Friday, June 6, 2008

Natural Crimes ("They" Don't Want You To Know About) Are The Only Crimes Worth Committing

"The fascinating tales of the founders of some of the largest supplement companies:

Gary Caton, founder of Alpha Omega, was a counterfeiter.

The founders of Metabolife had previously been impisoned for running a methamphetamine lab.

Robert Occhifinto, whose company (NVE Pharaceuticals) sold ephedrine pills deliberately named after street terms for speed (Yellow Jackets and Black Beauties) served 18 months for importing hashish before he realized where the real money was.

Kevin Trudeau had spent two years in prison for larceny (cheque and credit card fraud) before his $2.5 million in fines for making false and misleading claims.

A. Glenn Braswell, founder of the Journal of Longevity, has had: 138 complaints of false representation lodged against him by the U.S. Postal Service; mail fraud, perjury, and tax evasion convictions; been sentenced to 3 years in prison; and over $11 million in fines levied against him and lost $3.5 million in seized assets. His magazine promoted and reviewed (always positively) supplements manufactured and sold by subsidiaries of GBData Systems, a company owned by A. Glenn Braswell.
[He was pardoned of convictions for fraud, and other crimes stemming from false claims about a hair-growth product, by Bill Clinton. He was found dead in October, 2006 - TMR]

Is there a lesson there? Certainly: Braswell's companies have thus far grossed over a combined $1 billion. Who couldn't learn from that? In 1999, 22 vitamin and supplement selling companies were charged with anti-trust behaviour, forming global price-fixing cartel nicknamed "Vitamins, Inc." and were fined nearly $750 million for their practices: all those companies are still around, and in business, today. From the New York Times (October 1999):

"It was, in the words of Joel I. Klein, head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, 'the most pervasive and harmful criminal antitrust conspiracy ever uncovered.'""
-- Polite Company, doing a review of Dan Hurley's Natural Causes: Death, Lies and Politics in America's Vitamin and Herbal Supplement Industry - an excellent book - and you can read an online excerpt.