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Maker of Diet Pills Accused of Bogus Claims Quits Business

March 17, 1994

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ A company that touted its mail-order tablets as an ″amazing weight loss product″ has agreed to quit the diet-pill business and reimburse its customers.

Federal prosecutors say Sterling Labs received $2,000 a day in orders for the pills, Metatrol and Metatrim, which were supposed to allow people to lose weight without dieting or exercising.

Federal prosecutors say the claims were false.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas H. Politan ordered Sterling’s five bank accounts seized and its mail held. Thousands of orders that weren’t filled since August will be returned to senders.

Sterling, based in New York City, also agreed to turn over all its pills in stock.

The agreement was signed Monday by Politan and released Thursday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The defendants didn’t admit wrongdoing in the settlement, which does not cover criminal charges. None has been filed, but prosecutors say the probe is continuing.

Prosecutors have not yet calculated the amount customers will be reimbursed.

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