A physician from San Diego has been accused for selling COVID-19 treatment packs and advertised it as a 100% cure, which includes drugs recommended by President Donald Trump as an effective treatment for the disease.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California said in a statement that Dr. Jennings Ryan Staley was charged with mail fraud in connection with the sale of the said treatment packs.
Dr. Staley, a licensed physician and owner of the Skinny Beach Med Spa in San Diego allegedly claims that the treatment would make the users immune to the virus for at least six weeks.
The FBI started an investigation after receiving a tip that the spa sent email advertisements in late March, describing it as a “concierge medicine experience” priced at $3,995 for a family of four.
The treatment pack includes hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and “anti-anxiety treatments which helps to alleviate if not avoid the panic and may help induce sleep.
During a phone call with the undercover agent, Dr. Staley referred to the treatment pack as a “magic bullet” that is “almost too good to be true.”
Omer Meisel, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s San Diego Field Office said, “Scammers seeking to profit by exploiting fear and uncertainty during this COVID-19 pandemic will be brought to justice.”
The doctor’s initial hearing in federal court was held through a telephone call, wherein Deputy U.S. Attorney Rob Huie argued that the doctor is a danger to the public.
“In this environment in which we’re living with the pandemic, with the level of anxiety that the public faces, misinformation is not only troubling and financially dangerous, it is dangerous to life,” Huie said.
He added, “Our case is not about the doctor touting drugs. It’s not about whether drugs are good or bad, it’s about him telling patients, telling would-be customers, in an effort to sell his services, that what he’s offering is a 100 percent cure and it confers temporary immunity.”