On October 10, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it was sending 227,000 refund checks total more than $9.8 million to victims who purchased “fat burning” and “weight loss” products from Health Formulas LLC and related companies. The average refund is right around $43. The FTC filed a complaint against the company in October of 2014, as well as its owners and related companies. It was alleged that the company was advertising their products using fake “free trails”, duping people into giving up their credit and debit card information and then enrolling them into costly membership programs.
It was also alleged that the defendants had made misleading claims about their weight loss products. In July of 2016, a court order settled the FTC charges. It also permanently banned Health Formulas, its owners Jason and Danelle Miller, and 41 other corporations from advertising and selling weight loss supplements and negative option sales plans. The defendants were also prohibited from making unsupported health claims about other products.
The order also demanded that the defendants turn over roughly $10 million in assets. In 2015, two more defendants and a corporation agreed to settle charges against them. In February of 2016, an order required them to hand over more than $664,000 in assets. Epiq Systems Inc. has been selected as the refund administrator for the matter. The company will begin mailing out refund checks today.
The checks will need to be cashed within 60 days or they will be voided.