San Diego Business Journal

Metabolife International, the now-bankrupt San Diego maker of nutritional supplements aimed at weight reduction, was fined $600,000 and ordered to serve three years' probation stemming from the company's guilty plea to a federal indictment in October.

The sentencing by federal Judge Barry Moscowitz involved the actions of one of Metabolife's three owners, William Bradley, who pleaded guilty to seven counts of tax evasion and filing false income taxes through an elaborate scheme of diverting the company's profits into off-the-books accounts that were never reported.

According to the federal indictment, Bradley deposited more than $4 million into the accounts and would write checks from the accounts to his businesses, Bradley Towing Inc. and Auto Storage Auction Pool.

Metabolife sold the bulk of its assets and various lines of nutritional supplements to Ideasphere Inc., a New York-based nutritional supplement maker, for $12 million in November. The funds are intended to be used to pay off hundreds of lawsuits filed against the company by users of its previous main product, Metabolife 356. The product that contained a now-banned ingredient, ephedra, was alleged by some to cause serious health problems and death.

Bradley is scheduled to be sentenced April 28.

, Mike Allen