The Texas Attorney General's Office is suing a dude it says isn't a doctor, but who plays one on TV -- and makes a bundle doing so.
Filed last week, the suit accuses Austin-based Robert Lindsey Duncan, a.k.a. Dr. Lindsey Duncan, of inflating his credentials in order to hawk nutritional supplements on shows like The View and Dr. Oz. Duncan calls himself a "naturopathic doctor," but the state does not recognize such a degree, according to the suit.
The suit also alleges that Duncan received his "alleged degrees" from the now-shuttered Clayton College of Natural Health, an unaccredited institution "named on a list posted by The Higher Education Coordination Board of 'Institutions Whose Degrees Are Illegal to Use in Texas.'"
Duncan also dupes consumers by looking like an actual "health practitioner...by donning lab coats and making references to clinical experience and practice," according to the suit, which also claims that he misleads "the public into believing that he is disseminating health advice or knowledge," when really he's just trying to sell stuff like green coffee bean supplements and age-defying mushroom-extract anti-aging "serum."
Duncan's website claims he's "been a trusted leader in the natural health products industry since 1983" and that "his effective, emotional, and oftentimes humorous seminars, lectures, educational study courses, newsletters, conference calls, website interaction, and other learning materials have literally changed people's lives." (Those must be some motherfucking conference calls).
Prosecutors are asking Duncan to pay $20,000 for each alleged violation of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which, along with "consumer redress," could exceed $1 million.
We reached out to a representative of Duncan's company and will update if we hear back.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.