Keith Middlebrook was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday after allegedly stating his company, Quantum Prevention CV, discovered a "patent-pending cure" for the coronavirus and had Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson among its early investors.
TMZ Sports reported the Southern California resident is said to have delivered pills to an undercover agent and promised profits of $200 to $300 million on a $1 million investment. He's been charged with wire fraud and faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
The FBI also allegedly checked with Johnson, who said he had no knowledge of Middlebrook or his company, per TMZ. Johnson was also said to be listed by the company as a member of its board of directors.
Meagan Flynn of the Washington Post noted Middlebrook posted videos on Instagram alleging his "cure," which included unnamed pills and an injection, would both cure someone with the disease and prevent someone from getting it in the future.
"Not only did I make the cure, but this pill right here is the prevention," he said in a video. "Meaning, if I walk into the Staples Center and everyone's testing coronavirus positive, I can't contract it. It's impossible. ... I have what makes you immune to the coronavirus."
Middlebrook, an actor who played a small role in the baseball movie Moneyball, also said he'd spoken with Robert Goldman, a member of the President's Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, and would soon receive an "emergency order" to mass produce his cure, per Flynn.
"It's the mainstream media and the left that are trying to take down Donald Trump, who's created the No. 1 greatest economy in history," he said in a video. "You don't have to go along with a mainstream media pandemic havoc environment, a pandemonium environment created by the mainstream media. This is your time to shine."
Paul Delacourt, assistant director of the FBI's Los Angeles field office, said in a statement to the Washington Post to remain wary of schemes with false claims about COVID-19 cures.
"As the country reacts to the current crisis, and while many suffer from losing a loved one or losing their livelihood, the last thing Americans need are con-artists who hawk miracle cures they know are not tested, guaranteed, nor approved," Delacourt said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, previously said the earliest a COVID-19 vaccine would be available is between a year and 18 months.