Dragging IHRB to Canberra

Dragging IHRB to Canberra

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We enter a new phase in IHRB’s sad and sorry state of affairs. The Complaints Resolution Panel was fed-up with Sam Cohen’s recalcitrance and defiance. The right-royal one-finger salute from Mr Cohen had pushed the Panel’s hot-button. The Panel sent letters to Mr Cohen, dated 17 and 21 December 2011, advising Mr Cohen of the Panel’s determination, namely that all his ads have been (and still are) unlawful, misleading, and completely unverified. The Panel asked Mr Cohen to withdraw the ads, to modify his website, and to publish retractions on his website and in all the media where he had deceived his clients via lies and unsubstantiated claims which amounted to 12 Breaches of the Codes and Act!

On 23 February 2012, the Executive Officer of the Complaints Resolution Panel sent a letter to the Department of Health and Ageing in Canberra, asking the Federal Secretary of the Department to ‘order IHRB to comply with all the requests made in the determination’. The Panel sent a huge file to the Department, so that Mr Samuel Cohen can be handled at a Federal level, because it seems that he has no respect for any of the State bodies. The Executive Officer told Canberra that Mr Cohen was given 14 days to show evidence of compliance, and added, ‘A response to the determination has not been received.’ To keep an eye on how many days Mr Samuel Faraj Cohen and the Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty stays in breach of the Sanctions, click here for the daily counter.

Last week, on Wednesday 22 February 2012, Mr Cohen modified his website by uploading MORE lies which directly Breach the very Codes that the Determination highlighted. Instead of pulling his head in, he stuck his neck out. Instead of saying ‘Sorry I misled and decided everyone’ his actions amount to saying, ‘Stuff you mate, here’s even more of the same’. Also last week, he snubbed the Health Care Complaints Commission by removing any reference on his website that he is under a Permanent Prohibition Order. Click here to learn about that saga.

Also last week, two former IHRB clients contacted me. One said, ‘Hi, I’m concerned about losing my hair (female) and signed up for treatment from Sam… based on the 100% money back guarantee… what a great offer. What did I stand to lose??? Same old story… I found the products irritating, and the hygiene products had terrible results in my hair… so I returned them all. Sam offered a modified topical solution… without any positive results. I have requested a full refund… over the phone and in writing numerous times. Was intending to try again today… this has been ongoing for a longtime (18 months), when I found this website… to my horror! $3,900 is also a LOT of money to me… however it’s at the stage that I wonder if it’s best to give-up as the stress of fighting for a refund is not going to help my hair loss! What do you advise is my best way to proceed…? Thanks, good luck.’

After contacting me, this first victim phoned Sam Cohen who, according to the victim, said that he would be happy to meet with her. A week later, when she called to make an appointment, Sam Cohen said that his wife was ill and he had to take her to hospital. This surprised me because sources close to Sam Cohen have told me that he was estranged from his wife. So the victim suggested the following Monday, being 5 March 2012. The victim said that Sam said that he cannot meet with her then, because he is travelling to Melbourne. Now that does sound like a lie to me because Mr Cohen has been called to appear at the at the Consumer, Tenancy and Trader Tribunal (CTTT) on that very Monday in relation to a 21-year-old victim who alleges that Sam Cohen scammed him out of almost $10,000. So I do not know how Mr Cohen can be Melbourne. We shall see.

The second victim who contacted me last week, said, ‘I spent about $10,000 over 3 years with no benefits. I need to discuss this with you and need your help to sue this cheater and recover my money.’

Upon interviewing this second victim, I learned that if this victim’s story is correct, Sam Cohen would have been selling medications to this victim in a way that would prove that Sam Cohen has yet again committed a criminal offence by breaching the Health Care Complaints Commission’s serious Permanent Prohibition Orders. If Mr Cohen can somehow prove that he did not Breach the Orders, then he would be guilty of deceiving and lying to the victim when he led the victim to believe that he was selling medications for which the victim paid $10,000. The convoluted nature of this merry-go-round is explained here. This second victim sent an email to Mr Sam Cohen and IHRB, in which he said:

Dear Mr Cohen,

As you know I have been a client of yours since 2009. During this time, I have paid you over $11,500.00 for a hair regrowth program that you told me was exclusive to you, containing your special herbs and curries which you led me to believe were world-exclusive ‘Indian Curries’ that are supposed to be natural extracts, which you told me were the central secret ingredients, without which, your treatment and medications would not work. You said that people have taken Minoxidil for years, and they have seen no improvement, but with your special added secret extracts, we are guaranteed results.

I now learn that your secret extracts do not exist. And anything that you do claim to have injected into your formula was useless. I also know that [pharmacist] Mr Cxxx had made a statement that he never used your formula in the bottles you sold to me. And [pharmacist] Mr Fxxx said that he only used your grape-seed extract and vitamins for one month, and that these were useless, had no active ingredients, and no therapeutic effect for hair growth. So all this time I believe you have been lying to me. I believe that I have been scammed. Your price list shows bottles at $600 and later $900 for which you were charging me around $500 at a supposed discount. But even these bottles were easily obtained from the market at $15 to $70 depending on the strength. And all this time, you were never licensed to sell these medications anyway. And you only ever had one prescription from me, yet you continued to sell me medications for approximately three years. No prescription lasts three years.

I also now realise that you have been selling me medications throughout the periods when you were under serious Prohibition Orders, which makes your transactions a criminal offence. You might now allege that after October 2010 you had sold me only non medical products, in which case it is still a fraud because that is not what I had been paying $500-odd dollars for, for each bottle. To now say that you were selling me non-medical product at around $500 per bottle I allege is still a scam, and not what I was ordering from you.

Anything you wish to claim now about the ingredients will be tested in a laboratory with the solutions I have left.

The smoothest and simplest thing is for you to acknowledge your wrongdoing and refund me my money in full so that we do not make a big issue out of this.

If you do not wish to refund my money, I will take the matter further, to seek legal action to put my case forward. I believe I have strong evidence that proves my allegations that you have scammed me.

I would appreciate a response or a refund within 7 days.

Sincerely.

This gentleman then reported to me that upon phoning IHRB about this matter, Mr Cohen ‘denied all wrongdoing’ and refused to give this victim a refund. This could well escalate into another sad story that might play out at yet another CTTT hearing. I shall keep you posted.

If the State bodies cannot contain the unruly Mr Cohen and IHRB, let’s see what the Feds can do with incessant disregard to the law.

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