January 4, 2006
WASHINGTON--The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled charges against Glenn Braswell that he used false and unsubstantiated claims in direct marketing of dietary supplements, banning the defendant from future direct response advertising and levying financial penalties. Under terms of the settlement, Braswell is prohibited from direct marketing, making false, misleading or unsubstantiated health claims, misrepresenting endorsements, and misrepresenting scientific evidence for foods, drugs, supplements and health-related products, in addition to paying $1 million in fines and forfeiting assets worth more than $3.5 million. In conjunction with this agreement, FTC also reached a settlement with an endorser for Braswells products, bringing the total settlements in the umbrella case to all seven corporate defendants, including G.B. Data Systems, Gero Vita International, Theraceuticals Inc. and Health Quest Publications, and four out of the five individual defendants, including Braswell and Hans Kugler, Ph.D.
Braswell faced a consent order stemming from 1983 charges he violated the FTC Act in marketing baldness and anti-cellulite products but was pardoned by the President Clinton in 2001. During this same time, the Internal revenue Service (IRS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and FTC were investigating him for alleged money laundering and tax evasion, to which he eventually pleaded guilty. In this latest wave of FTC charges, Braswell sold dietary supplements via direct mail, including his Journal of Longevity, which FTC considers advertising masquerading as a scientific health information magazine. FTC alleged Braswells mailings targeted the elderly using false and misleading claims, incorporating reports of medical and scientific breakthroughs and expert endorsements, as well as misrepresented and misapplied scientific study results.
One of the largest direct mail operations at the time of the most recently alleged FTC Act violations, Braswells roster of offending products included Lung Support Formula, Gero Vita G.H.3., AntiBetic Pancreas Tonic, ChitoPlex and Testerex, all of which were touted to cure, prevent or treat illnesses such as Alzheimers disease, diabetes, erectile dysfunction and emphysema.
We charged Braswell with peddling empty promises to consumers battling serious illnesses, said Lydia Parnes, director of the FTCs Bureau of Consumer Protection. This settlement will prevent him from profiting from these sorts of deceptive claims in the future, and deter others who may think they can get away with similar practices.
For his part, Kugler, who worked as an expert endorser for Lung Support and Gero Vita G.H.3., settled charges he lacked the required expertise or reasonable basis for his endorsements. Under his agreement, FTC has banned him from making such endorsements without proper expertise and evidence, and he is ordered to pay $15,000 in fines.
Copies of the stipulated final orders are available at www.ftc.gov.
You May Also Like