FOR RELEASE: JULY 17, 1992
MARKETER OF PETROMIZER "GAS-SAVING DEVICE" AGREES TO SETTLE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION CHARGES
Robert H. Morrison, Jr., a director of Advanced Automotive Technologies, Inc. -- a Phoenix, Arizona-based firm that marketed a purported gas-saving device called the "PetroMizer" -- has entered into an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to pay $35,000 for consumer redress and to be bound by a court order prohibiting him from making any false, misleading or unsubstan- tiated representations regarding any "aftermarket" automotive product he sells in the future. Morrison lives in Moorpark, California.
The agreement, if approved by the U.S. District Court in Arizona, would settle FTC charges stemming from a complaint filed against Morrison in 1991. The FTC alleged that he participated in the placement of full-page ads in newspapers across the coun- try touting that the PetroMizer would increase gas mileage by 28 percent, reduce automobile emissions, and that it was developed under a grant from NASA, among other allegedly false statements. Upon the filing of the FTC complaint, the court immediately granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting the challenged practices.
(In addition to naming Morrison and Advanced Automotive, the FTC complaint named a second firm, Amerdream Corporation, and the president of both companies, Frank J. Sarcone. The complaint detailed the allegedly-deceptive marketing of the PetroMizer, as well as a diet plan called the Ultimate Solution Diet Program. The court froze the assets of both corporations and Sarcone immediately after the FTC filed its complaint. Last January, the court entered a default judgment against both corporations and Sarcone that includes permanent prohibitions on the chal-
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lenged conduct, and requires them to pay nearly $675,000 for redress. The money collected from Morrison will be combined with as much of the funds as can be collected on the judgment against the other defendants and, if practical, distributed to consumers who purchased either of the products.)
The proposed consent judgment settling the charges against Morrison would prohibit him from making any false or misleading statement in connection with marketing any aftermarket automotive product (additive substances, or devices or equipment intended as additions, replacements or modifications of original automotive components). Further, he would be required to have substantia- tion for any statement he makes about the performance or efficacy of any such device. The $35,000 payment required under the set- tlement would be paid in two installments within 90 days after the court approves the agreement. The settlement also contains a standard provision permitting the FTC to reconsider the redress amount should Morrison be found to have misrepresented his finan- cial condition, as well as other standard record-keeping provi- sions. Finally, Morrison would be required to give a copy of the consent judgment to every officer, employee or consultant who markets any aftermarket auto product he sells.
The proposed consent judgment was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, in Phoenix, this morning. It is subject to court approval. The case is being handled by the FTC's Denver Regional Office.
NOTE: This consent judgment is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant of a law violation. Consent judgments have the force of law when signed by the judge.
Copies of the proposed consent judgment, as well as news releases issued at previous stages in the case, are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY 1-866-653-4261.
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MEDIA CONTACT: Bonnie Jansen, Office of Public Affairs 202-326-2161
STAFF CONTACT: Claude C. Wild III, Denver Regional Office 1405 Curtis Street, Suite 2900 Denver, Colorado 80202-2393 303-844-2271
(Civil Action No. 91-0505 PHX RCB) (FTC Matter No. X910028) (Morrison)