A man from the UK has been charged with smuggling fake drugs that purportedly treated COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, into the United States, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Frank Richard Ludlow, 59, has been charged with one count of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, the agency said in a news release. If convicted, Ludlow faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
Ludlow allegedly smuggled remedy kits that contained a number of ingredients vitamin C, an enzyme mix, potassium thiocyanate, and hydrogen peroxide from the UK to homes in Utah and California. The remedy kits, named “Trinity Remedy,” were first sold in 2017 as a “miracle cure,” according to court documents. These kits were later repackaged as “Trinity COVID-19 SARS Antipathogenic Treatment” on March 1, in the midst of the CCP virus pandemic. Authorities said Ludlow is not a medical practitioner.
The kits have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat COVID-19 or for any other uses. The FDA is currently working with medical product developers to rapidly create vaccines and treatment for the disease but as of now, there are no specific drugs or vaccines available.
The FDA, along with the Federal Trade Commission, said they have been issuing warnings against companies for selling fraudulent COVID-19 products, including teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver.
“The FDA is actively and aggressively monitoring for unproven COVID-19 products including those attempting to be imported into the country—as part of our ongoing efforts to protect Americans during this pandemic. Unproven health claims, tests, and medical products can pose serious health risks and may keep people from seeking care or delay necessary medical treatment,” said Catherine Hermsen, the assistant commissioner for criminal investigations of the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, in the statement.
“The FDA will continue to take appropriate action to protect consumers from bad actors who take advantage of a pandemic to increase their profits while jeopardizing the public health,” she added.
The kits were intercepted by authorities before they could reach their destinations, the statement said.
Ludlow was arrested by British authorities who charged him with one count of fraud by false representation, one count of possession of articles for use in fraud, and one count of unlawfully manufacturing a medicinal product, according to the City of London Police. He remains in custody in the UK.