According to ABC 7 a Southern California man was arrested and is now facing federal wire fraud charges because he claimed that he had a cure to the COVID-19 virus that is currently a global pandemic. The man, Keith Lawrence Middlebrook, released a video claiming he had developed a cure to the deadly virus and was seeking investors to help him produce the drug.
Middlebrook posted the video to his social media pages and asked for millions of dollars in investments. He claimed the pill he developed would both cure and prevent COVID-19 and so the return would be millions in profit for those who invested. After Middlebrook was arrested and charged with wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna stated, "During these difficult days, scams like this are using blatant lies to prey upon our fears and weaknesses...I again am urging everyone to be extremely wary of outlandish medical claims and false promises of immense profits.”
Federal Wire Fraud
Wire fraud is considered a “white collar crime”--it is a federal offense that carries hefty penalties. A person can be convicted of federal wire fraud if that person:
- created a scheme to defraud another person,
- acted with the intent to defraud,
- made false representations material to the scheme,
- the scheme was transmitted over electronic communications, internet, wire, radio, or television.
A person can be convicted of federal wire fraud even if no one actually believed their scheme and gave them money. The consequences of a federal wire fraud conviction are serious and can be up to 20 years in federal prison and huge fines.
If you are facing a federal wire fraud charge, or any other federal or California criminal charge, the Southern California criminal defense attorneys at the Kann California Law Group can help. We recognize that a conviction of this type of crime can have a serious impact on your future and we are committed to providing a defense to help you get the best outcome possible in your case. Contact us today for a free case consultation at (888) 744-7730 or contact us online using our contact form here to speak to an attorney now.