He was bilking people out of millions of dollars.
Just about anyone who has watched cable television in the past year has seen the commercials featuring a guy attracting good looking gals with nothing more than a ridiculous grin. But the voice over implies that the viewer, too, could win over those winsome females simply by purchasing a "Natural Male Enhancement." (See the commercial here.)
Exactly what is a "male enhancement," natural or otherwise, supposed to do? The ad doesn't say, and maybe that vagueness was supposed to shield them from any claim of deceptive advertising. If so, it didn't work. Cincinnati.com reports:
[Federal Judge] Spiegel then sentenced [Steven] Warshak to 25 years in prison and ordered him, his company and some members of his family to repay more than $500 million. ...
The sentences are the culmination of a federal investigation into Warshak and his company, Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, that lasted at least four years and resulted in criminal charges against about a dozen employees and associates.
Most of the charges related to the sale of Enzyte, an herbal supplement that promised to boost men's sexual performance. Enzyte, the company's most popular product, was marketed on TV featuring a grinning character known as Smilin' Bob.
Prosecutors said the ads masked a criminal enterprise that involved false advertising, fraudulent bank documents, hidden profits and unauthorized charges on customer credit cards.
And later, Cincinnati.com reported the sentencing of eight others in the same enterprise.
What's really sad about this affair is that it demonstrates how desperate many men are to figure out a way to attract a mate. Hey, the Enzyte.com website is still in operation and accepting orders. I wonder if it's worth a try!