KEY POINTS

  • Gordon H. Pedersen sold ingestible silver-based products on the internet
  • He claimed the products could cure coronavirus
  • In his online videos, he claimed to be a physician and wore a stethoscope

A man from Utah, who posed as a medical doctor to sell baseless coronavirus cure, was indicted on fraud charges Tuesday, July 28.

A press release from the Department of Justice stated that the accused, identified as Gordon H. Pedersen, posed as a physician and sold ingestible silver-based products on the internet, claiming that it cured COVID-19.

"Pedersen fraudulently promoted and sold ingestible silver-based products as a cure for COVID-19 despite having no evidence that his products could treat or cure the disease. Pedersen is also alleged to have claimed to be a physician and worn a stethoscope and white lab coat in videos and photos posted on the Internet to further his alleged fraud scheme," the press release stated.

The statement added that My Doctor Suggests LLC, a company previously co-owned by the accused, "made false and misleading claims that its silver-based products could be ingested to protect against COVID-19 and the products lacked the necessary directions for use as a drug product. The information also alleges My Doctor Suggests operated without properly registering with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is anticipated My Doctor Suggests will plead guilty to a single misdemeanor count of distributing misbranded drug products in interstate commerce in violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act."

Following an investigation, a court order was passed to temporarily prohibit My Doctor Suggests from distributing silver products as well as "representing they could cure, mitigate, treat, or otherwise prevent COVID-19 or any other disease."

Speaking about the case, Acting Assistant Attorney General Ethan Davis said, "The Department of Justice will take swift action to protect consumers from those who offer phony cure-alls for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. We will continue to work closely with our partners at the Food and Drug Administration to quickly shut down schemes to promote and sell unlawful products during this pandemic."

In the press release, Judy McMeekin, Pharm.D., Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration said, "The FDA is actively monitoring the marketplace for fraudulent products represented as preventing, curing, or treating COVID-19.  Americans expect and deserve treatments that are safe, effective, and meet appropriate standards, and the agency will continue to bring to justice those who place profits above the public health during this pandemic. Today‚Äôs announcement should serve as a reminder that we will take action against those who jeopardize the health of Americans while taking advantage of a crisis."

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