Sunday, April 2, 2023

SoCal doctor sentenced for trying to import drugs for his COVID-19 ‘miracle cure’

A Southern California doctor was sentenced on Friday to prison for smuggling hydroxychloroquine into the US and touting it as a “miracle cure” COVID-19 treatment, officials said.

According to court documents, 44-year-old physician Jennings Ryan Staley admitted to working with a Chinese supplier to illegally import a barrel of what he believed was an anti-malarial drug. 26 pounds was mislabeled as “yam extract”.

Staley admitted that he wanted to sell hydroxychloroquine powder in capsules as part of his counterfeit business plan.

He paddled COVID-19 “treatment kits” in March and April 2020, as the pandemic began to spread in the US and months before vaccinations were available.

Hydroxychloroquine was once touted by former President Donald Trump as a potential coronavirus treatment.

According to court documents, the doctor also solicited investors in his venture — a man promising he could “triple your money in 90 days.”

Staley admitted to writing a prescription for an increasingly difficult-to-find drug in his employee’s name and personal information. He answered the pharmacist’s questions to fill out the script as if he were an employee without the employees’ consent, court documents show.

The COVID “treatment kits” were sold at Staley’s Skinny Beach Med Spa locations in and around San Diego.

Federal prosecutors said the scam was reported to law enforcement by several citizens related to the marketing campaign.

Doctor Jennings Ryan Staley
The kits were sold in and around San Diego.

According to court documents, Staley, in conversation with an undercover FBI agent, described his kit as a “one hundred percent” cure, a “magic bullet,” a “wonderful weapon,” and “almost too good to be true.” . The doctor promised that the products would provide at least six weeks of immunity from the virus.

An undercover agent bought six of Staley’s “treatment kits” for $4,000. During a recorded phone call with an undercover agent, Staley bragged how he “… found the last tank of hydroxychloroquine, smuggled in from China, at 1:00 a.m. on Sunday night… Tricked customs by saying it was sweet potato extract,” the documents show.

In a later phone call with the agent, Staley suddenly offered to throw in a dose of generic Viagra and Xanax — a federally controlled substance — unwanted. During the transaction Staley never asked a single medical question about the agent’s alleged family members, including his three teenage children.

Staley also admitted to lying to federal officials during his investigation because he had once promised clients that his treatment was 100 percent effective, telling investigators that “that would be foolish.”

He said he collected relevant information from family members despite selling a “family pack” of hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, generic Viagra, Xanax and azithromycin to an undercover officer a week ago, without asking for any family member’s information.

Federal officials announced Friday that Staley was charged with imports contrary to the law and sentenced to 30 days in custody and one year in house arrest.

Federal officials said a judge ordered Staley to pay a $10,000 fine and $4,000 taken from an undercover agent, as well as more than 4,500 pills of various pharmaceuticals, several bags of empty pill capsules and a manual capsule-filling machine. Gave.

“At the peak of the pandemic, before vaccines were available, this doctor sought to profit from patients’ fears,” said US Attorney Randy Grossman. “He abused his position of trust and undermined the integrity of the entire medical profession. We are committed to enforcing the laws of the United States and protecting patients, including those prosecuting doctors who choose to commit crimes. ,

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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