Announced Action for January 24, 2003

For Your Information

The Commission has authorized the staff to appeal the district court’s adverse decision in its lawsuit against Steve Garvey, et al. This case is related to the FTC’s action against Enforma Natural Products, Inc. (Enforma) and its principals, which alleged that the defendants made false and unsubstantiated advertising claims for the weight-loss products "Fat Trapper" and "Exercise in a Bottle." The Enforma defendants settled the FTC’s complaint against them, and that settlement was approved by the court in May 2000. Under the settlement, Enforma and one of its principals agreed to pay $10 million in consumer redress. In September 2000, the Commission commenced the present action against Garvey and Garvey Management Group, Modern Interactive and its principals, Mark Levine, David Richmond, and Lark Kendall, for their alleged roles in making the challenged claims. Kendall, a purported nutritionist, signed a consent order with the Commission, which was announced on September 1, 2000. On August 31, 2001, the court granted summary judgment in favor of Modern Interactive and its principals, dismissing the case against them. The court denied summary judgment with respect to the Garvey defendants, however, and the case went to trial. After a trial on the merits, the court ruled in Garvey’s favor.

Through the action announced today, the FTC has authorized staff to pursue an appeal against all non-settling defendants in this matter. The Commission filed its notice of appeal, together with a civil appeals docketing statement, which is available as a link to this press release on the FTC’s Web site, on January 23, 2003. The FTC vote authorizing the staff to pursue an appeal against all non-settling defendants in this matter was 5-0. (FTC File No. X000095, Civ. No. CV 00-9358-GAF (CWx); staff contact is Melvin H. Orlans, Office of the General Counsel, 202-326-2475; see press releases dated April 26 and September 1, 2000; and January 8, January 10, 2002, and July 25, 2002.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Contact Information

Media Contact:
FTC Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2180