AUGUSTA — A Scarborough couple who sold weight-loss supplements have agreed to stop selling their products following legal actions by Maine’s attorney general and the Federal Trade Commission that alleged the couple engaged in misleading advertising and billed consumers with automatic charges that were “very difficult for customers to cancel.”

AF Plus, a company owned by Anthony and Staci Dill, “preyed on the vulnerability of consumers who seek a legitimate weight-loss program,” Maine Attorney General Janet Mills said in a news release issued Friday.

One radio ad for the company’s products claimed: “With the metabolism-boosting benefits of AF Plus, you can keep eating your favorite foods and STILL lose pounds and inches — in fact, we guarantee it!”

Other ads claimed consumers would “experience maximum weight loss — pounds in days.”

The ads stated that the claims were “proven,” but in fact they lacked scientific support, according to the AG’s release.

“The Dills’ companies told a blizzard of lies,” Jessica Rich, the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in the prepared statement. “They sold worthless weight-loss supplements, lied about their supposed ‘free trial’ offers, took people’s money with unauthorized auto-renewal plans and made it nearly impossible to return their bogus products.”

According to the release, the company promised consumers a 30-day “risk-free trial,” but in fact the company made it difficult to cancel orders and obtain a refund. The company then billed consumers for unauthorized charges, automatically enrolling them in a monthly “continuity plan,” billing many consumers $79.90 a month and refusing to refund money once consumers found the weight-loss pills were ineffective.

When consumers called to order AF Plus and Final Trim, they were also deceived by “up-sells,” which repeatedly promised consumers $80 in Wal-Mart or Target gift cards for enrolling in trial memberships in two “buying clubs.” However, consumers did not receive the full value of the gift cards and instead confronted a complicated process to receive even a fraction of the value of the gift cards, according to Mills and Rich.

The settlement agreed to by the Dills and signed by a federal judge in January permanently enjoins them from engaging in practices in the future and requires them to forfeit some of their “ill-gotten gains,” according to the release. 

The case is the first joint enforcement action that Maine has brought with the Federal Trade Commission for violations of state and federal law, according to the release. 

Direct Alt Final Settlement Order as Entered by the Court (1)


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