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Ab Circle Pro Settles Fraud Charges with FTC, Consumer Refunds Available


This is a settlement for the lawsuit.

Washington, DC: Ab Circle Pro has agreed to provide as much as $25 million to settle charges of consumer fraud brought by The Federal Trade Commission (FTC). According to the FTC, the defendants claimed, among other things, that the Ab Circle Pro could cause rapid and substantial weight loss and that three minutes of exercise on the Ab Circle Pro was equal to 100 sit-ups.

According to the FTC, in advertisements, the defendants promised that a three-minute workout on the Ab Circle Pro – a fiberglass disk with stationary handlebars and two knee rests that roll on the edge of the disk, allowing consumers to kneel and rotate side-to-side – was equivalent to doing 100 sit ups. In the infomercial, pitchwoman Jennifer Nicole Lee compared the Ab Circle Pro to a gym workout, saying, "You can either do 30 minutes of abs and cardio or just three minutes a day. The choice is yours."The infomercial claimed that consumers using the Ab Circle Pro for three minutes a day would "melt inches and pounds,"and featured testimonialists claiming they had lost as much as sixty pounds. Consumers buying through the infomercial typically paid $200 to $250 for the device, while the price for those buying from retailers varied more widely.

The complaint charges all the defendants except Lee and her companies with making false and/or unsupported claims, including that using the Ab Circle Pro caused rapid or substantial weight and fat loss; resulted in loss of weight, fat, or inches in specific parts of the body, such as the abdomen, hips, buttocks, and thighs; provided fat loss and weight loss equivalent to, or better than, a much longer gym workout; and provided the same rapid and substantial weight loss that people who provided testimonials for the infomercial said they experienced. The complaint also charges the Fitness Brands, Inc. defendants with providing the means to Direct Holdings Americas, Inc. and Direct Entertainment Media Group, Inc. to deceive consumers.

The complaint names as defendants Fitness Brands, Inc., Fitness Brands International, Inc., and the two individuals who control them, Michael Casey and David Brodess; Direct Holdings Americas, Inc. and Direct Entertainment Media Group, Inc.; infomercial producer Tara Borakos and two companies she controls, Tara Productions Inc. and New U, Inc.; and Jennifer Nicole Lee and two companies she controls, JNL, Inc. and JNL Worldwide, Inc.

To settle the case, the defendants have agreed to pay money to provide refunds to eligible consumers who bought the Ab Circle Pro. The amount of the refund will depend on the number of claims submitted and approved. To find out about making a claim visit: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/cases/abcirclepro/

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Published on Mar-19-13


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