Two Fraserburgh women who sold fake diet pills and cancer treatments have been ordered to repay more than £800,000 between them.
Helen Buchan (52) and Carol Wiseman (50) were directors of Secret Diet Drops Ltd.
They used their website and literature to make misleading and unsubstantiated claims about their products. These include claims that their “Secret Diet Drops” would assist weight loss and their “Apple Cider Vinegar” would kill cancer cells.
A confiscation order has been granted under Proceeds of Crime legislation for £528,505 against Helen Buchan and £298,316 against Carol Wiseman. They were given six months to pay the order at Peterhead Sheriff Court today.
Procurator Fiscal for Specialist Casework, Jennifer Harrower, said: “Carol Wiseman and Helen Buchan made false claims to entice vulnerable consumers into purchasing their products. In cases such as this, prosecution of a criminal offence does not mean the end of our involvement.
"We will use the laws available to us to ensure money obtained through crime is confiscated from those who do not deserve it and reinvested into the community.”
The court had previously heard that Aberdeenshire Council’s Trading Standards department had received a number of complaints against the company during 2012 and 2013. Sale records and order books, which recorded a large number of transactions, were seized during a search of their premises.
Trading Standards contacted a number of individuals believed to have purchased the product, and some were willing to provide a statement.
On 24 March 2016 Secret Diet Drops Limited was fined £9,000 and Wiseman and Buchan were each sentenced to a community payback order, with a condition to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.