The founder of the company that makes Enzyte, the “natural male enhancement” pill shilled through late-night commercials, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for defrauding customers. Turns out the product (shockingly!) doesn’t actually work.
The company, Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, also has to forfeit more than $500 million, which suggests it sold a lot of Enzyte (along with other snake-oil products “alleged to boost energy, manage weight, reduce memory loss and aid sleep.”) Apparently, one hindrance to the prosecution was the unwillingness of customers to admit that they were dumb enough to buy the stuff:
AP: A business owner convicted of defrauding customers seeking male sexual enhancement products and a variety of herbal supplements was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison.
Steve Warshak, 42, founder of Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, also was ordered to pay $93,000 in fines. He was convicted in February on 93 counts of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.
Federal prosecutors accused the company of bilking customers out of $100 million through a series of deceptive ads, manipulated credit card transactions and refusal to accept returns or cancel orders.
U.S. District Judge S. Arthur Spiegel ordered the company, along with other defendants, to forfeit more than $500 million. He said it was impossible to calculate exactly how much money was lost by customers, so he accepted a figure based on how much Warshak and the company took in.
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