FTC Sends Refund Checks Totaling nearly $6 Million to Consumers Who Bought Dietary Supplements

Agency Alleged Marketers Used Misleading Health Claims, Deceptive Free Trial Offers, and Phony Endorsements Attributed to Oprah Winfrey, Rachael Ray

For Release

An administrator working for the Federal Trade Commission is mailing 316,716 checks averaging $18.74 each to consumers who purchased acai berry supplements, “colon cleansers,” and other products from Phoenix-based Central Coast Nutraceuticals, Inc.

In August 2010, the FTC charged Central Coast Nutraceuticals, two individuals, and four related companies with multiple violations, including unfair billing practices, and deceptively advertising Acai Pure, an acai berry supplement, as a weight-loss product, and Colotox, a colon cleansing supplement, as an aid for preventing cancer.

The checks, which total $5,936,243.63, must be cashed within 60 days after they are issued.  The deadline for filing a refund request has expired.  Consumers who have questions should call (877) 283-6531.  For more general information, see www.FTC.gov/refunds.  The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before redress checks can be cashed. 

Consumers should carefully evaluate advertising claims for dietary supplements.  For more information see:  Dietary Supplements.  

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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