Relatively early on in the Tauler Smith/Nutrition Distribution shakedown scheme, Tauler Smith/Nutrition Distribution sued IronMag Labs and has recently lost the case for damages. The case just like all the others are used to harass, interfere, and drive the cost up for any business that does not pay the extortion settlement to Robert Tauler and his co-conspirators Michael Keplinger and Kevin Smith. The theory of those lawsuits is that Nutrition Distribution sells natural bodybuilding products and has suffered damage by the allegedly false advertising of supplement companies selling SARMs. Whereas the truth is there is no actual plaintiff. These are Attorney created entities for the sole purpose of shakedown extortion lawsuits.
Attorney Robert Tauler and Nutrition Distribution Business model is sending cease and desist letters/filing complaints against mostly small internet retailers of SARMs but has now spread to every type of supplement. More about that business model below. The settlements have totaled over $5,000,000 and yet not a single dollar has been won in court. These are cases which they cannot win so they resort to every extortion tactic they can think of: publishing false media reports, falsifying evidence, making false reports to government agencies, threatening criminal prosecution to coerce a civil settlement, harassing phone calls to family members and employees, and many other methods. Every single dollar was the result of extortion and went to the Attorney and his co-conspirators. No public good emerged. Even assuming the products any of the defendants were selling were dangerous (which they were not) the settlements did not prevent the sale of these items. The settlements accomplished only one thing… to line the pockets of the greedy dirtbags Michael Keplinger, Kevin Smith, and Robert Tauler.
Mr. Tauler will threaten anyone who seeks to uncover the extortion and blackmail scam initiated by JST Distribution, LLC because it was the creation of this scam entity that made the conspirators vulnerable. They did not clean up their tracks. JST is clearly a soft spot because Michael Keplinger, Kevin Smith, and Robert Tauler know they will be discovered through it as the ones profiting off of the scam. JST was analyzed by a judge to be a complete sham entity for the purpose of driving unlawful extortion lawsuits. JST and Nutrition Distribution are both entities whose sole purpose is to threaten lawsuits and collect settlements.
Creating a company to serve as a plaintiff in shakedown lawsuits is eerily similar to the Trevor Law Group saga, which was a matter of such grave public concern that it was the subject of a civil lawsuit by the California Attorney General against the Trevor Law Group. Proving that Tauler Smith and/or Nutrition Distribution is engaged in such conduct is highly relevant to their intent in bringing the present lawsuits (i.e., whether they are to protect the public interest as Tauler Smith publicizes or whether they are to line the pockets of the law firm/client, while selling out the public interest).
The Trevor Law Group complaint’s allegations are strikingly similar to what Enhanced Athlete believes it will prove in these actions:
(1) The Trevor Law Group represented that they are acting in the “interest of the general public.” (Complaint, par. 12, 16.) Compare this allegation to Mr. Tauler’s numerous statements to the media representing Tauler Smith as protecting the public interest and cleaning up the supplement industry by bringing lawsuits. By way of example, the Wall Street Journal reported on October 12, 2017:
a. “Mr. Tauler says his lawsuits are vital in the absence of much federal oversight of SARMs. His complaints claim that SARMs are more dangerous to the liver than advertised and accuse the vendors of falsely marketing the substance as a safe, natural supplement. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which declined to comment on the litigation, considers SARMs a drug subject to strict approval and labeling rules, but the agency so far has taken few enforcement actions against the vendors.”
b. “Mr. Tauler—who represents a company called Athletic Xtreme [aka Nutrition Distribution] that markets what it says are natural testosterone-boosting and weight-loss supplements—says he is simply filling a void left by the FDA. ‘A competitor is in a much better position than a federal regulatory agency to police a niche marketplace. . . .’”
c. “Enter Mr. Tauler, who has cast himself as a kind of sheriff of the performance-enhancing supplement industry. More recently, Mr. Tauler has filed suit against one of the industry’s bigger players, a SARMs vendor that operates under the name Enhanced Athlete Inc.”
(2) The Trevor Law Group was “actually in the business of extracting money from small businesses under the guise of purporting to enforce consumer protection laws . . . .” (Par. 12.) Compare this allegation to the number of Tauler Smith settlements with small businesses who pay nuisance settlements because they are unable to afford to fight Tauler Smith.
