Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Stumbo Warns Gas Pill Marketers to Cease Sales Efforts
Attorney General Greg Stumbo today issued cease and desist warning letters to Kentucky distributors of Bioperformance, a so called “gas pill” which marketers claim improves fuel efficiency when added to the gasoline tank. The letter warns distributors that further efforts to distribute the pills in Kentucky may subject them to possible civil and criminal liability for theft and violation of the state pyramid sales act.
Last week a Texas judge granted a temporary restraining order against Bioperformance, Inc. and its principals, Lowell Mims and Gustavo Romero, ordering them to halt all sales efforts based on evidence that the marketers’ claims are false and misleading in violation of the Texas consumer protection laws. The Texas Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case against the company. The gas pill product is marketed as a “non-toxic” fuel additive that improves gasoline efficiency, saving consumers up to 25% on their gasoline bills.
The Texas investigation determined, however, that those claims were all false and misleading. According to Expert Affidavits filed with the lawsuit, the amount of energy (as measured in BTU’s) contained in the fuel with the additive is actually less than the fuel without the additive. Moreover, an automotive fuel expert retained by the Texas Attorney General determined that the additive will have NO effect on gasoline and will not result in any increase in fuel economy in either gasoline or diesel powered engines. The lawsuit alleges, and a Texas judge has also preliminarily found, that the compensation plan for the product is an illegal pyramid sales scheme that violates Texas law. Texas’ statute and Kentucky’s statute on pyramid sales are substantially similar.
The Ex Parte Restraining Order was entered May 16 and prohibits the Defendants from continuing to market Bioperformance by representing expressly or implicitly that the products A) will reduce the emissions of gasoline or diesel powered vehicles; B) improve gasoline efficiency or fuel economy of gasoline or diesel powered vehicles; or c) are safe and non-toxic. The order also requires Bioperformance to remove misleading information from its website regarding the alleged fuel economy benefits and safety of its products. Local distributors are required to be made aware of the terms of the order by the Defendants and that they are required to comply with its terms.
“During these times of high gasoline prices, many consumers are lured by the promise of a ‘silver bullet’ solution like these gas pills,” said Stumbo. “The Texas investigation has determined Bioperformance’s claims to be nothing more than ‘snake oil’ peddled to consumers trying to ease the pain caused by these high gasoline prices.”
Attorney General Stumbo’s investigation into sales of the gasoline pills in Kentucky will continue. The Attorney General’s Office will coordinate its efforts with the Texas Attorney General as the litigation in Texas continues. A hearing on the Texas Motion for Temporary Injunction is scheduled for May 30th.
Temporary Restraining Order