Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird sued Biologics Health, LLC, Summit Partners Group, LLC, Rylee Meek, and Scott Thomas for allegedly engaging in fraudulent door-to-door stem cell therapy treatments. The lawsuit challenges the defendants’ false advertisement of stem cell therapies and misleading claims regarding the effectiveness of their services.
The suit alleges that over 250 Iowans were sold fake stem cell therapies totaling more than $1 million dollars. The average Iowan paid approximately $9,000 for the service. Those named in the lawsuit allegedly targeted older Iowans by selling unproven and invasive therapies that exposed them to greater potential physical and other health-related harm. Some of the misleading claims include that stem cells would “seek out” problems throughout the human body, could repair and regenerate damaged tissues, and were completely safe except for possible minor flu-like symptoms.
“Taking advantage of Iowans suffering from health issues is illegal and dangerous,” said Attorney General Bird. “Iowans should not have to fear being ripped off for fake stem cell therapies that expose them to major health risks, such as life-threatening blood infections, blindness, and tumor formation. Our office will not stop fighting until those who prey on Iowans in need of medical treatment are held accountable.”
The lawsuit challenges the defendants’ violations of the Consumer Fraud Act and regulations involving door-to-door sale transactions. The suit also seeks to reimburse all Iowans who paid for the therapies, a court order permanently blocking the fraudulent activity in Iowa, and award civil penalties, attorney fees, and costs.
Read the full lawsuit here.
Attorney General Bird also announces today that Iowa settled claims against Definitive Wellness, LLC and its owner, Angela Jayes via an Assurance of Compliance for their role in delivering stem cell therapies to Iowans. The Assurance provides that both the company and Jayes will permanently stop providing stem cell therapy or administering “any essentially equivalent” products in Iowa. They will also pay $58,000 to the consumer education and litigation fund. That amount represents essentially the gross amount of money Definitive Wellness collected as a result of Iowa operations conducted with the lawsuit Defendants.
Tips for Iowa Consumers to avoid healthcare scams:
- Seek the advice of a doctor or health care professional. Consult with legitimate health care professionals before considering an unusual or even new health product or treatment.
- Be suspicious of dramatic and surefire claims. “Scientific breakthrough,” “secret,” “miraculous,” “quick & easy,” “ancient” — such claims are often used for fraud. Real medical breakthroughs will not be announced for the first time in paid ads.
- Be skeptical of claims that one product cures a wide range of diseases and/or there are no downsides, risks, or adverse reactions to using the product.
- Few diseases or conditions can be treated with “quick fixes,” even with legitimate products. Beware of such claims.
- Don’t put much weight on testimonials, even from celebrities. Many worthless products have been promoted through glowing – but misleading — testimonials.
- Don’t take chances with your health, and do not abandon proven treatments in favor of untested approaches.