More than a year ago, Medifast Inc. (NYSE:MED) sued me, my company Sequence Inc, Barry Minkow, his company Fraud Discovery Institute, Robert FitzPatrick, William Lobdell, and an anonymous message board poster for defamation. Barry Minkow and FDI initiated an investigation of the company in 2008, and the rest of us researched the company and contributed our opinions to FDI’s reports on the company and its multi-level marketing division Take Shape For Life (TSFL).
We criticized the company and its MLM business model. We expressed negative opinions about the disclosures Medifast makes about this “business opportunity.” I dared to suggest that Medifast might be a weight loss pyramid scheme.
A year after the first report on the company was released by FDI, Medifast sued us for $270 million, alleging defamation, criminal conspiracy, unfair business practices, and market manipulation. The defendants each filed anti-SLAPP motions, basically saying that Medifast was attempting to silence critics in violation of our First Amendment rights. Continue reading
UPDATE: On February 17, 2010, Medifast Inc. filed suit in US District Court, Southern District of California, alleging defamation, violation of California Corporations Code, and unfair business practices. On March 29, 2011, Judge Janis Sammartino dismissed all of Medifast’s claims against me in her ruling on my anti-SLAPP motion.
Robert FitzPatrick filed an absolutely riveting anti-SLAPP motion in the case brought against us by Medifast Inc. (NYSE:MED) and its Take Shape For Life (TSFL) multi-level marketing division. Below is probably the most interesting part of the filing. It discusses at lengthy the shady past of the company, efforts to improperly conceal the prior bad acts, and current dishonesty about Medifast and TSFL. It seems that lying to the court has become routine for Medifast.
Proof that Medifast’s Complaint should be viewed as a SLAPP suit arises out of Plaintiffs’ false, self-serving and misleading allegations, devoid of any facts, as well as Plaintiffs’ fraudulent concealment of relevant facts that show what kind of history Medifast and its predecessor companies carry with them, but do not disclose to the public or its stockholders despite orders to do so by the FTC. Continue reading