Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Whatever Happened To Glenn Braswell?
Braswell was one of those herbal-get-rich-quick-medicine doctors that promises to cure everything that ails you with his dietary supplements that he sold through his company Gero Vita International.
Almon Glenn Braswell has sold pills and potions through the mail. Since the mid-1970s, he has probably taken in more money and more people than any similar marketer in U.S. history. This article details what he has done, looks at connections he has had with prominent politians, [sic] and describes some of the actions law enforcement have taken against him.
Most of Braswell's marketing was done under the name Gero Vita International, which offered a large line of "dietary supplements" from its Web site and by mail. Its brochures described the comnpany [sic] as "specialists in ailment-targeted natural formulas." In 1988, the company and its sister corporations began blanketing the country with mailings under various names and addresses in the United States and Canada.
In 1992, the Iowa Attorney General obtained a consent decree and injunction barring Vita Industries from promoting, selling, or advertising any drug or nutriotional [sic] product that had not been shown to be safe and effective by at least two well-designed scientific studies and is generally recognized as safe and effective for its intended purpose. The company was also assessed $25,000 and ordered to make full refunds to any consumer who complained within 30 days after the order was issued. It was also barred from marketing its products in Iowa . Later that year, after it sent solicitations to an investigator from the Attorney General's office, the company signed a second consent agreement to pay $6,000 to the state's Elderly Fund 
In 1995, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. announced that Gero Vita International had failed to substantiate advertising for a GH3 Anti-Aging Pill.
In 1995, the FDA banned the importation of all of Gero Vita's products marketed with claims that they can prevent or treat disease. In 1997, the ban was extended to cover Life Force Laboratories . The ban was set up because many of the mailings used a Canadian ordering address for Gero Vita Laboratories, which suggested that the company was located in Canada. The ban has not been effective, however, because the Canadian locations simply forward the orders, which are filled from within the United States.
Braswell holds the record as the person against whom the Postal Service filed the largest number of health-related false representation complaints. As a Postal Service official summarized at a Congressional hearing in 1984:
One hundred and thirty-eight false representation complaints were filed against 50 different medical-cosmetic products marketed by Braswell, Inc., through a multitude of addresses in Atlanta, GA and Fort Lauderdale, FL. These cases were concluded through 32 false representation orders and 15 consent agreements. . . . Evidence in one case revealed that Braswell received over $2 million for a worthless baldness cure in one six-month period. Mr. Braswell pled guilty to mail fraud charges involving the faking of before and after advertising photographs purportedly revealing the results of bust developer, hair growth and cosmetic products, and was sentenced to five years' probation. He was also sentenced to a three-year prison term for Federal income tax evasion and perjury charges developed during our mail fraud investigation .
At the hearing, Braswell said his corporations had probably grossed over $75 million in 12 years.
Whatever happened to the investigation into Braswell's death? Near as I can tell, his mysterious death has been labeled "unclassified pending more tests," according to the Miami-Dade medical examiner's office.
Add another body to the infamous Clinton Dead List.
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