The Texas Attorney General’s office has announced that its litigation against Mannatech has been concluded with a settlement agreement. The agreement mandates that Mannatech return $4m to customers and its founder, Sam Caster, must pay $1m in fines. Caster is also barred from serving as a director, officer, or employee of the company for 5 years, and cannot participate in any multilevel marketing program for 5 years. Caster had been sued twice before by the Texas AG’s office for deceptive marketing of another company he ran, Eagle Shield.
The litigation was filed in 2007, and accused Mannatech of using an illegal marketing scheme to defraud consumers Mannatech markets supplements called “glyconutrients” that supposedly provide the body with “essential sugars” that promote “better communication” between cells and support the immune system. Leading scientists are critical of the company’s theory of “glycobiology,” and one was prompted to characterize the product as literally, a sugar pill (well known in science as a placebo with no active ingredients).
Still pending is the litigation against three other defendants named in the litigation, H. Reginald McDaniel, a Mansfield physician who has been long associated with the company, and two charitable organizations tied to the company, MannaRelief Ministries and Fisher Institute for Medical Research. The litigation accused them of violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Texas Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.