The Rise and Fall of the Cincinnati Boner King

The company's "smiling Bob" ads boosted sales
of their male enhancement product Enzyte.
Customers were less than thrilled 
when they got the bills.

Steve Warshak owned an extremely profitable company which sold male enhancement pills. There was no proof the pills actually worked as advertised, but that wasn't illegal. In fact, the lead FBI investigator on the case said:
“It’s not illegal to sell snake oil if people are willing to buy it.”
However, Mr. Warshak was in big trouble for defrauding his customer's credit card accounts:
Warshak was the founder of Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, a Cincinnati company that sold a wide range of supplements but made most of its money on one blockbuster product: Enzyte. Warshak sold countless men on the simple idea that happiness was just a little blue pill away. His pill had a six-letter name, just like the prescription drug it was designed to evoke. But unlike Viagra, Enzyte was “natural” and could be ordered without a prescription in the privacy of one’s home.

...prosecutors alleged that Warshak had exploited that desire for privacy to bilk his customers out of more than $100 million. The scam was simple, they alleged: Get a customer’s credit card number by offering a free sample (pay only the postage!), then charge the card again for more product than the customer ever ordered. Enzyte was marketed to men who didn’t want to go to the doctor, the government argued, and thus were likely to be ashamed of their sexual inadequacy. Warshak figured he could steal from these customers with minimum risk, prosecutors said; embarrassment would keep them from complaining.
From prison, Mr. Warshak maintained that he made some mistakes, but they were merely "growth issues."

Read about the con man who said it wasn't his fault, and if it was, the government was coming down too hard on him: The Rise and Fall of the Cincinnati Boner King. Steve Warshak made millions on "natural male enhancement." Now he's doing hard time. GQ>>

Since the article was written, he did get a reduced sentence: Warshak's 25-year sentence cut to 10, Cincinnati.com>>

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