- Associated Press - Monday, September 28, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - The Federal Trade Commission said Monday that it is suing weight loss supplement company Roca Labs for threatening to sue customers that complained or wrote negative reviews online about its products.

Roca Labs, based in Sarasota, Florida, sold powders online that had to be mixed with water. The powders cost $480 for a four-month supply and were promoted as an alternative to gastric bypass surgery, the FTC said. Those claims were unproven, the FTC said.

The FTC said Roca Labs placed inserts in packages telling customers that they agreed not to write negative online reviews about the products when they bought them. Those that did write negative reviews were warned that they would have to pay the company hundreds of dollars. The FTC said Roca Labs filed lawsuits against some customers.

A lawyer for Roca Labs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The FTC also named Roca Labs executives Don Juravin and George Whiting as defendants in its lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

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