LOS ANGELES – Continuing to confront countless predatory tactics tied to the coronavirus pandemic, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced today that his office has resolved its case against LA-based Insan Healing and CEO Angela Oh for allegedly advertising and selling radish paste as "a must-have product for the protection and prevention of the COVID-19." The settlement, pending court approval, requires Insan to provide full restitution to those who bought the product while so advertised, includes a broad injunction and mandates a $20,000 civil penalty.
"Since the pandemic started, we’ve been taking aggressive action against those whom we allege spread false information and seek to capitalize on consumer fears," said Feuer. "Consumers who are misled into believing in a false COVID-19 prevention or cure might forego the steps we all need to take, from wearing masks to washing hands to physically distancing. In this pandemic, our residents’ lives depend on accurate information."
Defendants in this case are Koreatown-based KNATURE CO., Inc., doing business as Insan Healing, Inc. and Insan Healing and Angela Oh. The City Attorney’s complaint alleges that these Defendants falsely advertised and sold a radish paste product, claiming it was capable of protecting against and preventing COVID-19. Immediately after the filing of this lawsuit, Defendants took down the advertising at issue and agreed to an injunction prohibiting them from making such claims.
Pursuant to the parties’ settlement of the case, eligible customers who purchased the radish paste between March 17 and May 14, 2020, the period during which Defendants allegedly made false claims related to the product’s efficacy against COVID-19, will receive full refunds of their purchases. In addition to restitution, Defendants will pay $20,000 in civil penalties and agree to permanently desist from making misleading claims, among other prohibitions.
Consumers can report alleged COVID-related cons and price-gouging to the City Attorney’s Office online.
This case was litigated by staff members in the City Attorney Criminal and Special Litigation Branch, including Will Rivera, Deputy Chief; Christina Tusan, Supervising Deputy City Attorney; and Deputy City Attorneys William Pletcher, Rebecca Morse, Miguel Ruiz and Alex Bergjans.
City Attorney Feuer collaborated on this case with the LA County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA). A member of the Joint Coronavirus Task Force, DCBA is led by Director Joseph M. Nicchitta. Senior Investigator Taryn Lyon led the investigation for DCBA.
Read the stipulated agreement here.
Since the beginning of the Los Angeles outbreak in early March, City Attorney Mike Feuer has been a national leader in grappling with a wide array of COVID-19 related issues, including:
Filing eight criminal complaints against those allegedly engaged in price gouging;
Filing four civil lawsuits against companies and individuals selling unapproved and/or fraudulent COVID-19 tests;
Negotiating two settlements that required defendants offering allegedly unauthorized COVID-19 at-home tests to cease their practices and to provide all purchasers with full restitution in an amount totaling over $170,000;
Hosting the Hate Crime Prevention Forum in response to hate incidents targeting the Asian American Pacific Islander community.
Filing a lawsuit against a local skilled nursing facility alleging patient dumping during the pandemic;
Filing a criminal complaint against an individual for allegedly selling unapproved COVID-19 test kits through Craigslist;
Forming the Joint Coronavirus Task Force with LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles County Counsel and Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs;
Launching the Behind Closed Doors campaign to help victims of in-home crimes amid the crisis;
Partnering with Mayor Eric Garcetti on "LA Represents" which provides pro-bono legal assistance to Angelenos facing hardships due to the virus.