News and Press Releases

Managers of West Palm Beach Septic Tank Products Plead Guilty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Arthur A. Elkins, Jr., Inspector General, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Inspector General (EPA-OIG), announce that defendants Scott Weiss, 54, and Mitchell Friedman, 52, both of Palm Beach County, pled guilty on June 7, 2012. Co-conspirator Richard Chiat, 46, pled guilty on June 1, 2012. All three pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Sentencing for Weiss, Friedman and Chiat is scheduled for September 12, 2012 before the U.S. District Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp.

According to the charges and statements made in court, Weiss, Friedman, and Chiat, along with others employees of FBK Products, LLC., participated in a scheme to fraudulently market and sell unnecessary septic treatment products to customers throughout the United States. More specifically, from about March 2009 to October 2010, the defendants used the name FBK and Septic Remedy in sales pitches promoting septic products. The sales pitches were designed to mislead potential customers into believing that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) were affiliated with the septic treatment product they were marketing under the name Septic Remedy.

In particular, Weiss, Friedman, Chiat and others misrepresented to customers that the Septic Remedy would eliminate the need to have their septic tanks pumped, that government regulations had changed the components of toilet paper, and that the Septic Remedy was designed to specifically work with the purported new toilet paper. According to documents filed with the court, the defendants’ scheme was valued at more than $ 1 million. According to the court file, some elderly customers were misled into purchasing a seventy years supply of the septic product.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of EPA-OIG. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman O. Hemming, III.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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