Utah Man Arrested After 3-Year Search for Selling Fake COVID-19 Cure as Medical Doctor

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In a culmination of a three-year pursuit, a Utah man accused of masquerading as a medical doctor and peddling phony cures, including a COVID-19 preventative, has been apprehended.

Gordon Hunter Pedersen, 63, came under scrutiny for marketing an “structural alkaline silver” product online as a safeguard against COVID-19 during the early stages of the pandemic, as stated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah. Adding to the façade, Pedersen donned a white lab coat and stethoscope in YouTube videos, falsely asserting to be a board-certified “Anti-Aging Medical Doctor” with a Ph.D. in immunology and naturopathic medicine.

Utah Man Arrested After 3-Year Search for Selling Fake COVID-19 Cure as Medical Doctor
Utah Man Arrested After 3-Year Search for Selling Fake COVID-19 Cure as Medical Doctor

The arrest warrant for Pedersen was issued in August 2020 after he failed to present himself in federal court following an indictment. Federal agents finally apprehended him earlier this month during a surveillance operation.

Pedersen faces charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, and introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with the intent to deceive and defraud, according to the indictment.

Beginning around 2014, Pedersen initiated his fraudulent activities, marketing silver products as remedies for ailments such as arthritis, diabetes, influenza, pneumonia, and more recently, COVID-19. His schemes were uncovered in April 2020 when an undercover agent from the Food and Drug Administration received the hoax treatments under an alias.

The products were distributed through his companies, GP Silver LLC and My Doctor Suggests LLC, in which he held a 25% stake.

In a podcast interview in March 2020, Pedersen asserted that his product had the ability to simultaneously eliminate bacteria, viruses, and yeast, surpassing the capabilities of any man-made drug.

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These deceitful endeavors are just a glimpse into the variety of fraud schemes that unscrupulous individuals have perpetuated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ranging from federal COVID-19 relief fund scams to sham test sites and hoax vaccines, fraudsters exploited the crisis for personal gain.

In response to this rampant fraud, the Justice Department instructed U.S. attorneys nationwide to appoint coordinators for virus-fraud cases in 2020. This action was spurred by a surge in fraud complaints related to the pandemic. By January 2021, over 100 cases had been prosecuted.

In a recent case, a church founder and his three sons faced trial in a Miami federal court for promoting a dangerous bleach mixture as a medical panacea. This toxic “Miracle Mineral Solution” was touted as a cure for various ailments, including COVID-19, Alzheimer’s, and malaria.

To shield oneself from such fraudulent activities, the Federal Trade Commission offers these recommendations:

  1. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional before considering any product that claims to treat, prevent, or cure coronavirus.
  2. Rely on verified sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or FDA for medical updates.
  3. Report suspected fraud to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

By staying vigilant and informed, individuals can protect themselves from falling prey to deceptive medical claims and safeguard their well-being.

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