Two New South Wales fraudsters have been convicted over an Internet health scam which fleeced more than 60,000 global consumers over a two year period.
Leanne Rita Vassallo and Aaron David Smith of Cecil Hill propagated numerous Websites flogging eBooks which purportedly contained cures for ailments such as acne, multiple sclerosis and prostate cancer. These medical claims were found to be false in court.
The issue first came to light when the Washington State Attorney General’s Department flagged it to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). They worked together in an investigation which eventually led to the culprits.
Both government groups filed court papers, in their respective country courts, against the two individuals for “false, misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to a health cure scam". NSW police also aided the investigation.
The Federal Court of Australia found Vassallo and Smith guilty of all charges, with the presiding judge describing them as “purveyors of quack medical advice and of quack medicine”.
Both scammers were ordered to pay the ACCC’s costs and barred from engaging in similar deceitful practices through a court injunction.