The co-founders of the Stem Cell Institute of America are being sued, accused of marketing stem cell therapy to seniors by falsely claiming that it is an effective treatment for orthopedic conditions such as arthritis and joint pain.
The lawsuit, filed Aug. 17 by the Federal Trade Commission and the Georgia attorney general, alleges that defendants Steven Peyroux and Brent Detelich "promoted the false or unsubstantiated claim that stem cell therapy is comparable or superior to surgery, steroid injections and painkillers," the FTC said in a news release.
The defendants also provided marketing materials and training to chiropractors and other healthcare providers that deceived consumers about the results of stem cell therapies, according to the complaint.
"At best, the use of unproven products or therapies can cost consumers thousands of dollars without affording them any results," Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said. "At worst, it can be harmful to their health. Our office will continue to hold accountable businesses that make unsubstantiated claims and violate the law — especially those that target our older or at-risk adults."
Stem Cell Institute of America was founded in 2015 to train chiropractors and other providers on how to add stem cell therapy to their practices, the agencies said. Client clinics were trained how to recruit patients through advertising, host free educational seminars and perform consultations.
The complaint also alleges that the company targeted retirement communities. At the end of seminars, prosecutors said the defendants would try to schedule attendees for consultations at a clinic that charged about $5,000 per joint injection, with many patients receiving more than one injection.