Bodyscoop fined £24,000 over fake diet pills
A woman who admitted selling fake diet pills which caused customers to complain of stomach pains has been fined £24,000.
Nicole Larguey, 46, of Coulsdon, south London, is thought to be the first person to be prosecuted in the UK over misleading nutrition and health claims.
Larquey sold the pills through her company Bodyscoop Ltd.
Trading Standards in St Helens, Merseyside, started an investigation after complaints from customers.
Larquey admitted 24 consumer protection offences at St Helen's Magistrates' Court.
She was ordered to pay a £12,000 fine and her company was ordered to pay the same amount. She was also ordered to pay costs of £1,374 to St Helens Trading Standards.
The prosecution is believed to be the first to be brought under the Nutrition and Health Claims (England) Regulations 2007.
Trading Standards said the pills were sold online for £29.99 for a pack of 30 pills.
It said when it had the tablets tested, the pills were found to contain mainly cellulose powder and contained nothing that would aid weight loss.
Alison Bacon, St Helens Council's cabinet member for environmental protection, said: "This hefty fine shows just how serious the offence was.
"It's vital that consumers can rely on products being both safe and honestly marketed.
"People trying to lose weight can be particularly vulnerable and willing to believe all sorts of claims. It's fortunate that in this case the capsules caused nothing more serious than mild stomach upsets."