Keith Middlebrook Wiki – Biography
Keith Lawrence Middlebrook is the California man accused of attempting to scam investors of millions of dollars by claiming he had created a drug that could cure the coronavirus and prevent others from becoming infected.
Middlebrook was arrested on March 25, 2020, and booked into a federal detention facility in Los Angeles, according to inmate records. Justice Department prosecutors have charged Middlebrook with attempted wire fraud. The felony count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted.
Middlebrook, who refers to himself on social media as “The Real Iron Man,” boasted about the bogus medical development on his accounts. The bio section on his Instagram account includes the title, “Inventor: COVID19 Immunity & Coronavirus Cure” as well as “Genius Entrepreneur.” His Instagram has since been deleted or suspended.
Sold Fake COVID-19 Cure
Keith Middlebrook promoted his so-called immunity treatment and cure for COVID-19 on his social media pages and on his YouTube channel. On March 22, he published a video in which he claimed to have developed an injection that “shuts down the COVID-19” within 48 hours of receiving it. Middlebrook said it took him “about six weeks and two decades of studying. I’m more than qualified. Cell tissue and chemical biology for over two decades.”
Middlebrook also claimed he had personally created a pill that could make people immune to the coronavirus. He said the pill took seven weeks to develop and that he was able to do it because he “thinks outside the box.” Middlebrook said he was taking the pill daily himself.
On March 25, he even claimed that he had begun mass producing the drug. He tagged President Trump, Kim Kardashian, Oprah, and Fox News host Sean Hannity in a tweet announcing the news.
Middlebrook reached out to potential investors between March 13 and 24, according to the FBI. He faces a federal charge because the emails were sent across state lines.
The criminal affidavit, which can be read in full here, explains Middlebrook told people he had set up a company called Quantum Prevention CV Inc to create the coronavirus cure. He claimed the business was incorporated in Nevada, but investigators said no such company exists. In emails, Middlebrook provided instructions for how to wire money to his Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase accounts located in Los Angeles.
Prosecutors said Middlebrook falsely claimed investors would see massive returns, such as a $30 million return on a $300,000 investment. According to the affidavit, Middlebrook said an unnamed buyer from Dubai was offering to purchase his alleged cure for $10 billion.
In a second YouTube video, Middlebrook claimed President Trump supported his creation. The description below the video includes the claim, “Keith has the Vaccine to the cure the CoronaVirus not Trump. Donald Trump will be signing the Accelerated Public Release of Keith’s cure and Prevention.”
Middlebrook Claimed Basketball Star Magic Johnson Had Invested In His Cure & Told an Undercover FBI Agent That Several People Had Already Wired Up to $1 Million
The FBI was alerted to Keith Middlebrook’s false claim by a cooperating witness on March 13. The witness, who lived in Orlando, Florida, told investigators Middlebrook had reached out about investing in his alleged coronavirus cure. The informant said Middlebrook was also offering a “percentage or finder’s fee for any investors he referred to Middlebrook.”
The witness provided the FBI with screenshots of text messages exchanged with Middlebrook, as well as a video Middlebrook sent on March 16. The affidavit explains that the video “showed a tackle box full of vials and syringes” and that Middlebrook “can be heard discussing his cure for COVID-19.”
The criminal complaint includes the language Middlebrook used to describe his so-called cure in a text with the witness:
I have Developed the Cure for the CoronaVirus COVID-19
*LA Patient tested Positive for CoronaVirus got up and walked out 51 hours after my Injection
Blood Pressure Normal Temperature Normal Heart Rate Normal Enzymes Normal
Sugar Levels Normal CoronaVirus Negative
Investors who come in at ground level say $1M will parachute with $200M – $300M
Conservative Minimum Plus retain Stock Shares
You Receive 25o Commission on ALL Funds you bring in plus Stock Shares for the IPO.”
FBI investigators said Middlebrook also claimed that former NBA star Earvin “Magic” Johnson had signed on as an investor. He sent a text to the witness with a photo of Johnson and the words, “~~We got MAGIC JOHNSON coming aboard!!!! CALL ME !!”” Johnson has since told prosecutors this was a lie and that he had never heard of Middlebrook’s supposed company.
On March 18, the witness connected Middlebrook with an undercover FBI agent over the phone, according to the affidavit. During the call, Middlebrook “solicited an investment from the UCE relating to a prevention pill and a serum formula-cure for COVID-19.” In a follow-up call, Middlebrook claimed seven individuals had since signed on with investments between $750,000 and $1 million. He also promised to send investors the prevention pills after receiving an initial deposit of $10,000.
U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna, quoted in a press release about Middlebrook’s March 25 arrest, urged Americans to be wary of “outlandish medical claims and false promises of immense profits.” 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… we will move aggressively against anyone seeking to cheat the public during this critical time.”
Arrested and Charges
This is not the first time Keith Middlebrook has faced accusations of a federal crime. He was arrested and charged with fraud in October 2014. According to documents filed in the Central District of California, Middlebrook posted bond of $175,000 by using his father’s home as collateral.
Middlebrook was accused of stealing more than $1 million from celebrity clients. According to NBC San Diego, Middlebrook promised to help clients raise their credit scores. The charges included 15 counts of aggravated identity theft, bankruptcy fraud, 15 counts of mail fraud.
His list of clients were not publicly released. But his social media pages include photos of Middlebrook posing with celebrities including Matt Damon, Paris Hilton, Lil Wayne, and Kim Kardashian.
All charges were eventually dropped. Middlebrook wrote about the case on his LinkedIn profile. He argued that he had been “wrongfully indicted” and that he went against the advice of his attorney and turned down a plea bargain. He claimed he “coached his own legal team and designed his own strategy for the win and won.”