Four Companies Receive Cease and Desist Orders to Stop the Selling and Marketing of Unauthorized Test Kits and Products
As Coronavirus Goes After People's Health, Attorney General James is Ensuring Scammers Can't Go After Their Wallets
New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered Hong Kong Royal Resource Technology Company and Rightangled to immediately cease and desist the selling of unauthorized test kits for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The companies have been misrepresenting to consumers that the products can detect if an individual has contracted the virus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any COVID-19 tests for home use. The sale of unapproved home test kits may lead consumers to take inadequate quarantine measures placing the health of consumers — themselves and others — in jeopardy.
Additionally, Attorney General James has ordered Sustainable Forestry Solutions and Genesis II Church of Health & Healing to immediately cease and desist marketing their products as tools that can cure or treat COVID-19. The companies are misleading consumers regarding the effectiveness of their products amidst the pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) has not identified any specific medicine which prevents or treats this disease, making any claim of Sustainable Forestry Solutions and Genesis II Church of Health & Healing products being effective at combatting and/or treating COVID-19 a violation of New York state law.
“Misrepresenting the effectiveness or authenticity of products relating to COVID-19 is extremely reckless, and puts vulnerable communities at an even greater risk,” said Attorney General James. “By giving consumers false information, all four companies are giving consumers a false sense of security, which can have an adverse effect on the containment and treatment of COVID-19. My office will continue to root out companies that attempt to illegally profit from this pandemic by prioritizing their bottom line over public health.”
Hong Kong Royal Resource Technology Company, Rightangled, Sustainable Forestry Solutions, and Genesis II Church of Health & Healing targeted consumers through a combination of their websites, podcasts, and social media. Each company is ordered to immediately cease and desist making misleading claims about COVID-19-marketed products, and must cease and desist the sale of unauthorized products.
Attorney General James has sent multiple cease and desist letters to individuals and companies selling and marketing certain products as preventative treatments or cures for the coronavirus, including TV host Wayne Allyn Root, Alex Jones, The Silver Edge company, Dr. Sherill Sellman, and televangelist Jim Bakker.
Attorney General James has also issued cease and desist notifications to hundreds of businesses in New York for charging excessive prices for hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays, and rubbing alcohol — a violation of New York’s price gouging statute. That statute prohibits the sale of goods and services necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of consumers at unconscionably excessive prices during any abnormal disruption of the market.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) continues to surveil and monitor businesses across the state for potential scams and price gouging schemes designed to exploit public concern related to the spread of the coronavirus. Scammers commonly exploit real public health concerns and use heightened public fear to prey on consumers and profit from frauds related to those health fears. If you believe you have been the victim of a scam or have witnessed potential price gouging, please report these incidents to the OAG.