(3) The Trevor Law Group “formed CEWC for the purpose of having a named plaintiff in their litigation.” (Par. 13.) JST was formed for the purpose of being a plaintiff in litigation.
a. JST was formed in March 2017
b. JST began sending cease and desist letters within a few weeks of its formation, claiming to have been damaged through the diversion of product sales by the target company’s competing supplement product
c. JST’s cease and desist letters were based on a “competing product” called “Powerful Desire” that JST claimed was in competition with the target company’s product
d. Powerful Desire was virtually if not completely unknown in the supplement industry when these letters started going out
e. Powerful Desire was not available in retail stores when these letters started going out to any significant extent, if at all
f. Powerful Desire was not available in online stores when these letters started going out to any significant extent, if at all
g. JST’s website domain www.powerfuldesire.com was first registered on March 15, 2017, just a few weeks before the cease and desist letter started going out
h. The registrant for the www.powerfuldesire.com domain is “Domains by Proxy, LLC”, thus intentionally concealing the identity of the owner – not exactly typical of a supplement company acting in the public interest
i. JST had no customer service contact (indeed, no one could be identified at all as being associated with JST other than its managing member listed with the Secretary of State, James Stovall, who is virtually if not completely unknown in the supplement industry) – again, not exactly typical of a supplement company acting in the public interest
j. JST has no principal place of business (interestingly, when I asked Mr. Tauler whether JST even has a principal place of business – because our process server reported that the place of business it “lists” as its principal place of business is not – Mr. Tauler completely dodged the question and refused to answer) — again, not exactly typical of a supplement company acting in the public interest
k. JST was demanding settlement payments of approximately $15,000 for lost profits at a time when net profits from sales of Powerful Desire were almost certainly less than that
l. Even today, Powerful Desire appears to have little to no sales and can be found for purchase on only two websites
i. www.tfsupplements.com (which has for quite some time had exactly 1 unit in stock)
ii. www.powerfuldesire.com (registered in March 2017)
(4) The Trevor Law Group found defendants by trolling the Internet looking for targets. (Par. 14.) Enhanced Athlete believes it can prove that most if not all of Tauler Smith/Nutrition Distribution/JST’s settlements arise from finding targets on the internet.
(5) The Trevor Law Group used boilerplate complaints “then typically inserted a short paragraph for each named business which set forth the information obtained from the public posting.” (Par. 15.) Compare this with Tauler Smith/Nutrition Distribution/JST’s form complaints (we are aware of three, which differ only based on the products Tauler Smith/Nutrition Distribution/JST alleges are being misleadingly sold — SARMS, peptides and male performance enhancers), which typically differ only by a couple allegations naming the defendants and identifying statements from the target company’s website. (Note: of course, we are not referring to Tauler Smith’s original form complaint, which Tauler Smith changed to its new form complaint after the Central District of California dismissed without leave to amend Tauler Smith’s original form complaint in Nutrition Distribution v. IronMag Labs.)
(6) The Trevor Law Group “has filed some 22 different suits.” (Par. 17.) Compare this to the more than 75 lawsuits Tauler Smith filed on behalf of Nutrition Distribution, and at least 17 lawsuits it has filed on behalf of JST.
(7) Even though the Trevor Law Group claimed “that their actions are filed in the public interest, they seek to settle their cases by utilizing a secret, confidential settlement . . . .” As noted, Tauler Smith has widely promoted itself in the media as the guardian of the public interest. Enhanced Athlete believes it can also prove that most if not all of Tauler Smith/Nutrition Distribution/JST’s settlement agreements contain confidentiality provisions.
(8) The Trevor Law Group’s confidential settlement agreements prevented the public from knowing the “terms of the agreement by which the interest of the public [were] purportedly being served.” (Par. 25.) Compare this to the fact that many of the companies that Tauler Smith/Nutrition Distribution/JST targeted purportedly to protect the public from certain supplements continue to sell those supplements after settling with Tauler Smith/Nutrition Distribution/JST. In other words, the lawsuits are brought to collect a settlement payment and not to stop the sale of substances Tauler Smith/Nutrition Distribution/JST claims are harmful.