FTC Extends Enforma Charges to Include Baseball Player

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The Federal Trade Commission last week filed charges against four more individuals and two more companies involved with the direct response television marketing of the Enforma System.

Included in the suit are baseball great Steve Garvey and his management company, Garvey Management Group, for their involvement in the allegedly deceptive advertising for the weight-loss product.

Also named in the lawsuit were the infomercial's production company, Modern Interactive Technology, and its two principals, Mark Levine and David Richmond.

The charges stem from statements made during the show -- which, according to the FTC, ran more than 30,000 times on local and national cable -- such as, "With Enforma, you can eat what you want, when you want and never, ever, ever, have to diet again."

Garvey was singled out in the lawsuit, which said he "made numerous statements promoting the efficacy of the Enforma System, such as the following: 'Look at all these delicious, supposedly forbidden foods -- barbecued chicken and ribs, buttered biscuits -- foods you can eat when you crave them without guilt, without worry, and it's all because of a few little capsules.' "

The fourth person charged was Garvey's co-host for the show, Lark Kendall, also known as Lark Kendall Carson, whom the FTC release referred to as a "purported nutritionist." She immediately settled with the commission and agreed to refrain from making or repeating any more claims connected with the product or misrepresenting her professional status any further. Kendall also was ordered to pay the FTC any money she might collect in the future from appearing in the infomercial.

The infomercial, which for a time was the No. 1 infomercial in the United States and stood alone as the top weight-loss infomercial for more than a year, was first brought up on charges in April. Since then, Enforma Natural Products Inc., Los Angeles, and its two principals, Andrew Grey and Fred Zinos, have settled with the FTC and have been ordered to pay $10 million to customers or, if that is impractical, to the U.S. Treasury.

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