Top officials from a Tri-State nutrition supplement company were in court on Thursday for a hearing in what the Federal Drug Administration is calling one of the nation's biggest cases against a dietary supplements company.
The top six executives from Berkeley Nutraceuticals were responding to a 112 count indictment for fraud and money laundering. All of those indicted pled not guilty yesterday.
Federal prosecutors say that Berkeley operated a scheme that defrauded 100 million dollars from customers by automatically sending a second month's supply of an enhancement pill to customers who signed up for a free 30 day supply of the pill. Berkeley then automatically billed the customer's credit card.
Prosecutors also say that officials at the company moved millions through other bank accounts to conceal the frauded money.
Berkeley is best known for its popular "smiling Bob" advertisements promoting a male enhancement supplement called Enzyte.
Company president and owner Steven Warshak faces up to thirty years in prison if found guilty. He faces 107 counts.
Steven's mother, 72-year-old Harriet Warshak, who worked in the warehouse as well as other areas faces nine counts.
Four other former employees including the company attorney have also been charged. No arrests were made as a result of the bust and all remain free on their own recognizance.