Instagram influencer claiming to have COVID-19 cure arrested

Lawrence Middlebrook arrested over COVID-19 fraud.

A Southern California man, who claimed he developed a cure for the coronavirus, has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US.

Fifty-three-year-old bodybuilder and Instagram personality, Keith Lawrence Middlebrook, allegedly claimed that basketball legend and business Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson was on the board of directors for his company to try to solicit investments.

He was arrested on Wednesday (March 25) on suspicion of wire fraud related to bogus claims he had drugs to prevent and cure coronavirus. Midddlebrook has been charged with one count of attempted wire fraud.

The US Justice Department said in a statement that Middlebrook “claimed to have personally developed a ‘patent-pending cure’ and a treatment that prevents coronavirus infection”.

He also made false claims that Johnson was a board member of his company, Quantum Prevention CV Inc.

The FBI contacted president of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Christina Francis who confirmed the former Lakers star had no knowledge of the scheme and had not been in any form of contact with Middlebrook.

The suspect is scheduled to appear in federal court on Thursday, March 26th.