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NuEra Wellness Clinic (They used to have another web site called "The RANA System" but it died in April 2007. NuEra disappeared from the web in the middle of 2012.)

I don't think I have to add anything about this quackery to what the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had to say in this media release:

ACCC obtains court injunctions over the RANA system cancer treatment

The Federal Court of Australia today made orders by consent against several NuEra companies* and Mr Paul John Rana and his sons Mr Christopher James Rana and Mr Micheal (correct) Lee Rana restraining them from making any representations in respect of cancer cure claims promoted under The RANA System until judgement in the proceedings or further order. It is alleged the Ranas were involved in the alleged contravening conduct by the companies.

More specifically, the court ordered by consent the parties be restrained from making any representations to the effect that the RANA System and/or the NuEra Products:

  • can cure cancer, or reverse, stop or slow its progress
  • will prolong the life of a person suffering cancer
  • are supported by generally accepted science
  • will, if used by a person who has cancer, cure that persons' cancer or reverse, stop or slow its progress
  • will, if used by a person who has cancer, prolong that person's life,
  • and/or any other representation to the same purport or effect.

The RANA System is described as "..an alternative approach to cancer care which offers HOPE to cancer sufferers". The RANA System is provided through programs costing up to $35,000. The RANA System offers a variety of products and services including, vitamin and mineral supplements, laetrile (also known as vitamin B 17), Cesium or high PH therapy, devices called parasite/energy zappers, Zen Chi Massages Magnetic Pulsers, coffee enemas, ozone therapy, diets described as eating according to blood type, live blood analysis and thermal imaging.

The ACCC alleges the NuEra companies largely through the agency of Mr Paul Rana and with the assistance of his sons have engaged in conduct in breach of the Trade Practices Act 1974 by representing to persons suffering terminal illnesses (including cancer) and to their families that The RANA System can cure cancer, or reverse, stop or slow its progress or will prolong the life of a person suffering cancer, when this is not the case. A further representation of concern is that The RANA System is asserted to be based on generally accepted science; the ACCC alleges this is not the case.

An order was also made by consent requiring the parties to remove from any relevant websites any of the same or similar representations the subject of the restraining order.

The proceedings against the NuEra companies and the Ranas were filed in the Federal Court on Friday 24 November 2006. The ACCC is seeking declarations and injunctions.

The filing of proceedings follows a joint investigation by the ACCC and Consumer Affairs Victoria into the promotion of The RANA System by the NuEra companies and the Ranas.

A directions hearing has been set down for 9.30 a.m. 6 February 2007.

*NuEra Health Pty Ltd (In Liquidation), NuEra Care Centre Pty Ltd, Alternative Care Facility Pty Ltd, NuEra Investments Pty Ltd and NuEra Wellness Centre Pty Ltd. NuEra Health Pty Ltd (In Liquidation) did not oppose the orders.

Release # MR 284/06
Issued: 28th November 2006


And this one:

ACCC files additional claims in relation to the RANA System cancer treatment

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has expanded its Federal Court proceedings against several NuEra companies* and Mr Paul Rana to include claims of unconscionable conduct** and the making of false or misleading representations in breach of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

The proceedings also involve Mr Paul Rana's sons, Mr Christopher James Rana and Mr Micheal Lee Rana. It is alleged the Ranas were involved in certain of the alleged contravening conduct by the companies.

The ACCC initially alleged (and continues to allege) the NuEra companies largely through the agency of Mr Paul Rana and with the assistance of his sons have engaged in conduct in breach of the Act by representing to persons suffering terminal illnesses (including cancer) and to their families that The RANA System*** can cure cancer, or reverse, stop or slow its progress or will prolong the life of a person suffering cancer, when this is not the case. A further representation of concern is that The RANA System is asserted to be based on generally accepted science; the ACCC alleges this is not the case.

On 28 November 2006 and 19 January 2007 the ACCC obtained interim injunctions by consent restraining the companies and individuals from engaging in the alleged offending conduct. A mandatory interim injunction was also granted requiring the parties to remove from any relevant websites any representations to the effect that The RANA System:

can cure cancer, or reverse, stop or slow its progress will prolong the life of a person suffering cancer, and is supported by generally accepted science. The ACCC's latest claims include allegations that the representations of concern were false or misleading and were also liable to mislead the public as to the nature, the characteristics and the suitability for their purpose of the goods supplied under The RANA System. It is also alleged that NuEra Health, one of the NuEra companies, largely through the agency of Mr Paul Rana, engaged in unconscionable conduct towards highly vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers when "signing them up" to pay for treatment under The RANA System.

