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Wednesday, July 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Druggists Got Rich In Bait And Switch|Internet Scheme, Florida Claims

SANFORD, FLA. (CN) - Direct Pharmacy and the couple who ran it ran made $1.4 million a year from an Internet-based bait and switch scam in prescription weight-loss drugs, the State of Florida says in Seminole County Court.

The State claims Steven and Rachael McMurtrey, of Orlando, falsely claimed they were selling the drugs at discounts, shipped different drugs than advertised, and refused to pay refunds when people complained.

The state claims the McMurtreys made $28,000 a week, or $1,456,000 a year from the scheme, which they allegedly ran from 2004 until they shut down in May this year.

Direct Pharmacy was based in Casselberry, Fla., and sold its stuff on the Internet Web site directdietpills.com, the state says.

The state complaint also raises questions about inadequate disclosure of nonrefundable fees, and the McMurtreys' "medical questionnaire."

Florida claims the McMurtreys charged an average of $100 per prescription, shipped herbal substitutes for the prescription medications their customers ordered, and refused to issue refunds when customers complained. It says they "rarely sent consumers the prescription medications (they) ordered," but switched drugs "in almost all instances".

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