Not a smart move from both Mannatech as Samuel Caster;
According to the Dallas News and investigator reporter Dave Lieber, Samuel Caster works for Mannatech:
The smiling face of Samuel L. Caster, one of Texas’ top multilevel-marketing salesmen, is well known by the Texas attorney general’s office. Three times the state’s highest law enforcement officer has tangled with Caster. Three times Caster has been pushed down and out. But the Coppell businessman always manages to pop back up.
Like the nutritional and dietary pills sold by Mannatech, the company he founded, and the thousands of sales associates in two dozen countries who believe in him, Caster is unstoppable.
His first run-in came in the late 1980s when Caster’s original company, Eagle Shield, sold a radiant barrier described as a breakthrough product that would cut energy costs.
The attorney general got a court order against the company on the grounds that the product was not new and energy savings were dubious. Caster agreed not to make future false statements, according to newspaper reports.
His second run-in came in 1991 when Caster’s company marketed Electracat, a device that repelled insects and other pests with high-frequency vibrations.
One assistant attorney general called the device “a hoax.” Caster agreed to stop selling the product and to refrain from making claims about products that were not supported by science. His company, Eagle Shield, paid $125,000 for investigation costs.
Caster’s third tangle with the AG was the most serious.
In 2007, Attorney General Greg Abbott sued Mannatech and Caster, claiming that sales associates made false claims about the healing powers of the company’s products. Abbott charged that sales pitches included false promises that the pills, described by one critic as “sugar pills,” could help cure cancer, Down syndrome and other serious illnesses.
Under the settlement reached two years later, the company paid $4 million in restitution to Texas customers and $2 million for investigation costs. Caster paid a $1 million civil penalty and promised, once again, not to engage in deceptive marketing practices by making exaggerated claims.
But this third strike was different. Caster also was banned from a company position for five years. That five-year period ends in February.
Caster, though, doesn’t stay down. The former chief executive officer may have agreed to a five-year ban that prohibits him from serving as “an officer, director, or employee of Mannatech,” but the agreement left a gaping hole that allows Caster to bounce back.
The attorney general’s agreement says he can serve as an outside consultant to the company.
So this month when Mannatech unveiled Uth (pronounced “youth”), its new skin-cream product, Caster was a main speaker at the videoconference event with sales associates. Introduced as the company’s founder and “visionary,” he explained the company’s new product and his role in its creation.
He told the audience that he expected the skin rejuvenation product would take six to eight weeks to work. But he said “someone who took pictures” proved that it worked “in two minutes.”
“Oh my gosh,” he said, “This stuff really works. … No one could have predicted it would have that immediate an impact.”
Mannatech vice president of marketing Brett Duncan explains that Caster’s consulting company, Wonder Enterprises, is hired as “a consultant to our CEO on new product development. It is exactly in this capacity that Mr. Caster advised Mannatech regarding the launch of our new skin care product.”
Financial documents filed by the company show that Mannatech hired Caster’s company for a six-month consulting agreement worth $300,000 plus expenses.
When I called Mannatech and asked for Caster, I was transferred to his assistant. Caster didn’t respond to a request for an interview.
Caster has an office at Mannatech’s Coppell headquarters, as do other consultants, the spokesman says.
When The Watchdog asked the attorney general’s office about the five-year ban, Abbott spokesman Thomas Kelley said the agreement allows Caster to work as a consultant “but elsewhere it is clear that he may not directly involve himself in managerial decisions until the injunction deadline is met.
“Even as a consultant, chances were that he would likely have a fairly high degree of influence and it’s not likely that any judge would sever someone totally from his livelihood,” Kelley said.
“That is why the rest of the judgment is really the most important part. It essentially prohibits him from engaging in the type of conduct that led us to file a lawsuit in the first place.”
Mannatech company spokesman Duncan says the company and Caster are complying with the AG’s settlement.
“Sam Caster does not plot company strategy,” Duncan says. “He does provide consulting advice for the company to consider and possibly implement upon executive approval. Only company executives and our board of directors can determine and approve company strategy.
“Mr. Caster has no authority in terms of a decision-making capacity at the company. He is not currently an employee, executive or member of our board at Mannatech.”
Curious if Caster has any scientific training in his background, I asked the company about his education.
“Mr. Caster attended North Texas State University,” Duncan reports. “He has more than 25 years experience with various direct selling and marketing companies.”
The registrar at what’s now the University of North Texas reports that Caster attended for four months in 1972.
Source: Dallas News
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