NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Women who sold fake diet and cancer treatments ordered to pay £820,000

Helen Buchan and Carol Wiseman Image copyright Newsline
Image caption Helen Buchan and Carol Wiseman were directors of the company

Two women who sold fake diet and cancer treatments have been ordered to repay more than £820,000.

Helen Buchan, 52, and Carol Wiseman, 50, were directors of the Aberdeenshire firm Secret Diet Drops.

The women from Fraserburgh had previously admitted breaking consumer protection and trading regulations.

A confiscation order has been granted under proceeds of crime legislation for £528,505 against Buchan and £298,316 against Wiseman.

They were given six months to pay the order at Peterhead Sheriff Court.

Image copyright Youtube

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.

They had claimed Secret Diet Drops would assist weight loss and their "Apple Cider Vinegar" would kill cancer cells.

In 2016, Secret Diet Drops 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.

'Vulnerable consumers'

Jennifer Harrower, procurator fiscal for specialist casework, 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 deemed that their overall benefit from criminal activity was more than £1.6m.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service will apply to the court for further confiscation should more assets become available.