Florida dietary supplement marketer Barry Nevins has revamped his website and is facing a hearing on a reopened felony charge as a result of a USA TODAY investigation.

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A Florida dietary supplement marketer has revamped his website and is facing a court hearing next month on a reopened felony charge as a result of a recent USA TODAY investigation that found a wide array of industry executives with criminal histories.

Barry Nevins, director of Barry's Vitamins & Herbs, is scheduled to appear Feb. 14 before a circuit court judge in Palm Beach County, Fla., after a probation officer found he was continuing to represent himself as a doctor — in violation of a March 2013 agreement with prosecutors.

USA TODAY reported last month that Nevins' vitamin store's website, www.drbarrysvitamins.com, continued to refer to him as a doctor as recently as mid-December — even though he has no Florida medical license and had been prosecuted for such misrepresentations. In 2011, Nevins was charged with unlicensed practice of the health care profession, a felony, after investigators observed him representing himself as a doctor to customers at his Boca Raton, Fla., vitamin store, court records show.

Prosecutors had closed the case against Nevins after reaching an agreement last March to defer prosecution for 18 months, then drop the charges if Nevins complied with several conditions, including: "No clothing or Signage using 'Doctor or Dr' in Vitamin Shop" and giving a "Memo to staff to indicate no reference to doctor or medical treatment."

On Dec. 4, USA TODAY contacted Palm Beach County prosecutors to ask whether Nevins' website violated terms of the agreement. The next day, court records show, a probation officer visited the website, determined Nevins was "in willful non-compliance" with the agreement and recommended that he be removed from the pretrial intervention program. On Dec. 23, at the request of prosecutors, Circuit Court Judge Karen Miller ordered Nevins' case put back on the court docket, records show. The hearing scheduled for Jan. 24 has been postponed until Feb. 14, according to prosecutors.

Nevins' attorney, Jack Goldberger, said in a statement: "Mr. Nevins has honored the terms of his deferred prosecution agreement that ultimately will result in criminal charges against him being dropped. The use of the word doctor in any websites was inadvertent and was immediately removed when brought to our attention."

Nevins, reached at his vitamin store this week, declined to comment. In December, Nevins had hung up on a reporter twice when contacted about his vitamin store and website, saying during the second call: "Any publicity is good for me."

Nevins was one of 14 supplement industry executives with criminal backgrounds revealed in a Dec. 19 USA TODAY investigative article that was part of the newspaper's Supplement Shell Game series about the people and companies behind risky dietary supplements. In November 2011, Nevins' company recalled a supposedly all-natural supplement called Virility Max after FDA tests showed it contained an undisclosed Viagra-like drug.

In the wake of last month's article, Nevins has stopped using drbarrysvitamins.com as the Web address for his vitamin store and it now directs customers to a new website that makes no mention of Nevins being a doctor. The old site had previously said, among other things, "Dr. Barry's Vitamins are formulated to meet the exacting standards of Dr. Barry Nevins, NM.D." It had also said "Dr. Nevins is a formidable expert" in the nutraceutical industry and "recognized as a leading formulator, developer and manufacturer of natural pharmaceuticals."

To read the full Supplement Shell Game series, go to supplements.usatoday.com.

Follow investigative reporter Alison Young on Twitter @alisonannyoung

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