The U.S. Justice Department says $24 million has been released to pay people who bought products promising sexual enhancement and other benefits that were sold through fraudulent practices.
The money is from forfeitures by Cincinnati-based Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals founder Steve Warshak and 10 other executives. Warshak was convicted in 2008 of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.
Among their products was Enzyte. The product had been touted as improving male sexual performance in commercials led by a character known as "Smilin' Bob."
Company officials were accused of bilking thousands of customers who bought Berkeley's herbal supplements by making unauthorized charges on their credit cards, lying to banks and using false advertising.
Federal authorities said Tuesday that more than 138,000 claims have been approved, and new customer claims are being accepted.