3 Dietary Supplement Marketers Settle Maine AG and FTC Charges

On Wednesday, August 23, 2017, three of nine defendants sued for deceptively marketing dietary supplements agreed to settle charges brought by the FTC and the State of Maine. The charges, which were initially filed in February of 2017, accused the defendants with utilizing deceptively formatted radio infomercials and printed ads with fictitious endorsers for products, which they claimed were capable of improving memory and reducing back and joint pain.

The proposed orders announced today bar Synergixx LLC, Charlie R. Fusco and Ronald Jahner from engaging in marketing practices that have led to financial injury to consumers. Orders against the other defendants were announced by the FTC earlier this year. The FTC and Maine charged all defendants with making false and misleading claims about the CogniPrin and FlexiPrin supplements.

It was claimed that CogniPrin could reverse mental decline by 12 years, improve memory by 44 percent and improve memory in just three weeks. It was also claimed that the supplement was clinically proven to improve memory. The defendants also claimed that FlexiPrin could reduce joint and back pain, stiffness, and inflammation in just two hours, while also rebuilding damaged joints and cartilage. Finally, it was claimed that FlexiPrin was clinically proven to reduce the need for medication in 80 percent of users and could reduce morning joint stiffness in all users.

The complaint alleges that Synergixx LLC and Fusco promoted both supplements through 30-minute radio ads. The ads were deceptively formatted to sound like an educational talk show. The defendants were also accused of creating inbound call scripts that claimed consumers could try the supplements “risk-free” with an unconditional 90-day money-back guarantee. The defendants did not disclose the difficulty of obtaining refunds and making returns.

The defendants also enrolled clients in an auto-ship program, if they did not cancel in 14 days or sooner. Jahner, who was presented as an objective medical expert, was accused of providing endorsements without examining the products. The percentage he was paid for sales of the medications was not disclosed.

The order against Synergixx and Fusco will require them to pay a $6.5 million monetary judgment. That judgment is suspended based on their inability to pay.