Hollywood Bit Actor Arrested After Claiming He Invented Coronavirus Cure
Los Angeles, CA – A Hollywood actor who had a series of minor roles was arrested by the FBI after he claimed to have invented a pill that would prevent and cure the coronavirus.
Keith Middlebrook, 53, was charged with one count of attempted wire fraud, which is a felony, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Middlebrook claimed that he had developed a “patent-pending cure” for coronavirus, The Hollywood Reporter stated.
The actor was trying to get investors for his fake cure and had claimed that retired basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson was on his board. Johnson told police he didn’t know Middlebrook, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Police had text messages sent by Middlebrook to potential investors who were working with the FBI as part of their case.
“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,” Middlebrook texted. “Investors who come in at ground level say $1M will parachute with $200M - $300M…Conservative Minimum.”
Middlebrook was arrested during a meeting when he brought along pills that were supposed to cure the coronavirus and delivered it to a potential investor who was an undercover FBI agent.
“During these difficult days, scams like this are using blatant lies to prey upon our fears and weaknesses,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “While this may be the first federal criminal case in the nation stemming from the pandemic, it certainly will not be the last. 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 Internet Movie Database lists Middlebrook as appearing in several TV shows in uncredited roles. Middlebook appeared in two episodes of The Sopranos, and 14 episodes of Entourage. He had credited roles in movies Moneyball and Iron Man 2.