The restitution is stipulated in a permanent injunction order the US Federal Trade Commission unveiled recently against a group of companies all doing business under the aegis of Mile High Madison Group, Inc., which is registered in Delaware.
The subsidiary companies, which all also registered in Delaware, are Nordic Clinical, Inc., Encore Plus Solutions, Inc., Le Groupe Mile High Madison, Inc., and Clinique Nordique, Inc. The principals, who were also named in the order, are Vittorio DiCriscio and Vito Proietti.
The pair and their companies marketed a number of dietary supplements, mostly by direct mail, under the names Neurocet, Regenify, and Resetigen-D.
FTC said the companies were found to have made unsubstantiated pain management claims on the products. According to the FTC, the mailers and other ads for Neurocet promised the product could significantly treat pain, including joint, back, arthritis, and headache pain, stiffness, and inflammation, and provide stronger, longer lasting relief than other pain drugs.
According to the complaint, the defendants claimed that Regenify and Resetigen-D were anti-aging cure-alls that could repair cells and treat multiple ailments. The Commission contends that the defendants also deceptively advertised Regenify and Resetigen-D through fake doctor endorsements and fake consumer testimonials. The complaint further alleges that the defendants falsely claimed that Neurocet, Regenify, and Resetigen-D were clinically proven to treat these conditions.
The permanent injunction fined the company $1.3 million, with an additional $38 million judgement held in abeyance on fulfillment of the order’s stipulations by the defendants. Among those stipulations is the defendants must avoid making unsubstantiated claims on products in the future and for a period of 20 years keep FTC updated on their contact information and financial condition.
FTC began mailing refund checks to about 83,000 consumers who were defrauded in the scheme. The average check is a bit more than $13.
“These defendants promised miracle cures to people who needed real medical help,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Companies need scientific evidence to back up health claims for their products; the Commission will continue to take action against marketers who can’t support their claims.”