An Atlanta federal judge is expected to order the operators of a fraudulent diet program to pay $40 million for violating a May court order to pull their product from shelves. The Federal Trade Commission said the judgment is one of the highest ever against a diet scam operator.
The May court order said the company, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, had violates a previous 2008 court order related to the sale of the supplements.
The company's Web site, which says some of its products are sponsored in part by several popular mixed martial arts fighters including Ryan Bader, Gary Maynard and others, currently shows that the weight loss product section of the site is "Under Construction."
The company site currently lists offerings for "Health Care", "Muscle & Strength", "Neuro Enhancement" and "Sexual Enhancement" products.
According to the FTC, "Specifically, the defendants, who ran an operation known as Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., continued to deceptively market the same and other products, in violation of the 2008 order with unsubstantiated claims such as “rapid fat loss,” “fat burner,” “thermogenic,” and “curbs the appetite.” The $40 million judgment is one of the largest the FTC has received against a dietary supplement manufacturer.
Under the May order the two company executives, CEO, Jared Wheat, and its executive vice president, Stephen Smith, were ordered to recall several products, including:
- Fastin (with an expiration date of 6/2019 or earlier)
- Lipodrene (with an expiration date of 5/2019 or earlier)
- Benzedrine (with an expiration date of 7/2019 or earlier)
- Stimerex-ES (with an expiration date of 1/2019 or earlier)
The FTC said it's also trying to jail Jared Wheat for, "failing to ensure the four weight-loss products were fully recalled."