The FBI has arrested actor Keith Middlebrook, who had uncredited roles in Thor and Iron Man 2, after he tried to sell a cure for the coronavirus.
Middlebrook, who is based in Southern California, is believed to have falsely claimed that he was in possession of the antidote, in an attempt to receive funds and investment from numerous companies.
Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice
The U.S. Department Of Justice released a statement on Wednesday detailing how Middlebrook had told his Instagram followers that his company would be able to make them hundreds of millions of dollars if they invested, as he insisted he had pills that would stop COVID-19 infections.
Middlebrook also sent out text messages saying that a coronavirus victim from Los Angeles had “got up and walked 51 hours after” being injected.
The 53-year-old even insisted that Magic Johnson, the former basketball star, was one of the major investors, a claim that the athlete roundly denied after being approached by investigators.
According to Time, United States Attorney Nick Hanna said, “During these difficult days, scams like this are using blatant lies to prey upon our fears and weaknesses. 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."