A 53-year old California man was brought into FBI custody Wednesday night. His Instagram page contained several videos claiming to have created a unique treatment for COVID-19. He was arrested on March 25 for trying to sell a fake Coronavirus cure to his followers.
Keith Middlebrook's Instagram bio features some pretty significant claims. The self-proclaimed "real iron man, genius entrepreneur, and inventor" has a following of 2.4 million viewers.
According to CBS Los Angeles, federal investigators found that Middlebrook promised massive profits to investors who would put money towards his unproven 'treatment.'
Middlebrook's first video addressing COVID-19 was posted on March 15.
He wrote, "Not only did I create the cure, but this pill right here is the prevention," pointing to a green case of unidentified bottles and packages.
His lengthy video chats describing his alleged 'treatment' have amassed nearly 2 million views. The videos have since been removed.*
Keith went on to say, "Yes, I have created the pill that makes you IMMUNE to COVID-19...This pill I have designed makes anyone completely IMMUNE to the Virus COVID-19 disease coronavirus."
At one point in the video, he claimed to have set up a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss it.
United States Attorney Nic Hanna told CBS Los Angeles, "I think it’s despicable."
"This is the time when all Americans are supposed to come together and help one another. Unfortunately, there are a few people out there who look at this as an opportunity to lie, cheat, and steal and try to take advantage of their neighbors,” said Hanna.
This isn't the first time that charges have been brought against Middlebrook. In 2014, he was charged with scamming several celebrities and athletes out of more than $1 million for a credit improvement scheme.
He has also been charged with numerous accounts of identity theft, mail fraud, and bankruptcy fraud.
Keith Middlebrook is scheduled to appear before a United States District Court in Los Angeles, California, on March 26 to face charges for attempting to sell a fake Coronavirus cure.
* This article has been updated.