July 18, 2005
Gero Vita to Pay $600,000 to Settle FTC Charges
Gero Vita and sixrelated defendants settled charges by Federal Trade Commission (FTC), agreeingto pay monetary judgments of $605,000 and abstain from making misleading claimsabout their products. The FTC complaint alleged Glenn Braswell, JOL Management,G.B. Data Systems, Gero Vita International, Theraceuticals and Ron Tepper,corporate officer and director, deceptively marketed five dietary supplementsusing claims that the products could cure or treat numerous illnesses orconditions, such as asthma, diabetes, Alzheimers, obesity and sexualdysfunction. FTC later added Health Quest Publications and Halsey Holdings LLC,as well as Ronald Lawrence, Ph.D., and Hans Kugler, Ph.D., both who endorsed theproducts in the ads, and Chase Revel, who helped write the ads. However, the announced settlement includes only JOL, G.B.Data, Gero Vita, Health Quest, Halsey, Tepper and Lawrence. The case againstBraswell, Kugler and Revel is still pending.
The settlement order with respect to the companies contains a$30 million avalanche judgment, suspended upon payment of $540,000 over 18months, based on the defendants inability to pay. The full judgment willbecome payable if FTC finds the defendants misrepresented their financialcondition or if it is found Braswell has any financial or business involvementwith any of the settling defendants.The individual defendants, Tepper andLawrence, will pay $40,000 and $25,000, respectively, with an avalanche clauseof $500,000 should they have misrepresented their financial status. FTC alsorequires all the settling defendants to cooperate in the ongoing litigationinvolving the remaining defendants.
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