The ACCC is seeking relief including declarations and injunctions restraining the companies and individuals from engaging in the alleged offending conduct.

A directions hearing has been set down for 9.30 a.m. on 27 March 2007.

The filing of the initial proceedings follows a joint investigation by the ACCC and Consumer Affairs Victoria into the promotion of The RANA System by the NuEra companies and the Ranas.

Release # MR 056/07
Issued: 5th March 2007

Background

*NuEra Health Pty Ltd (In Liquidation), NuEra Care Centre Pty Ltd (In Liquidation) , NuEra Investments Pty Ltd, NuEra Wellness Centre Pty Ltd and NuEra Wellness Clinic Pty Ltd.

**The judicial meaning of unconscionable conduct has not been settled but the courts in considering the issue have described unconscionable conduct as something being clearly unfair and unreasonable, conduct which shows no regard for conscience and conduct which is irreconcilable with what is right or reasonable.

***The RANA System was described as "..an alternative approach to cancer care which offers HOPE to cancer sufferers". The RANA System was provided through programs costing up to $35,000. The RANA System offered a variety of products and services including, vitamin and mineral supplements, laetrile (also known as vitamin B 17), Cesium or high PH therapy, devices called parasite/energy zappers, Zen Chi Massages Magnetic Pulsers, coffee enemas, ozone therapy, diets described as eating according to blood type, live blood analysis and thermal imaging.


Eclecticism (10/3/2007)
Most purveyors of quack cancer cures stick to one modality, and while they refuse to criticise any other "cures" (professional courtesy) they always claim to have the one, single cure that really works. It is refreshing, therefore, to see a company which applies a variety of "cures" in order to broaden the chance of something actually working. None of them do work, of course, but having a range allows for the possibility that if something doesn't work, more money can be extracted for alternative alternatives. It also allows the loophole that the patient died because they hadn't got around to the correct treatment yet. The company I am talking about is NuEra, which promotes something called "The RANA System". Well, They did promote it before the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission dragged them into court. You can see the ACCC media releases here, but the part I really like is this. Is there any form of quackery they have left out? And notice the price.

The RANA System was described as "..an alternative approach to cancer care which offers HOPE to cancer sufferers". The RANA System was provided through programs costing up to $35,000. The RANA System offered a variety of products and services including, vitamin and mineral supplements, laetrile (also known as vitamin B 17), Cesium or high PH therapy, devices called parasite/energy zappers, Zen Chi Massages, Magnetic Pulsers, coffee enemas, ozone therapy, diets described as eating according to blood type, live blood analysis and thermal imaging.


And the news gets even better:

ACCC takes criminal proceedings against discredited cancer therapist

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted criminal proceedings in the Federal Court, Melbourne, against Mr Paul John Rana, NuEra Wellness Centre Pty Ltd and Mr Micheal Lee Rana for allegedly refusing or failing to provide documents and information to the ACCC when legally required to do so under the Trade Practices Act 1974.

In 2006 the ACCC issued a number of notices under Section 155 of the Act to Mr Paul Rana and certain of the NuEra group of companies*. The notices were issued in connection with the ACCC's investigation into alleged conduct by Mr Paul Rana and other persons involving false and misleading representations and unconscionable conduct in relation to cancer cure claims.

In the criminal prosecution, the ACCC alleges:

  • Mr Paul Rana refused or failed to comply with a notice issued on him and also that he aided, abetted counselled or procured the commission of an offence by three companies from the NuEra group for failing or refusing to comply with notices issued upon them
  • NuEra Wellness Centre Pty Ltd refused or failed to comply with a notice issued on it, and
  • Mr Micheal Rana aided, abetted, counselled or procured the commission of an offence by NuEra Wellness Centre Pty Ltd for failing or refusing to comply with the notice issued upon it.

Section 155 of the Act gives the ACCC broad investigatory powers to obtain information, documents and evidence in relation to possible contraventions of the Act. It is an offence under s. 155(5) of the Act to refuse or fail to comply with a notice issued under s. 155 of the Act. A person who is convicted of an offence under this section may be punished with a fine or imprisonment for 12 months.

