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Criminal arrest

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A man in Southern California was arrested by the FBI in a sting operation on Wednesday night after falsely claiming he had a cure for COVID-19.

According to reports from TMZ, Keith Lawrence Middlebrook got busted after agreeing to deliver pills to an undercover agent that he falsely claimed represented a “patent-pending cure” for the novel coronavirus. He claimed the faux cure would keep people from contracting the virus while also treating those who had already tested positive.

Through his company, Quantum Prevention CV, Middlebrook promised massive profits when soliciting funds from potential investors, with one cooperating witness informing authorities that they were told an investment of $1 million could be flipped into as much as $300 million. On top of that, Middlebrook alleged to have Magic Johnson on board with the operation as a potential investor. But when FBI officials actually asked Johnson about this, they learned that he actually had no idea who Middlebrook was.

The DOJ warned the public in a press release earlier this month that similar efforts of attempted COVID-19 exploitations were happening, which includes the peddling of fake cures and charity scams. “The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated,” said Attorney General William Barr.

Now, Middlebrook has been charged with wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars.


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