Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Files Lawsuit against MusclePharm over Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and Protein Spiking Allegations
ATLANTA. May 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Protein supplement maker Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. says rival MusclePharm Corp. artificially inflates the level of protein in its Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Mass product and then lies to consumers about it, violating federal competition and state consumer protection laws, according to a complaint filed in Georgia federal court. The lawsuit further alleges violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act and protein spiking allegations involving MusclePharm Sports Nutrition’s protein supplement.
This lawsuit comes days after Arnold Schwarzenegger terminated his relationship with MusclePharm due to years of his good name being dragged through the mud. The lawsuit alleges that MusclePharm and its former owner Brad Pyatt were engaged in a scheme to defraud consumers as to the Iron Mass product’s content, quality, characteristics, and/or ingredients, and caused and enabled consumers to purchase MusclePharm’s Iron Mass product instead of Hi-Tech’s NitroPro product.
The lawsuit’s allegations include that MusclePharm’s label makes misleading claims about its protein content. For example, the labeling claims that the product contains 40 grams of protein per serving; however, this figure allegedly also includes the amino acid, Glycine and; the non-amino acid compound, Creatine Monohydrate. According to the lawsuit, testing reveals that the actual content per serving of protein is 19.53 grams (48.5% of label claim) once protein-spiking agents are eliminated.
The lawsuit also alleges, “In furtherance of this scheme, MusclePharm used the Internet to disseminate its false product claims to consumers across the United States. and to enable consumers to purchase MusclePharm’s Iron Mass product online. It also used the U.S. Mail and/or other interstate carriers to ship Iron Mass to consumers throughout the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1341. ” The suit further alleges, “Defendants have conspired to conduct and participate in the conduct of the affairs of the enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. That conduct constitutes conspiracy to violate Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) 18 U.S.C. Section 1962(c), in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1962(d).” Passed the year after The Godfather was published, RICO is part of a 1970 law designed to allows plaintiffs to bring civil lawsuits against organizations whose members allegedly committed crimes.
Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals lawsuit alleges that MusclePharm and Pyatt’s Iron Mass Protein does not contain the quantity of protein as claimed on the product’s label, and also alleges the use of non-protein ingredients in protein supplement products due to a process known as “protein-spiking.” These ingredients are added to increase a protein product’s nitrogen content while allowing the manufacturer to save on protein manufacturing costs. A popularly used protein content test uses nitrogen as a measure of protein; therefore, protein spiking serves to fool consumers into believing they are receiving more whey protein than is actually contained in the product.
About Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals
Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals (https://www.hitechpharma.com/index.htm ) is a leading Sports Nutrition manufacturer. Since 1979, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and its sister company, Hi-Tech Nutraceuticals, LLC. have been providing quality custom manufacturing services to the pharmaceutical, dietary supplement and beverage industries. Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals is a cGMP certified company that operates out of Four (4) US Production facilities and (2) Warehouses, totally over 500,000 sq. ft. The two Georgia based production facilities are both located outside Atlanta in the Norcross and Suwanee Advanced Technology areas. Hi-Tech also has Two (2) facilities located outside State College, Pennsylvania. Hi-Tech holds a Drug Manufacturing License issued by the State of Pennsylvania Food and Drug Branch and is registered as a Food and Drug Establishment with the FDA in Pennsylvania .
Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals is an enormously successful company that creates, manufactures and sells high-quality products sold by the large, major retailers across the United States. These retailers include: GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Rite Aid, Kroger, Winn-Dixie, Albertson’s, CVS, Duane Reade. Hannaford, Cardinal Health, McKesson, Mclain, Harmon Stores. Fred Meyer. Osco Drugs, Supervalu, Roundy’s, Walgreens, Sav-On Drugs, Meijer, Fruth Pharmacy, Kinney Drug, Kinray, USA Drugs, A P, Kmart, Amazon.com, Bodybuilding.com, Drugstore.com, and over 5,000 independent drug stores, as well as in more than 80,000 convenience stores throughout the United States .
SOURCE Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.