The ads were intentionally campy and kitschy, with great production value. While the work, in a way, poked fun at the advertising industry, the company’s owner was emphatically raising a double barreled “EF YOU” in the direction of the American public. Now those birds have come home to roost in the form of a 25 year federal sentence. Steve Warshak and his 75 year-old mother have recently been sentenced by the feds for the scam. Karma: Helping the world suck less, daily.
We’ve posted the article direct from The Consumerist.
(Thanks for the heads up on this one Paul)
Steve Warshak, founder of the company responsible for “Enzyte,” has been sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $93,000, says the AP. U.S. District Judge S. Arthur Spiegel also ordered the company, along with other defendants, to forfeit more than $500 million that it bilked from consumers.
According to federal prosecutors the scam involved preying on customer’s reluctance to admit that they had ordered the “male enhancement” pills. Customers ordered the pills, but were unable to cancel or get a refund. A former VP of the company testified that Warshak required customers to provide notarized documents from a doctor proving that they had small genitals in order to get a refund.
If customers complained, he said, employees were instructed to “make it as difficult as possible” for them to get their money back. In some cases, Teegarden said, Warshak required customers to produce a notarized statement from a doctor certifying Enzyte did not work.
“He said it was extremely unlikely someone would get anything notarized saying they had a small penis,” Teegarden said.
The judge had strong words for Warshak: “This is a case about greed,” Spiegel said as he reviewed the case. “Steven Warshak preyed on perceived sexual inadequacies of customers.”
Warshak’s 75-year-old mother was also sentenced to jail time, but it’s unlikely that she will serve it because she’s 75 and has cancer. Meanwhile, Warshak has 30 days to report to prison.