Monday, April 23, 2018

The QLaser Guy Is Going to Jail

One of the most-visited posts on my blog is from 2013, QLaser Scam: Dumbest of the Dumb. Readers of that post (I imagine) have googled QLaser to see if it's real, as most of us do when we are researching medical treatments, and I get a little bit of pleasure from each one those visits because my post helps people find out they shouldn't waste their money on it.

Two years ago, the FDA won an injunction against QLaser's promoter, former dentist Larry Lytle.

Well, now the Department of Justice has won a fraud conviction of Lytle and two others. Lytle was sentence to 12 years in prison, while the other two got 24 months and 15 months, plus restitution to be determined.

Lytle ended up pleading guilty to "one count of conspiracy to introduce misbranded medical devices into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead, and one count of criminal contempt."

As part of his plea agreement, Lytle admitted that beginning in 2005 he entered into an agreement with others to sell medical devices with false and misleading labeling in order to defraud consumers, and that he continued to do so in violation of a federal court order. He also acknowledged that he obtained at least $16,669,015 over the course of the scheme. Lytle made an initial restitution payment of $637,000 and has turned over several thousand dollars’ worth of gold and silver coins to be applied to restitution....

Lytle and his co-conspirators... (who operated QLaser distributorships) marketed and distributed QLaser devices to (mostly elderly) consumers across the United States by falsely claiming that the devices could safely and effectively treat a panoply of medical conditions at home, including cancer, emphysema, diabetes, autism, HIV, and heart disease. Lytle created false and misleading product labeling that was designed to create the false impression that these claims had been scientifically proven. In truth, no published clinical or scientific studies supported the use of QLaser devices to treat those and other serious conditions, and the ...FDA... never approved the devices for such uses. To lend credibility and authority to his claims, the potential QLaser purchasers were told “Dr. Lytle” was a “retired” dentist and medical laser expert while omitting the fact that his license to practice dentistry had been permanently revoked for engaging in fraud and material deception.

Lytle and his co-conspirators forged ahead with the fraud even after a federal court ordered them to stop selling and refund all QLaser purchasers in a series of injunctions issued in 2015. In violation of the injunctions, Lytle made false statements to the court and FDA investigators, sent collection letters to QLaser purchasers rather than pay them court-ordered restitution, smuggled hundreds [of] devices out of South Dakota to upstate New York to prevent their seizure, and received a steady stream of income from continued QLaser sales....

“These defendants exploited elderly victims suffering from chronic, serious medical conditions,” said Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division...

“These defendants were motivated by greed, and they targeted vulnerable people by giving them false hope while fleecing them,” said U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons of the District of South Dakota. 
I'll say. Greedy and stupid. Twelve years isn't enough, but is typical of the way white-collar crime is handled.

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