Cosmetic Manufacturer Charged With Selling Hazardous Products and False Advertising

For Immediate Release
March 7th, 2002
Contact: DDA Byron Nelson
(714) 347-8747

Cosmetic Manufacturer Charged With Selling Hazardous Products and False Advertising

LAGUNA HILLS — A cosmetic manufacturer was charged today with selling products that create a health hazard and contain mislabeled ingredients. Their products are sold to beauty supply stores and over the Internet.

Florence Fani Johnson (DOB 5-14-30), who owns White Pearl Manufacturing, has been accused of selling topical creams and lotions that have high levels of bacteria and do not contain ingredients to substantiate certain medical claims. Johnson and her son,  William Sommers (DOB 12-16-49) were each charged with nine counts of false advertising relating to their illegal manufacturing of misbranded drugs and cosmetics. A tenth count alleges operating without a drug-manufacturing license. Also named in the complaint are Fanie International and Estheticians Pharmacology Research Institute, businesses that were operating under White Pearl.

The defendants were mailed a notice to appear in court for an arraignment on March 20. They face a maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine per count.

This case was referred to the District Attorney’s Office last month by the California Department of Health Services. State investigators had been monitoring White Pearl since December 1997, when they found numerous violations. The defendants ignored repeated requests to bring their business up to standard and continued to market hazardous drugs and cosmetics.

The company did not have a California drug-manufacturing license for topical drug products. Other violations included making unsubstantiated medical claims, inaccurate and incomplete ingredient statements, as well as selling products that contained unacceptable levels of microbiological growth in 13 out of 20 samples. In other cases unrelated to White Pearl, consumers have developed severe eye infections, including the loss of sight in one instance because of the presence of similar microbes.