California actor Keith Lawrence Middlebrook, also known for appearing in Iron Man 2, Moneyball, and Thor, is now involved in the first coronavirus-related criminal fraud case, according to People.
Justice Department confirmed that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested the 53-year-old actor this past Wednesday. He reportedly has homes in several California areas including Murrieta, Newport Beach, and Westwood.
Iron Man star Keith Middlebrook reportedly claimed to have found the coronavirus cure
The arrest allegedly occurred during a meeting in which the Iron Man 2 star delivered pills, which he claimed to have "personally developed" as a treatment that can prevent coronavirus infection. Keith Lawrence Middlebrook allegedly thought he was meeting a potential investor, who turned out to be an undercover agent. He planned to mass produce the pills.
"I have developed the cure for the Coronavirus," Keith reportedly told at least one person. He also allegedly promised numerous investors at least 200 million dollars in return of a million dollar investment. Authorities said he allegedly promoted the "coronavirus cure" on his social media accounts, saying that those who had tested positive for COVID-19 could recover in three days, while those who hadn't could become immune to the virus.
Middlebrook could spend 2 decades in prison
Middlebrook was charged with one count of attempted wire fraud. In case of being convicted, he could spend up to 20 years in prison. He remains in custody on an unspecified amount of bail. According to authorities, in 2014 the actor was indicted in federal court for allegedly trying to defraud stars by offering services that would improve their credit. The case was then dismissed.
As of today, there is no specific cure for coronavirus, scientists say. United States Attorney Nick Hanna explained that "scams like this are using blatant lies to prey upon our fears and weaknesses," during these difficult times.