California – A San Diego physician last Friday was sentenced to prison for smuggling Hydroxychloroquine and selling it as a Covid cure.
Last year Jennings Ryan Staley pleaded guilty “to one count of importation contrary to law, admitting that he worked with a Chinese supplier to try to smuggle into the United States a barrel that he believed contained over 26 pounds of hydroxychloroquine powder by mislabeling it as “yam extract.” – the Justice Department said.
According to court documents, Staley admitted that he intended to sell the HCQ powder in capsules as a ‘Covid cure kit’ to customers of his Skinny Beach Med Spas between March and April 2020.
Staley also pitched investors and promised to triple their money in 90 days, according to court documents.
An undercover FBI agent purchased six of Staley’s ‘treatment kits’ for $4,000.
“Court documents explain that during a recorded phone call with the undercover agent, Staley not only made the false statements about the efficacy of his “treatment kits;” he also bragged that, “I got the last tank of . . . hydroxychloroquine, smuggled out of China, Sunday night at 1:00 a.m. in the morning . . . the broker . . . smuggled it out, so to speak, otherwise tricked Customs by saying it was sweet potato extract.”” the DOJ said.
Staley also admitted he sought to obstruct the federal investigation into his HCQ treatment kit scheme.
“At the height of the pandemic, before vaccines were available, this doctor sought to profit from patients’ fears,” said US Attorney Randy Grossman. “He abused his position of trust and undermined the integrity of the entire medical profession. We are committed to enforcing the laws of the United States and protecting patients, including prosecuting doctors who choose to commit crimes.”
Staley was sentenced to 30 days of custody and one year of home confinement.
“U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel also ordered Staley to pay a $10,000 fine and ordered forfeiture of the $4,000 paid by the undercover agent, as well as more than 4,500 tablets of various pharmaceutical drugs, multiple bags of empty pill capsules, and a manual capsule-filling machine.” the US Attorney’s office in DC said.