The charges are being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Federal Court has made orders for the filing and service of documents in the matter. The matter is returnable before Justice North in the Federal Court on 3 September 2007.

This is the second recent criminal prosecution by the ACCC over alleged failure to comply with Section 155 notices.

*The NuEra group of companies referred to are: Alternative Care Facility Pty Ltd, NuEra Health Pty Ltd (in liquidation), NuEra Care Centre Pty Ltd, NuEra Investments Pty Ltd, NuEra Practitioner Pty Ltd and NuEra Wellness Centre Pty Ltd.

Release # MR 188/07
Issued: 25th July 2007


And on it goes:

Discredited cancer therapist found guilty of ACCC charges

In an unusual sitting of the Federal Court at Melbourne on the Saturday before Christmas, Justice North has found Mr Paul John Rana guilty of charges by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that he aided and abetted the commission of offences by two NuEra 'group' companies against the Trade Practices Act 1974.

The ACCC instituted criminal proceedings in the Federal Court earlier this year against Mr Paul John Rana, NuEra Wellness Centre Pty Ltd and Mr Micheal Lee Rana in connection with offence(s) under the Trade Practices Act and/or the Criminal Code Act. The ACCC alleged, among other things, that Mr Paul Rana and the company had refused or failed to provide documents and information to the ACCC when legally required to do so pursuant to notices issued under s. 155 of the Act*.

In 2006 the ACCC issued a number of s. 155 notices to Mr Paul Rana and certain NuEra 'group' companies (referred to below). The notices were issued in connection with the ACCC's investigation into alleged conduct by Mr Paul Rana and other persons involving false and misleading representations and unconscionable conduct in relation to cancer cure claims (the ACCC later successfully instituted civil proceedings against Mr Paul Rana and others following this investigation).

In Saturday's hearing Mr Micheal Rana and NuEra Wellness Centre Pty Ltd (through its director, Mr Paul Rana) each pleaded guilty to their single charge. Mr Paul Rana who was charged with four offences pleaded 'guilty' to two charges and 'not guilty' to the other two charges. Justice North later found Mr Paul Rana' guilty of those charges. Justice North adjourned the hearing of the sentencing aspect of the case to Monday 18 February 2008.

Both Mr Paul Rana and Mr Micheal Rana were in custody at Saturday's hearing as a result of the execution of warrants for their arrest which had previously been issued by Justice North. Each applied for bail. Mr Micheal Rana's application for bail was granted on conditions including reporting and residential requirements and the provision of a surety. Mr Paul Rana's application for bail was refused and he was remanded in custody until 18 February 2008 for the sentencing hearing.

The charges are being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Release # MR 362/07
Issued: 27th December 2007

Background

*Section 155 of the Trade Practices Act gives the ACCC broad investigatory powers to obtain information, documents and evidence in relation to possible contraventions of the Act. It is an offence under s. 155(5) of the Act to refuse or fail to comply with a notice issued under s. 155 of the Act. A person who is convicted of an offence under this section may be punished with a fine or imprisonment for 12 months.

The specific charges are that:

  • Mr Paul John Rana refused or failed to comply with a s.155 notice issued to him and that he aided, abetted counselled or procured the commission of an offence by each of NuEra Investments Pty Ltd, NuEra Care Centre Pty Ltd and NuEra Practitioner Pty Ltd in respect of the issue to them of a s.155 notice (four charges)
  • NuEra Wellness Centre Pty Ltd refused or failed to comply with a s.155 notice issued to it (one charge), and
  • Mr Micheal Lee Rana aided, abetted counselled or procured the commission of an offence by NuEra Wellness Centre Pty Ltd in respect of the s.155 notice issued to it (one charge).

I love the smell of Schadenfreude in the morning:

Jail for discredited cancer therapist following ACCC action

Mr Paul John Rana has been sentenced in the Federal Court, Melbourne to six months imprisonment following conviction for offences under the Trade Practices Act 1974. The offences relate to Mr Rana's failure and his involvement in the failure by other parties to comply with notices issued under section 155 of the Trade Practices Act* requiring production of certain information and documents to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

In late 2006 the ACCC issued a number of notices to Mr Paul Rana and certain NuEra companies with which Mr Rana was associated in relation to alleged contraventions by them of the Act concerning false, misleading and unconscionable conduct towards persons suffering terminal illness (primarily cancer). Mr Rana and the NuEra companies did not comply with these ACCC notices.

