Lake Forest Park's Doug Beatty says he got caught in an elaborate scam and now the the Federal government is shutting the business down.
The Federal Trade Commission believes thousands of consumers who wanted colon cleansing or weight loss products got caught up in the deceptive advertising and unfair billing practices of Arizona-based "Central Coast Nutraceuticals."
"They are taking your money and at the same time they are calling it free, not only one month but two and that's unacceptable," Doug said.
Today we learned the Federal government has filed suit against the company for false and unsubstantiated product claims, failure to disclose memberships costs and unauthorized electronic fund transfers from consumer's bank accounts.
"The biggest thing," Regional FTC Director Bob Schroeder says, "is they're charging people when they didn't know they would be charged."
Schroeder adds the company allegedly scammed consumers out of more than $30 million last year alone. The issue is simple.
"People think they are getting a free trial offer and they get stuck with a continuity plan where they get billed every month a substantial amount of money on their credit card."
We exposed Central Coast Nutraceuticals' bogus advertising last month -an ad pushing the acai berry-based products claimed to be a news story from "News 5 in Seattle." We had nothing to do with it.
Doug took the bait and signed up for what he thought was a 30-day trial on two products.
"I actually only had 10 days for one product and 14 days for the other," he said.
I called Graham Gibson owner of Central Coast Nutraceuticals for a comment. He wasn't around, so I left him a message.
"I'd like to talk to you about the lawsuit the Federal Trade Commission has filed against your company. By the way, nice Maserati."
The feds have frozen the company's assets. I'm told if you bought any products from these guys, the best you will get is literally pennies on the dollar. But you can file a complaint and see what you get.
So if you see a miracle drug that can cure everything, you really don't have to believe it, or buy it, you don't!
Statement From Central Coast Nutraceuticals President Graham Gibson:
“We are confident the FTC, after investigating the charges, will find we have diligently worked to address the concerns of our customers. We continue to cooperate with the FTC to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion”