A Tinseltown actor that has appeared in some of your favorite movies also claimed he had the cure for COVID-19, authorities say — and now he faces up to 20 years in jail.
“I have the cure for coronavirus,” claimed Hollywood actor Keith Middlebrook. “And I have a pill to prevent it, too.”
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The actor is little known. He has a history of small roles in big films, but was far from a leading man.
Middlebrook had allegedly been seeking investors to dump money into his fake coronavirus cure, according to Hollywood Reporter.
Middlebrook touted his “cure” and claimed that ex-NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson was one of his investors, presumably to lure in additional clients and investors. THR reports that Johnson knows nothing about the scheme.
The FBI arrested Middlebrook after luring him into a sting.
He began texting someone who posed as a potential investor, by way of the FBI. Middlebrook texted the potential investor with bold claims about his cure.
He wrote: “I have Developed the Cure for the CoronaVirus COVID-19…*LA Patient tested Positive for CoronaVirus got up and walked out 51 hours after my Injection.”
“Investors who come in at ground level say $1M will parachute with $200M – $300M…Conservative Minimum,” he added, in essence guaranteeing investors millions of dollars in returns.
But Middlebrook was duped by agents after agreeing to deliver “some sort of pills”– the so-called coronavirus treatment – to an undercover officer.
THR reports he was charged with wire fraud, a felony in which he would be liable to face up to 20 years in prison.
This is only one of the latest cases of people looking to fraud and fear-monger the vulnerable during the global spread of COVID-19.
U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna, who was involved in the case, says incidents such as this won’t be the last.
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“During these difficult days, scams like this are using blatant lies to prey upon our fears and weaknesses,” he said. “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 Horn editorial team