One of many case studies from our files that stopped a deal in its tracks

Our client, a commercial lender, requested background investigations of a consumer products company and its two principals in connection with their application for working capital financing. The loan officer was familiar with the subjects, and was astonished by the information that SI quickly uncovered. Searches of federal court records revealed a 2008 action filed against the subjects under the Federal Trade Commission Act for falsely advertising that using their electronic exercise belt caused weight and inch loss without exercise. The action was resolved by stipulated orders as part of a global settlement of both the FTC’s lawsuit and related actions brought by county and city prosecutors. The subjects and certain retailers collectively were ordered to pay over $2 million. The FTC and state orders further barred the defendants from making false advertising claims for the product or any similar device, and provided other injunctive relief to prevent future deceptive practices. And the subjects’ nefarious acts did not stop here. Both principals had several unpaid tax liens and judgments ranging in amounts from $48,000 to $650,000, and both were convicted within the last two years of driving under the influence of alcohol.