The Denver Better Business Bureau (BBB) reported numerous complaints about this latest fraud which got busted by the federal investigation team. Metacor Labs Weight Loss Study by a company called Progenics, was advertised by John Edward Mullikin as a weight loss clinical study in the local Denver Newspaper. It also had a legitimate website, complainants claim.
Nicole Pech, one of the complainants who listed up for the study said that the researchers had promised to remunerate participants with over $300 each month for their time spent in the clinical trial of testing a new weight loss pill. Instead, they needed to pay only a sign up $144 deposit.
Nicole’s cheque got cashed but after the first month’s worth of pills, she neither received any more pills nor was she contacted by anyone from the company despite calling and mailing every contact listed on the site. She understood she had been taken for a ride. She felt used she later confessed.
After 2 years and a thorough combing of 15 states, the federal investigators nailed John Mullikin and presented him in court last week. His 6 fake listed businesses and probably more were used to indict him on accusation of knowingly defrauding people. With Denver as his home turf, he fleeced people of their money in 14 other states in an identical manner like Pech.
The BBB were more worried about the kind of pills that he might have sent the participants, they could have been harmful.An industry worth over $65 billion in the USA alone, weight loss is still burgeoning. Some claim there to be almost 80-100 million American adults who are on some or the other diet. It’s no surprise that such frauds are becoming common place in every city and people falling for them by the hundreds.
Owing to this large scale of cheating going on online and otherwise, Miller from the BBB said that there are few things that one bear in mind before purchasing such products. She asked people to not just rely on a legitimate looking website for a product.
She urged people to ensure that if it’s a clinical trial, it has been approved by the Institutional review board and who exactly is conducting the trial. She asked people not to pay up any money unless they get all info, a customer support and protect themselves from getting cheated by being aware and inquisitive.