In addition to Mr Paul Rana's conviction, Justice North also convicted Mr Rana's son, Mr Micheal Rana and NuEra Wellness Centre Pty Ltd for their involvement in failing to comply with similar notices issued by the ACCC. Mr Micheal Rana who spent ten days in custody was sentenced to two months imprisonment wholly suspended with the order that he be on a period of good behaviour for eighteen months. NuEra Wellness Centre Pty Ltd was fined $6,000.

Justice North's judgment in relation to Mr Paul Rana was given against a backdrop involving an ACCC civil proceeding in 2007 against Mr Rana and others for serious breaches of numerous consumer protection and unconscionable conduct provisions of the Trade Practices Act. In this earlier proceeding it had been observed Mr Paul Rana and others had engaged in conduct which reveal[ed] a consistently cynical and heartless exploitation of cancer victims and their relatives when they were at their most vulnerable**.

Also of importance, in Justice North's judgment was conduct by Mr Paul Rana and others in 2007 which involved them sending a series of strange documents couched in pseudo legal medieval language to persons, including ACCC witnesses, demanding $294M. This led to the ACCC taking further successful action against Mr Paul Rana and others to restrain them from harassing ACCC's witnesses.**

In handing down the six month jail sentence for Mr Paul Rana, Justice North noted s.155 of the Act provides the ACCC with a powerful investigative tool and that by providing for a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment, Parliament had indicated the seriousness with which it regards a failure to comply with such a notice. Justice North observed, "the offences in the present case had the result that people dying of cancer and/or their families were further traumatized by having to give information to the ACCC so that it could bring the civil proceeding against Paul Rana to ensure that his conduct was stopped. Justice North remarked that this "was a particularly cruel consequence of Paul Rana's conduct," and that "it caused further distress to people in a vulnerable position."

ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said the sentence reflected the seriousness of obstructing investigations conducted by the ACCC and is another clear recognition by the court of the importance of this section as a potent investigative instrument.

"This is a significant case in the enforcement landscape for persons who fail to comply with s.155 notices served by the ACCC. Before failing to comply with a notice (by not responding or providing a false or misleading response) the recipient should bear this case in mind.

"The ACCC will not hesitate in appropriate circumstances to have offending persons prosecuted and the outcome of such a prosecution may well involve a real term of imprisonment. This is by no means a smack on the wrist offence."

Turning to the various legal actions taken against Mr Paul Rana and others, Mr Samuel said the ACCC is an unforgiving and harsh regulator where the contravening conduct threatens the welfare of consumers and endangers the public interest.

"Companies and individuals should know the ACCC has a suite of enforcement and other options available to it which will be exercised rigorously and comprehensively.

"The present case serves as a clear example of the ACCC's resolve and ability to deal with offending conduct in an extensive fashion involving as it did a criminal prosecution, a civil proceeding, an urgent action for interlocutory relief and the bankruptcy of Paul Rana and other individuals***."

The charges against Mr Paul Rana, Mr Micheal Rana and NuEra Wellness Centre Pty Ltd were prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Release # MR 081/08
Issued: 25th March 2008

Background

*Section 155 of the Act gives the ACCC broad investigatory powers to obtain information, documents and evidence in relation to possible contraventions of the Act. Section 155(5) of the Act makes it an offence for a person to refuse or fail to provide information or documents to the ACCC under a section 155 notice. Each offence under section 155 carries a fine of up to $2,200 or up to 12 months imprisonment.

**See: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Nuera Health Pty Ld (in liquidation) [2007] FCA 695 per Ryan J at [7] and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Nuera Health Pty Ld (No 2) (in liquidation) [2007] FCA 1756.

*** The ACCC took bankruptcy proceedings in the Federal Magistrates Court against Paul Rana, Micheal Rana and Christopher Rana (Mr Paul Rana's other son) following their failure to pay the ACCC's costs of $150,000 which were ordered by the Court in the ACCC's civil proceeding against them. As a consequence, Paul Rana, Micheal Rana and Christopher Rana are now bankrupt.


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