One of the nation’s largest infomercial makers has agreed to fork over $ 3.5 million to consumers for making phony claims in its baldness treatment and fat-reduction ads, the Federal Trade Commission said Thursday.
Synchronal Corp., based in New York, will place the coin in a “consumer redress fund” that will allow consumers who bought the allegedly bogus baldness cure and cellulite-reduction products to recover their money.
The proposed settlement stems from 1991 FTC charges against the New York companies Synchronal, Smoothline Corp. and Omexin Corp.; Synchronal principals Ira Smolev, Richard E. Kaylor and Thomas Fenton; and two “expert endorsers” of the products — Ana Blau, owner of New York’s Anushka Institute, and New York dermatologist Dr. Steven Victor.
Smolev, who has since left Synchronal, has agreed to maintain a $ 500,000 escrow account before advertising consumer products in the future, as required by the FTC. Fenton refused to sign off on the settlement, according to the FTC, and his case remains in litigation.