FTC News Release
March 12, 2004
Announcement of default judgment
On February 9, 2004, the United States District Court for the District of Nevada granted the Commission’s motion for default judgment against two defendants in the Commission’s action against the marketers of the AbTronic, the electrical muscle stimulation device that the defendants claimed would cause users to lose inches and obtain “washboard” abdominal muscles. The order permanently enjoins Oliver Braun and CCI Cad Cam Industries Ltd., Inc. (a/k/a Cad Cam Industries Ltd. and Cad Cam Industries (HK) Limited) from claiming:
- that the AbTronic causes the loss of inches, fat, or cellulite;
- that the AbTronic causes muscle growth or promotes well-defined abdominal muscles;
- that use of the AbTronic is equivalent to or superior to abdominal or thigh exercises;
- that a University of Maryland study cited in the AbTronic infomercial proves that the AbTronic increases abdominal strength better than exercise alone; and
- that the AbTronic is safe for use over the chest area.
The order also holds the defendants jointly and severally liable for $83 million, which represents the value of net sales of the AbTronic product to United States consumers. The order requires the defendants to repatriate and provide to the FTC those assets and all assets held abroad, and requires all third parties holding funds for defendants to turn those assets over to the Commission. On July 1, 2003, the court granted the Commission’s motion for partial summary against the five other defendants in this case.
With the entry of the court’s February order, all seven of the defendants in the AbTronic case are subject to permanent injunctive provisions and are jointly and severally liable for $83 million. The AbTronic matter was one of three cases the Commission filed in 2002 against marketers who claimed their electrical muscle stimulation devices would give users well-defined, “washboard” or “six-pack” abdominal muscles.
- Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, vs. Hudson Berkley (d/b/a Hudson Berkeley), Matthias Granjc, Bismarck Labs (d/b/a BLC Bismarck Labs), TMI Tricom Marketing, CCI Cad Cam Industries, Bernd Ebert, and Oliver Braun, Defendants . United States District Court for the District of Nevada. Civil Action No. CV-S-02-0649. FTC Matter No. X020063.
This page was posted on October 10, 2005.