TINA.org investigated Vemma Nutrition Company, an Arizona-based multilevel marketing company that sold liquid supplements, energy drinks, and weight management products, and found that it was operating a pyramid scheme that targeted high school and college students, and that it was making unsubstantiated health claims to sell products, all of which violated a prior FTC consent order.
- Sent warning letter to company
- Filed complaint with FTC
- Notified regulators in UK, Ireland, and Canada
- FTC filed lawsuit against Vemma resulting in $238 million judgment
- Company shut down
The FTC announces that it will be mailing 28,224 refund checks averaging $78.93 to Vemma victims.
The FTC and Vemma reach a $238 million settlement agreement that bans recruitment-focused business practices, as well as the use of any deceptive income claims and unsubstantiated health claims. The agreement is approved by the Court and a final order is entered.
The FTC obtains a preliminary injunction that severely limits Vemma business operations while the FTC’s lawsuit is pending.
The FTC’s ex parte application for a temporary restraining order is granted in federal court.
The FTC files a lawsuit against Vemma for, among other things, operating an illegal pyramid scheme. The FTC also files an ex parte application for a temporary restraining order with asset freeze to immediately halt the company’s illegal actions and prevent the company from destroying records and disposing of assets.
[A list of relevant filings in the lawsuit is available here.]
The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK contacts TINA.org indicating that, with TINA.org’s permission, it will refer the matter to its counterparts in Ireland, where Vemma Europe is registered. TINA.org consents to the referral. The Competition Bureau in Canada also contacts TINA.org confirming receipt of its complaint.
TINA.org notifies the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK and the Competition Bureau in Canada of the decision by Italy’s Competition and Markets Authority (AGCM), which declared that Vemma operated an illegal pyramid scheme.
TINA.org notifies Vemma and the FTC that an investigation has revealed that numerous Vemma affiliates have been using unsubstantiated health and disease-treatment claims about Vemma products to market the Vemma business and its product lines.
The FTC notifies TINA.org that it has received the letter and will review the information to determine appropriate action.
TINA.org sends a letter to the FTC alerting the agency that Italy’s Competition and Markets Authority (AGCM) declared that Vemma operated an illegal pyramid scheme and had sanctioned the company €100,000 (roughly $140,000).
The FTC files an administrative complaint against New Vision International, NVI Promotions, Jason Boreyko, and Benson K. Boreyko (CEO of Vemma) that results in an Order that prohibits the defendants from claiming any dietary supplement, drug, or food can treat, cure, alleviate the symptoms of, prevent, or reduce the risk of developing any disease or disorder without having competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate the claim.
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