Penis-Injection Cure to Cost Firms $17 Million

     BOSTON (CN) – Two Florida companies must pay $17 million for selling a bogus erectile-dysfunction treatment through an unlicensed clinic in Massachusetts, a state Superior Court ruled.
     State Attorney General Maura Healey sued the Florida Men’s Medical Clinic and Men’s Medical Clinic last year in Suffolk Superior Court for allegedly marketing expensive and painful penis injections as a new treatment to rip-off the erectile-impaired.
     Under the order handed down Monday, those companies must pay $6.3 million in restitution to consumers and ensure that they only operate in compliance with state law.
     The remainder of the $17 million judgment will go toward the commonwealth, including civil penalties.
     “Patients entrust medical providers with their health and well-being, and all patients deserve access to honest and proper care,” Healey said in a written statement. “Medical providers cannot mislead Massachusetts consumers about their services and medications. Our office will continue to pursue those who prey on vulnerable patients who are simply seeking medical care.”
     According to the complaint, more than 4,000 men went to the defendants’ facility and paid over $5 million for the injection treatment, with a large percentage of the money being fed back into a highly deceptive advertising campaign intended to keep the scam going.
     The ad campaign included false claims that co-owner Kevin Hornsby was a licensed physician in Massachusetts and that the “first 37 callers” would receive a special treatment for $199 instead of $299.
     In reality, the complaint says, every caller was told that 12 of those 37 spots were still open, and no customer was ever charged more than $199 for the first visit. Once in the facility, however, they were told effective treatment would require a six-month to one-year commitment and cost between $2,000 and $3,500.
     The judgment permanently prohibits the two companies from operating unlicensed medical clinics in Massachusetts or deceptively marketing any medication or medical service relating to the treatment of erectile dysfunction in the state.
     The companies have indicated they have ceased operations, and recovery of the amounts they are ordered to pay is uncertain.
     The defendants allegedly used various deceptive practices in widespread TV, print and radio advertising to market the erectile dysfunction services and treatments sold at their Framingham facility.
     Healey’s lawsuit against Kevin Hornsby and Heidi Hornsby is ongoing.

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