Watchdog: Mannatech founder, banned from company, still works from inside

Watchdog: Mannatech founder, banned from company, still works from inside

Mannatech
Sam Caster, former chairman and CEO of Mannatech, now consults for the company.

Dave Lieber

The smiling face of Samuel L. Caster, one of Texas’ top multilevel-marketing salesmen, is well known by the Texas attorney general’s office. Three times the state’s highest law enforcement officer has tangled with Caster. Three times Caster has been pushed down and out. But the Coppell businessman always manages to pop back up.

Like the nutritional and dietary pills sold by Mannatech, the company he founded, and the thousands of sales associates in two dozen countries who believe in him, Caster is unstoppable.

His first run-in came in the late 1980s when Caster’s original company, Eagle Shield, sold a radiant barrier described as a breakthrough product that would cut energy costs.

The attorney general got a court order against the company on the grounds that the product was not new and energy savings were dubious. Caster agreed not to make future false statements, according to newspaper reports.

His second run-in came in 1991 when Caster’s company marketed Electracat, a device that repelled insects and other pests with high-frequency vibrations.

One assistant attorney general called the device “a hoax.” Caster agreed to stop selling the product and to refrain from making claims about products that were not supported by science. His company, Eagle Shield, paid $125,000 for investigation costs.

Caster’s third tangle with the AG was the most serious.

In 2007, Attorney General Greg Abbott sued Mannatech and Caster, claiming that sales associates made false claims about the healing powers of the company’s products. Abbott charged that sales pitches included false promises that the pills, described by one critic as “sugar pills,” could help cure cancer, Down syndrome and other serious illnesses.

Under the settlement reached two years later, the company paid $4 million in restitution to Texas customers and $2 million for investigation costs. Caster paid a $1 million civil penalty and promised, once again, not to engage in deceptive marketing practices by making exaggerated claims.

But this third strike was different. Caster also was banned from a company position for five years. That five-year period ends in February.

Caster, though, doesn’t stay down. The former chief executive officer may have agreed to… Continued here: http://www.dallasnews.com/investigations/watchdog/20131123-watchdog-mannatech-founder-banned-from-company-still-works-from-inside.ece?ssimg=1313953#ssStory1313954

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