Monday, June 18, 2012 at 8 a.m.
A million-dollar scheme in Palm Beach involving bogus government toilet-paper regulation is slowly... unraveling.
Three men pleaded guilty earlier this month to conspiracy charged linked to their involvement with FBK Products LLC, which sold a septic tank treatment they claimed helped break down "second generation" toilet paper that was being mandated by the EPA, USDA, and FDA.
FBK made its money by telling old people there was a new kind of toilet paper being sold now, and their old septic tanks would clog up if they didn't purchase Septic Remedy, which is still listed on the company's website
, albeit under the statement that "FBK is NOT selling or shipping ANY products at this time." Prosecutors say some elderly people bought enough Septic Remedy to last them 70 years.
Court documents indicate Weiss, Friedman, and Chiat were all Palm Beach County residents and managers of the company at some point between 2005 and 2011; they would give the fraudulent sales scripts to telemarketers to sell people a five-year supply of Septic Remedy, then make other people call customers back and tell them their purchase wasn't enough, that they needed "phase II" to "address problems associated with the new toilet paper, soap, and detergents."
Documents also say the crew offered "risk free" trials and then didn't accept returns, and maintained an "idiot list" of people "who could easily be persuaded to purchase additional quantities of the product," according to prosecutors. They also at various times told people, falsly, that Septic Remedy had been developed with a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and that "the government would shut down septic systems that did not pass inspection."
They called as far away as Pennsylvania and Idaho to hock their wares, earning 267 complaints
with the Better Business Bureau in the process. Their sentencing fo is set for Sept. 12.