UPDATED with court information: The FBI said it arrested Keith Lawrence Middlebrook, whose actors include small roles in films, including Ironman 2 and TV series like Entourage. He is charged with fraud for allegedly requesting investment in a company that he claimed was being used to market pills that prevent coronavirus infections and a shot that cures COVID-19.
The arrest came on Wednesday after a lawsuit was filed at the Los Angeles District Court for attempted wire fraud that left Middlebrook in prison for 20 years.
On Thursday, US judge John E. McDermott continued the Middlebrook hearing until Friday afternoon. During this time it is decided whether a deposit is to be fixed. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 9 and a trial for April 1
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Middlebrook has personally developed a cure and treatment that prevents coronavirus infection, according to the U.S. Central District Attorney of California, “although every major health agency has warned that there is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19 and no vaccine against coronavirus infections, ”said the authorities.
Middlebrook has reportedly requested funding for its company Quantum Prevention CV Inc., and authorities said he wrongly claimed at least one potential investor that Earvin “Magic” Johnson was a member of the board, according to the affidavit issued to support the complaint. Mr. Johnson confirmed to the investigators that he knew nothing about Middlebrook’s company. “
Middlebrook claimed that his company would mass-produce the pills and, after receiving investor funds, would invest in both the Quantum Prevention CV and the Quantum Cure CV 2020. The latter claimed that Middlebrook would market the serum that could cure COVID-19 patients within two to three days after the complaint. In an Instagram video promoting his cure, Middlebrook explains that if he takes his pill and enters the Staples Center filled with COVID-19-positive people, he won’t be able to become infected with the virus.
Middlebrook told an undercover agent who claims to be an investor that he has guaranteed a $ 300,000 investment in the company, “thanks to a current $ 10 billion offer from an anonymous buyer in Dubai,” said the affidavit.
Middlebrook was arrested on Wednesday during a meeting during which he delivered tablets to an undercover agent who claims to be an investor.
“In these difficult days, such scams use blatant lies to take advantage of our fears and weaknesses,” said US attorney Nick Hanna. “While this is the first federal crime in the nation to be attributed to the pandemic, it is certainly not the last. I once again urge everyone to be extremely careful with unusual medical claims and false promises of immense profits. And those who implement these plans know that the federal authorities are in place to protect all Americans, and we will act aggressively against anyone who wants to defraud the public at this critical time. “
The FBI’s Anti-Fraud Department is still investigating the case.