A federal jury in Cincinnati on Friday found the owner of a company that sells so-called male enhancement tablets and other herbal supplements guilty of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.
Steve Warshak is founder and president of Forest Park, Ohio-based Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, which distributes Enzyte and other products alleged to boost energy, manage weight, reduce memory loss and aid sleep.
Television ads for Enzyte feature "Smiling Bob," a goofy, grinning man whose life gets much better after he uses the product, which allegedly boosted his sexual performance.
Warshak, 40, faces more than 20 years in prison, and his company could have to forfeit tens of millions of dollars.
Prosecutors said customers were bilked out of $100 million through a series of deceptive ads, manipulated credit card transactions and Berkeley's refusal to accept returns or cancel orders. They said unauthorized credit card charges generated thousands of complaints over un-ordered products.
Warshak's mother, Harriett Warshak, also was convicted of conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering. Two other company employees were convicted on related charges.
Harriet Warshak said she would appeal. "We don't believe it was a fair verdict," she said.
Several friends and relatives of the defendants wept as the verdicts were read.