BALTIMORE COUNTY JUDGE AFFIRMS ORDER REQUIRING ALOE COMPANY "T-UP" TO CEASE MAKING MIRACLE CURE CLAIMS AND TO PAY RESTITUTION AND A $3.7 MILLION PENALTY
Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a Baltimore County Circuit Court judge affirmed the Order by Curranís Consumer Protection Division requiring T-UP, Inc., a company formerly located in Baltimore and now operates in Hanover, Pennsylvania, to stop making claims that its aloe and mineral health products can be used to treat or cure diseases such as cancer and AIDS. The Order, affirmed by Judge J. William Hinkel, requires T-UP, Inc. and its officers, Neal Deoul and Allen Hoffman, to pay restitution to consumers and $3.7 million in civil penalties for violating the Consumer Protection Act by misleading consumers with unsubstantiated claims concerning their productsí safety and effectiveness.
T-UP, Inc. principally marketed a concentrated aloe product, called "T-UP," by claiming it could cure cancer, AIDS and other diseases. In his decision, Judge Hinkel concluded that "T-UP" and another mineral product marketed by Hoffman, Deoul and their company, must be considered drugs under FDA law, and therefore, can only be marketed as treatments or cures for cancer or AIDS if they have been proven effective and safe through well-controlled scientific research, and are subsequently approved by the FDA. According to the Judge, no such research was produced by the company and their products had not been approved by the FDA.
"T-UP preyed on the desperation of gravely ill people," said Curran, who argued the appeal. "The Consumer Protection Divisionís Order, upheld by this ruling, sends a strong message to companies that make exaggerated claims about the effectiveness of their products, that they must have scientific evidence to support those claims."
According to exhibits filed in the Attorney Generalís case, during one 18-month period alone (April 1997 to October 1998), T-UP sold more than $2.3 million worth of its product to more than 3,700 customers.