COVID-19 Cure Con: Man Convicted of Billion Scam

3

Orange County Man Fined for COVID-19 Cure Scam

A man from Orange County has been found guilty of exploiting a global pandemic for his own financial gain.

Keith Lawrence Middlebrook, 56, of Huntington Beach, was convicted of 11 counts of wire fraud after soliciting investors for a fake COVID-19 cure. Middlebrook remains free on a 0,000 bond, awaiting his sentencing hearing.

Scheme to Deceive Desperate Investors

Beginning in March 2020, Middlebrook preyed on the desperation and uncertainty generated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. He posted bogus advertisements on social media and reached out to investors via text message, offering them a chance to cash in on his miraculous cure.

Disguising his scheme as legitimate, Middlebrook dubbed his supposed remedy “QC20” and its treatment “QP20.” He claimed to have a patent pending for his cure and deceitfully told potential investors that Magic Johnson was on his company’s board of directors.

Web of Lies and Exaggerations

To entice victims, Middlebrook made outlandish promises of enormous profits. He even went as far as stating that an investor from Dubai was willing to pay billion for his company’s assets.

Undercover Bust Brings the Scam to an End

In 2020, the FBI’s relentless investigation led to Middlebrook’s arrest. An undercover sting operation resulted in his delivery of fake COVID-19 cure pills to an undercover agent posing as an interested investor.

Consequences of Misinformation and Greed

Middlebrook now faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each wire fraud account. His fraudulent scheme and unethical behavior have not only cheated investors but also undermined trust in medical research and placed the public’s health at risk.

Lesson Learned: Trustworthy Sources First

In the face of health crises, it is crucial to seek information from credible sources such as medical professionals, scientific institutions, and reputable news organizations. Bogus claims and false promises should be met with skepticism and caution.

By shining a light on such fraudulent schemes, law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies safeguard the public from unscrupulous individuals who exploit vulnerabilities in desperate times.

Data sourced from: ktla.com