Orange County District Attorney Files Civil Complaint Against California Weight Loss Centers

 

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release

 

Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

 

For Immediate Release
November 21st, 2002
Contact: Michelle Emard
Media Relations Director
(714) 347-8405

SANTA ANA – November 21, 2002 – Today the Consumer Protection Unit of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office joined with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office in the filing of a civil complaint in Santa Clara County against two California corporations – Cos-Medical, Inc. and Cos-Medical International, Inc. – and key company employees.  The defendants are being charged with several violations of the state weight loss law.

The parties named in the complaint are as follows:  Cos-Medical, Inc.; Cos-Medical International, Inc.; Michelle Kelley, president and chief executive officer of Cos-Medical, Inc., and chief financial officer and a director of Cos-Medical International, Inc.; Darryl Monroe, chief financial officer and secretary of Cos-Medical, Inc., and secretary and director of Cos-Medical International, Inc.; Carolyn Kelley, president and chief executive officer of Cos-Medical International, Inc.; and Michael Miller, the former manager of the Body Wraps store located on Branham Lane in San Jose, California.

The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the state weight loss law on several counts including:  failing to provide written contracts to customers at the time of signing; failing to provide contracts that disclose the statutory three-day right to cancel the contract and obtain a refund for any reason; and failing to disclose the statutory right to cancel the contract in the event of death, disability or relocation.

The complaint also alleges that the defendants made false or misleading statements to the public to induce them to enter into contracts in the first place.  These misrepresentations include making statements that a consumer had no right to cancel a weight loss service contract and obtain a refund; making statements that the consumer would “lose 5-10 inches per treatment” without disclosing that this measurement references a total body measurement derived from the sum of measurements from many places on the body; making statements that the body wrap treatment shrinks fat deposits; using testimonials that are not representative of what consumers generally will achieve by using the advertised product and services; making specific comparative claims about the effectiveness of its products and services without adequate documentation; and misrepresenting the size and stature of the corporations and the profitability of licensing opportunities.

The defendants have operated body wraps and weight loss centers in Orange and Santa Clara Counties under the names of Body Wraps, Body Wraps Plus and Cos-Medical.  They have also engaged in the advertisement and sale of products and treatments at retail and wholesale levels, as well as in the licensing and business opportunities to sell treatment programs and products.

Anyone who has entered into any contracts or agreements with the named parties or has questions about this action may contact Deputy District Attorney Andrea L. Burke at (714) 347-8739.