Attorney General Chris Carr announced that Elite Integrated Medical, LLC, formerly known as Superior Healthcare of Woodstock, LLC d/b/a Superior Healthcare Group, Superior Healthcare Sandy Springs and Superior Healthcare Morrow, along with its owner, Justin Paulk, (collectively “Elite”) will pay $287,631 in restitution as required by a consent judgment obtained by the office’s Consumer Protection Division. The judgment also permanently prohibits Elite from selling or advertising stem cell therapy products or services. This is the culmination of a previous lawsuit filed in September 2020 in which the state alleged that Elite violated the Fair Business Practices Act by making false and deceptive advertising representations about the effectiveness and regulatory status of stem cell therapies.
“The use of unproven products or therapies can put a consumer’s health and financial well-being at risk,” said Carr. “Businesses that make unsubstantiated claims and violate the law will be held accountable, particularly when they target our older or at-risk adults. This type of deceptive activity will not be tolerated, and we will continue to pursue any company that seeks to exploit our most vulnerable populations.”
In its lawsuit, the state alleged that Elite made millions of dollars by using aggressive marketing techniques and high-pressure sales tactics to convince hundreds of consumers, most of whom were elderly and/or disabled, to purchase expensive, unproven medical treatments that are not covered by Medicare or health insurance. The complaint further alleged that Elite misrepresented the role of medical doctors in providing patient care and that it deceptively featured a customer testimonial without revealing that it came from the owner of the company’s advertising agency.
The judgment requires Elite to pay $137,631 in restitution to identified consumers who filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division that has not otherwise been resolved. Elite must also pay another $150,000 to the Consumer Protection Division for a restitution fund for consumers who file eligible claims by Aug. 1, 2023.
In addition to the above-mentioned restitution, the settlement permanently prohibits Elite from:
- advertising, marketing, promoting, offering for sale and/or selling any regenerative medicine treatment; and
- owning, operating, managing, or otherwise being affiliated with any business that provides marketing services on behalf of any healthcare business and/or any business that advertises regenerative medicine products, including through endorsements, social media, live seminars or other presentations, webinars, videos, emails, digital materials, and/or television and radio commercials; and
- making, or assisting others in making, representations that products or services cure, mitigate, or treat any disease or health condition, unless such representations are non-misleading and based on competent, reliable scientific evidence; and
- making, or assisting others in making, false or misleading representations about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulation of regenerative medicine products; and
- Elite must also comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Elite is also prohibited from making or disseminating endorsements that do not honestly reflect the opinions, beliefs, findings, or experiences of bona fide users of stem cell products or services.
Refunds for Consumers
Consumers who paid Elite for products that are the subject of the state’s claims may be entitled to compensation under the consent order and should fill out and submit a prescribed claim form, along with supporting documentation, to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
To be considered for restitution, claim forms must be postmarked or faxed no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on Aug. 1, 2023.
Eligibility for Restitution
To be eligible for a restitution payment, the claim must meet the following criteria:
- The claim must involve the purchase of a regenerative medicine product that is the subject of the State’s Fair Business Practices Act claims and must include documentation of that purchase; and
- The consumer must not have received a previous refund, restitution payment, or settlement for the claim.
Filing a Claim
You can download the claim form here.
Completed claims and any documentation should be submitted by mail, overnight delivery or fax to:
Georgia Department of Law – Consumer Protection Division
ATTN: Elite Restitution
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, Suite 356
Atlanta, GA 30334-9077
Fax number: (404) 651-9018
You may NOT submit the claim form by email.
Claims must be postmarked or faxed no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on Aug. 1, 2023.
To read important patient information from the FDA about regenerative medicine therapies, click here.