McKenna teams with Australian officials

Ashley Stinnett Sep. 9, 2009, 4:13pm


SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) - Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, alongside Australian authorities, has shut down an Internet-based health scam that affected more than 60,000 consumers.

Last month, McKenna ordered his Consumer Protection High-Tech Unit to launch an investigation, teaming up with Australian officials.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) obtained an order against Leanne Rita Vassallo and Aaron David Smith, both of Cecil Hills, over allegations of misleading consumers.

Vasallo and Smith alledegly sold e-books containing "miracle cures" for a wide range of health conditions including acne, asthma, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, menopause and prostate cancer.

An investigation revealed the "cures" were actually e-books that contained instructions on what kinds of medicines to take, according to McKenna.

ACCC officials confirmed that prior to this week both defendants had profited over $1 million in sales.

The Washington Attorney General's office is currently pursuing civil charges, according to McKenna. The state is seeking civil penalties and restitution, in addition to an injunctive relief.

"Web-world scams won't save you from real-world laws," McKenna said.

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