Anyone can fall for a bogus supplement peddler, including NFL stars such as Tom Brady and Denver Broncos’ Wes Welker, who both fell for a phony “doctor” named Alejandro/Alex Guerrero who posed as a health authority while selling nutritional supplements which he claimed could prevent cancer and AIDS and help athletes recover faster from concussions.
Boston Magazine is reporting on the case of Guerrero who has been repeatedly investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for making outlandish claims about himself and two products marketed as Supreme Greens and NeuroSafe.
Guerrero posed as a registered doctor even though he was found to hold only a master’s degree in Chinese Medicine from Samra University in Los Angeles which closed in August, 2010.
He also claimed that his product, known as Supreme Greens, could prevent cancer and AIDS. Guerrero said it was proven in a study of 200 terminally ill patients of which 192 survived after taking the supplement. He later admitted that the study never existed – after he made $16 million over the course of 18 months selling the product to the unsuspecting.
According to Boston Magazine, “a settlement was reached in 2005 when Guerrero was barred from promoting Supreme Greens or any ‘substantially similar product’ as an effective treatment, cure or preventative treatment for cancer or any other disease and was ordered to pay a $65,000 fine, according to court documents.”
In spite of his history, one of Guerrero’s best customers happens to be New England Patriots’ star quarterback, Tom Brady. The New York Times cited Guerrero as Brady’s “spiritual guide, pal, counselor, nutrition adviser, trainer, massage therapist and family member” in an article earlier this year.
The two have apparently been inseparable since Brady suffered an injury in 2008 and recently entered into a business venture together.
This apparently happened even after Guerrero found himself in trouble with the FTC again in 2011 for touting a new product named NeuroSafe which he claimed could help people recover faster after a concussion. The product’s website claimed former wide receiver for the Denver Bronco’s Wes Welker as well as Brady considered the product “essential” and that it helped people recover more fully after a concussion.
The label on the drink claims it is “powered by TB12” which allegedly helps “dramatically improve recovery from head trauma by providing the brain the nutrients it needs to repair itself”.
However, Barrie Cassileth, founder of the Integrative Medicine Service at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center which helped the FTC investigate Supreme Greens, called the NeuroSafe claims “total garbage”.
“It’s just ridiculous,” Cassileth told Boston Magazine. “The organizations and people who make these claims and produce these false treatments really are doing something horrific.”
Guerrero promised the FTC to stop marketing the product and to refund consumers’ money which has quelled the Commission’s concerns for the time being.
When confronted about Guerrero’s history, Brady defended his friend, saying he didn’t have the whole story and insisting that he has tremendous faith Guerrero. “In the 10 or 11 years we’ve been working together, he’s never been wrong.”
Unfortunately, too many consumers have had a much different experience with the phony “doctor”.