Feds Charge California Man With Coronavirus-related Fraud

The Federal Docket

March 27, 2020

March 25, 2020.

On Wednesday, the FBI arrested a man in California and charged him with federal fraud offenses. The man was allegedly soliciting investments for a fake cure for the coronavirus. To date, there is no cure for those infected with the virus.

According to an article on ABC News, the federal government is accusing the man of claiming to have developed a “patent-pending cure” for the virus and using his company to solicit investments to market pills for preventing coronavirus and develop an “injectable cure” for those who already have it. The man also falsely claimed that celebrities like Magic Johnson served on the board of directors for his company.

The man was arrested after attempting to give a sample of the pills to an undercover agent. A major issue in this prosecution will be the man’s knowledge and intent, specifically whether he knew the pills were a sham or whether he believed they might actually work. The lies about Magic Johnson being affiliated could be a problem at trial though.

Click here to read the article at ABC News.

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

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