Three more guys from Florida, who were charged with illegally promoting shitty diet products and phone celebrity endorsements have agreed to pay $1.3M to the FTC for promoting these programs.
According to a complaint filed in 2016, Colby Fox and his crew illegally spammed tons of people by email, making it seem that the emails came from consumer’s friends, family and other people associated with them.
The problem with those emails, besides being horribly fraudulent and spammy, is that they also claimed they were endorsed by, among other people, the one and only Oprah Winfrey. The FTC said that these claims were unsubstantiated, and that celebrities never gave their endorsement.
These sites then linked to websites where consumers purchased products that they believed worked, and were endorsed by celebrities when no such thing ever happened. Additionally, the products, despite making dubious claims, had no studies or proof the products were ever effective. These website were designed to appear as if an independent consumer reporter, rather than a paid advertiser, had reviewed and endorsed the product. The sites also included testimonials from consumers who purportedly had benefitted from the weight-loss products. The false testimonials promised weight loss like “4 lbs/week of belly fat” and “41.7lbs in 2.5 months.” According to the FTC’s complaint, these weight-loss claims are false and lack scientific support.”
While the judgement is $1.3 Million, it has been partially suspended to $500,000, as the defendants claimed that they were unable to pay the full amount. If the defendants lied, they will be liable the full amount immediately.