result of their outrageous behavior, they’re now banned from using continuity programs or selling weight-loss products, and they’ve surrendered millions of dollars.””

The Feds add “The FTC’s action alleged that Health Formulas, LLC, its related entities, and principals used telemarketing, the Internet, print, radio, and television advertisements to deceptively pitch a variety of dietary supplements and other weight-loss, virility, muscle-building, and skin cream products.

The defendants tricked consumers into disclosing their personal financial information through the use of a “free trial” or discount program with undisclosed costs, and then enrolled them, often without their authorization, in a negative option program in which defendants automatically charged consumers for monthly shipments.

The Feds say the “Coffee Bean Extract” health claims weren’t the only ones they say were bogus.

“The FTC’s action alleged that Health Formulas, LLC, its related entities, and principals used telemarketing, the Internet, print, radio, and television advertisements to deceptively pitch a variety of dietary supplements and other weight-loss, virility, muscle-building, and skin cream products.

The defendants tricked consumers into disclosing their personal financial information through the use of a “free trial” or discount program with undisclosed costs, and then enrolled them, often without their authorization, in a negative option program in which defendants automatically charged consumers for monthly shipments.”

Making it even worse for victims?

Investigators say the company never informed customers how to stop the re-occuring automatic withdrawals from their Bank Accounts.

Here’s the FTC release

Al Sunshine is a South Florida-based Broadcast and Digital Journalist whose career has spanned more than 40 years at the local and national levels. His award-winning investigations have triggered more than a dozen state and local consumer protection laws and his work’s been cited in Congressional Testimony before the U-S House of Representatives. He is best known for his “Shame On You” features for CBS Miami which sought to expose businesses, agencies and individuals defrauding or deceiving consumers, as well as endangering the safety and welfare of the general public. In 2013 Al retired from CBS Miami to set up his own Digital News Business, “Sunshine News, LLC” and Al continues to blog for the Radio, Television, Digital News Association, sponsors of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards”. An avid environmentalist, Al is one of the founding members of the “Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition”. The Florida Non-Profit is fighting to save and restore the last 2% of Pine Rocklands found only in South Florida and nowhere else in the continental United States. Al was recently elected its President.

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