Feds: Fake news sites link to acai berry diet

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Associated Press

Posted on April 19, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 20 at 12:01 AM

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal regulators and the Illinois attorney general's office have moved to stop a wave of fake news sites that entice consumers to buy acai (ah-sah-EE') berry weight-loss products.

The Federal Trade Commission says the sites use the logos of major news outlets to mislead consumers into thinking they're reading real news reports. But in reality the sites are advertisements.

The FTC filed complaints in federal courts in Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Georgia and Washington. The complaints name 10 website operators and asked the courts to freeze their assets.

The Illinois attorney general's office filed a separate lawsuit against Ishmael Lopez Jr. of Sauk Village. The office alleges Lopez used a fake news site to promote acai weight-loss products. A phone listing for Lopez could not be found.

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