January 25, 2005
Kansas City, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon filed a lawsuit Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court against a Kansas City woman for allegedly taking money from individuals she recruited to sell her weight management program, then failing to deliver on her promises.
The lawsuit charges Harriet Ann Jones, owner of Nu Body Weight Management and Image Services, engaged in deceptive and fraudulent business practices. The suit states that between December 2002 and April 2004, Jones solicited Missouri consumers to pay up-front "set-up" fees ranging from $10 to $50 to register as "independent direct mail processors" for advertising campaigns on behalf of Nu Body.
Those paying the fee were told that Nu Body was in the business of selling a variety of weight loss programs, and that in exchange for the up-front fee, they would receive mailing kits containing promotional materials to use in direct-mail advertising campaigns. Consumers were told that if they mailed out the required number of promotional materials to potential Nu Body customers, they could earn hundreds, even thousands of dollars over six to eight weeks. At least 40 Missourians registered and paid the fee.
Only three received mailing kits, and only one received a check. The check, however, was returned for insufficient funds; a second attempt to cash the check failed because the account had been closed.
Nixon is asking the court for a permanent injunction against Jones from engaging in deceptive trade practices, restitution for all the victims, a civil penalty of $1,000 for each violation, and payment of the cost of the legal action.