Hooray! Steve Warshak, the snake oil salesman responsible for Enzyte (and consequently for those awful “Smiling Bob” ads) was found guilty today of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. So was his mom.
Warshak could face more than 20 years in prison, while his company, Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, may have to “forfeit tens of millions of dollars,” according to the Associated Press. We don’t have any info on the sentence his mom could receive.
Prosecutors claimed customers were bilked out of $100 million through a series of deceptive ads, manipulated credit card transactions and the company’s refusal to accept returns or cancel orders. They said unauthorized credit card charges generated thousands of complaints over unordered products.
Interestingly, Warshak’s lawyers argued that Berkeley “suffered from customer service that didn’t keep pace with the company’s rapid growth from a one-person startup in 2001 to 1,500 employees in 2004.” If that’s true, it should serve as a perfect illustration of just how badly you can damage a company by not paying attention to customer service. But c’mon, this is Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, we don’t believe anything they say.
(Thanks to Ken!)