Despite having once been known for small roles in hit films like Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 and Moneyball among others, Keith Lawrence Middlebrook will henceforth be remembered as the fraud who allegedly sought investments for a business he claimed would sell pills that could ostensibly prevent Coronavirus infection along with a shot that could supposedly cure those already infected.
Middlebrook was arrested Wednesday after meeting with an undercover FBI agent posing as a prospective investor he believed wanted to buy into the production of his false cure, following a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for one count of attempted wire fraud. The next day, U.S. Magistrate Judge John E. McDermott continued the actor’s detention hearing until Friday afternoon and no bond has been decided on yet.
Despite apparently lacking any relevant medical experience, Middlebrook claimed to have personally engineered a cure and preventative treatment for the coronavirus in order to canvas investors for his company Quantum Prevention CV Inc., according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
The affidavit for the complaint against Middlebrook also alleges that he erroneously told one potential investor that former NBA star Earvin “Magic” Johnson was among the company’s board of directors and that he would mass-produce drugs that would fully cure COVID-19 patients within two to three days. It also states that Middlebrook tried to coax an undercover agent into a $300,000 investment in his company with the promise that it “would yield $30 million,” thanks to “a current $10 billion offer from an unnamed buyer in Dubai.”
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Authorities have confirmed that “there is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19 and no vaccine to prevent coronavirus infection,” and U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna commented the following:
“While this may be the first federal criminal case in the nation stemming from the pandemic, it certainly will not be the last. I again am urging everyone to be extremely wary of outlandish medical claims and false promises of immense profits. And to those who perpetrate these schemes, know that federal authorities are out in force to protect all Americans, and we will move aggressively against anyone seeking to cheat the public during this critical time.”
The preliminary hearing is currently set for April 9th, with arraignment scheduled for the 16th, and the felony charge could see the phony Coronavirus healer facing 20 years in prison if found guilty. The investigation from the FBI’s Major Frauds section is still ongoing at the time of writing.