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Metabolife founder sentenced

June 10, 2008|From Times Wire Services

Michael J. Ellis, the founder and former president of dietary supplement maker Metabolife International Inc., was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine for lying to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Ellis pleaded guilty last year to making false statements to the FDA in 1999 about Metabolife's having a "claims-free history." Metabolife filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2005 after facing hundreds of lawsuits over its weight-loss products containing ephedra. The ingredient, which has since been banned, is linked to heart problems and strokes.

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