Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

FBI Arrests Local Man For Running Alleged COVID-19 Scam

5e7d30fab18a9b000a3f5665-eight.jpg
Keith Middlebrook in one of his YouTube videos. (YouTube)
LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

The FBI has arrested a Southern California man who allegedly sought investors for a bogus cure for COVID-19.

Keith Lawrence Middlebrook, 53, was arrested after giving an undercover agent posing as an investor some of his pills, which he claims give him immunity to the virus.

Middlebrook, who had addresses in Westwood, Newport Beach and Murrieta, is charged with one count of attempted wire fraud, a felony. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

Support for LAist comes from

The complaint says Middlebrook claimed to have developed a "patent-pending cure" and a treatment that prevents coronavirus infection. Prosecutors say he also falsely claimed that Magic Johnson had joined the board of his company.

The government says videos Middlebrook posted to YouTube and Instagram have gotten at least two million views. Here is one of his YouTube videos:

The FBI wants to know if you think you're a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19. You've got options for how to report it: