Magic diet pill promoter found running new business in Tampa - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Magic diet pill promoter found running new business in Tampa

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File Photo: Nick Congleton File Photo: Nick Congleton
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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Nick Congleton faces a lawsuit filed by the FTC for selling "magic diet pills," and is under investigation by Florida's Attorney General for a defunct travel club that owes hundreds of consumers for vacations they never received.

Now, he's keeping a low profile and running a new business out of an unmarked warehouse in Tampa's Channelside District, where he didn't have much to say to Eight On Your Side Tuesday as he arrived at work in a black Mercedes instead of his usual ride, a Cadillac Escalade.

When asked about his shuttered travel club, Congleton blamed Florida's Attorney General which has had an investigation pending against him for five years.

"You need to talk to the State of Florida about that,"Congleton said.

That doesn't even begin to explain what happened to millions in sales Congleton made since May in the "magic diet pill" scheme that the FTC insists was based on false advertising and bogus testimonials.

Nor does it help any of the consumers who paid Congleton's now-defunct company, Travel Services USA for rental properties and didn't get their promised vacations.

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Congleton's sketchy business practices first surfaced in an Eight On Your Side investigation several weeks ago because the travel club he ran suddenly shutdown owing a number of unsuspecting customers money for prepaid vacation rentals.

"We were supposed to be on vacation right now,' said Nancy Bell who paid thousands to join Congleton's travel club, hundreds in annual dues and another $1300 in April of this year for two weeks of vacation rentals.

Bell and her husband Charlie wanted to have a family vacation with their daughter and grand kids this summer but that's not going to happen now.

"I don't understand how you could do something like that,"said Bell's teenaged granddaughter Caitlin Merryman."Then like disappear off the face of the earth."

Congleton, hasn't exactly vanished, but he has been playing hard to get with Eight On Your Side.

Last week his lawyer told us Congleton has no interest in an interview and wouldn't reveal his client's whereabouts.

We already knew Congleton no longer lives at a luxury home he once owned in Pinellas County and moved out of his most recent published address in Tampa--a palatial riverfront mansion--back in March or April.

The owner of that 7000 sq.ft. mansion--complete with tennis courts, pool and riverfront dock--tells Eight On Your Side he rents it for $8000 a month. He insists that Congleton left on good terms but didn't leave a forwarding address.

Congleton's listed business addresses are either UPS Store mail drops or are now closed.

A tip from an Eight On Your Side viewer eventually lead us to a purple warehouse at 114 12th St. Tampa in the Channelside District where Congleton reportedly runs a call center as part of his latest business venture, the exact nature of which is unclear.

Whatever he's doing, Congleton doesn't want to talk about the "magic diet pills" that recently landed him in federal court after the FTC filed a lawsuit.

"I don't know what you're talking about," said Congleton.

When Eight On Your Side asked Congleton about the Florida Attorney General's contention that he supports a high spending lifestyle with money he's bilked from unsuspecting consumers, he slammed shut the warehouse's steel door, ending the interview but not the story.

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