Permanent Injunctions and Judgment of Over $1 Million in Civil Penalties Entered in Case of Deceptive Marketing of Purported COVID-19 Treatments
(this is from DOJ’s own website, link at the end)
Thursday, August 3, 2023 For Immediate Release Office of Public Affairs
Nutritional supplement company Quickwork LLC and one of its managers, Eric Anthony Nepute, have agreed to injunctions and to pay civil penalties to resolve a lawsuit alleging they deceptively marketed vitamin supplements during the COVID-19 pandemic, in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act and the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act. The resolution of this lawsuit follows an order issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on July 19…
In a complaint filed on April 15, 2021, the government alleged that the defendants made misleading and unsubstantiated advertising claims that their Vitamin D and Zinc supplements could be used to treat or prevent COVID-19, and in fact provide equal or better protection against COVID-19 than the available COVID-19 vaccines. The complaint also alleged that the defendants had mischaracterized the results of scientific studies to support some of their claims.
Quickwork agreed to an injunction and a $1 million civil penalty…On July 19, the court granted partial summary judgment against Nepute, finding that there was no reasonable basis in the record to support claims that Zinc can treat or prevent COVID-19, or that Vitamin D or Zinc provide equal or better protection against COVID-19 than the available COVID-19 vaccines. In an order entered on Aug. 2, Nepute agreed to an injunction and to pay $80,000 in civil penalties.
“Consumers have a right to receive truthful information when deciding whether to purchase products,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “This is especially important when claims about those products could affect how consumers seek to protect themselves during a pandemic.”