Get all the latest coronavirus news and more daily in your inbox. register here.
Keith Lawrence Middlebrook, 53, said he had developed “patent pending treatment” as well as treatment that prevents coronavirus infection, the statement said. Health officials said there was no vaccine against the virus.
He was arrested at a meeting in which he delivered pills to an undercover agent posing as an investor, officials said.
“During these difficult days, scams like this use glaring lies to exploit our fears and weaknesses,” said US Attorney Nick Hanna. “Although this is the first federal criminal case in the country to arise from the pandemic, it will certainly not be the last.”
The department said it also claimed that the NBA Hall of Fame and former great Earkins “Magic” Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers was a member of the company’s board of directors, Quantum Prevention CV Inc.
On his Instagram – which has 2.4 million followers – Middlebrook posted several videos claiming to have developed a cure for COVID-19 and a pill that immunizes you against the virus, the affidavit said.
“Yes, I created the pill that makes you immune to COVID-19!”, Reportedly wrote Middlebrook in an article. “This pill I designed makes anyone fully immune to the COVID-19 disease coronavirus. * NOTE: All comments from haters and ignorant people are deleted and blocked as soon as they post.”
He has been charged by the United States’ Los Angeles prosecutor’s office with one count of attempted wire fraud, which is punishable by a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
The investigation will be conducted by the FBI and its first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles, the statement added.