The FTC on Tuesday divulged it is refunding consumers who bought green coffee bean extract supplements from retailers like Walmart, reflecting the second mailing of refunds related to the same lawsuit against Pure Health LLC, Genesis Today Inc., and their principal, Lindsey Duncan.
The agency is mailing nearly 39,000 refund checks totaling US$1.9 million to consumers who purchased the products from retailers, according to an FTC news release.
In June 2016, the agency used the defendants’ sales records to mail refunds to nearly 200,000 people who purchased the products online, according to the news release. Under a claims process FTC announced when the first checks were mailed, individuals who submitted valid claims before the deadline are receiving full refunds, averaging $49.66 each, the agency said. The previous refunds from the online purchases averaged $47.93 each.
In a complaint filed in January 2015, FTC alleged the defendants deceptively claimed the supplement would cause individuals to lose 17 pounds and 16 percent of their body fat in 12 weeks without diet or exercise, and that the claim was supported by a clinical study. Under a settlement with the agency, the defendants are prohibited from making deceptive weight loss claims about any food or dietary supplement, and they were required to set aside money for the refund program.
In a similar lawsuit last year, a judge ordered the co-founder of a green coffee extract business to surrender $29.1 million after finding the businessman’s companies made unsupported weight loss claims, operated fake news websites, and failed to reveal women touting the product were paid for their testimonials.
In support of weight loss claims that drew FTC’s attention, the defendant predominantly relied on a small study that was highlighted in a 2012 episode of The Dr. Oz Show. But the government said participants lost most of their weight while they were not taking any green coffee antioxidant capsules.