Bill McCollum (R)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida's attorney general has filed a lawsuit alleging deceptive marketing practices against a Miami company that placed customers on a monthly subscription program without the customers' knowledge.
Advanced Wellness Research, Inc., company president Nicolas Molina and nice president Michael Trimarco, and related company Netalab Corp., and its owner Kelly O'Shea, are charged with offering free trials of products such as Acai berry supplements and whitening toothpaste.
Customers that received the free trials were then not provided with reasonable notice that they would be charged approximately $80 per month for other products that they did not intend to purchase.
Investigators into Advanced Wellness Research, Inc., believed that the president and vice president of the company, after becoming aware of the investigation into their business practices, sold the business to Kelly O'Shea, who created Netalab Corp., as a new entity. The investigators alleged that Netalab Corp., continued using the unfair and deceptive trade practices that were first started by Advanced Wellness.
More than 700 complaints against the companies led to the attorney general's Economic Crimes Division to investigate the businesses. The complaints state that consumers who attempted to cancel the continuation program were not able to contact the company that sold them the products.
Attorney General Bill McCollum's lawsuit is seeking injunctive relief against the defendants and to prohibit them from further business activities that would be in violation of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
The lawsuit also seeks restitution on behalf of all consumers victimized by the businesses' actions as well as civil penalties of $10,000 for each violation and reimbursement for fees and costs related to the investigation.