Humanity has always strived to look and feel better. The physical appearance is something that every person has been insecure about no matter how skinny or muscular they have ever been. This insecurity shines best in the open environment of the beach or pool where people are undressing to enjoy the waters, show off their hard work of dieting and exercise, or keeping their shirts on because of the fear of being looked at and judged. Dieting finds it’s way into the minds of the insecure folks who only dream to be confident in their own skin. Dieting has grown in it’s popularity because for many people it has actually worked.
Others have abused this insecurity for their own gain and have paid the price for it. Scams of dieting have been alive for many years and have not stopped. Diet goggles, weight loss cigarettes, “easy to swallow” tapeworms have their place in the history of American diet scams. An easy quick fix to a defect is always attractive. Today there are innovative scammers that have ended owing more than they have ever gained and imprisoned.
David D. Sterns was a Laguna Hills businessman that participated in a fraudulent marketing scheme that promoted a persuasive scam of the non-working “diet-patch.” The diet patch supposedly was to release appetite suppressants directly into the skin of the person wearing it. Prosecutors knew that it never worked. Sterns pleaded guilty to three counts of mail, securities, and tax fraud that was connected with a diet patch product that was marketed by 22,000 distributors.
Sterns was financed by thousands of investors and those investors claimed to have lost millions because of his aspirations. This ordeal ended in August, 1991, with Sterns receiving a prison sentence along with an order to pay back $1.9million to investors. He was also fined $300,000 and ordered to serve three years in a supervised released after his prison time.
February 2010, Frank Sarcona was sentenced to 20 years in prison for an extensive list of crimes related to selling useless diet pills. Sarcona’s desire for scheming seemed somewhat unstoppable. Forever Thin and Amerdream are two of Sarcona’s companies that involved diet schemes. Added to this, buyers were told that they offered a money-back “guarantee” and were to be given a $1000 bond for buying and testing the product. SlimAmerica, Inc. is another Sarcona company that falsely advertised “Super Formula” and would supposedly help the user drop 49 pounds in only 29 days.
The court ordered Sarcona to refrain from false advertising and post a $5 million performance bond before marketing anything else. Soon after all of this, Sarcona began marketing and selling LipoBan as “Dave Johnson” to hide his identity. He would not stop. Finally, 29 criminal charges that included money laundering, misbranding of food, and criminal contempt of court were placed on Sarcona in 2009. His endeavors of scamming people with false dieting and all of his companies were extensive and had finally come to an end.
Diet scammers become more intricate as the technology progresses and years continue. These are two of the many scammers that have grown to have enough fame because of their deceptive accomplishments that have resulted in consequences. A successful scam will produce profit, but all scams have the strong chances of incarceration.