After a three-year manhunt, a Utah man was arrested this week for allegedly pretending to be a doctor to sell a fake cure for COVID-19, authorities said.
Gordon Hunter Pedersen, 63, had a warrant issued for his arrest in August 2020 after failing to appear for an indictment in federal court, according to authorities. Pedersen had appeared in several YouTube videos promoting and selling a "structural alkaline silver" product that he claimed would cure people of coronavirus.
He claimed the product "resonates, or vibrates, at a frequency that destroys the membrane of the virus, making the virus incapable of attaching to any healthy cell, or to infect you in any way." In the videos, Pedersen also falsely claimed to be a board certified "anti-aging medical doctor" with a degree in immunology and naturopathic medicine.
Court documents said he sold the unproven product on several websites, including Amazon, Shopify and MyDoctorSuggests.com, before vaccines were available. Prices ranged as high as $299.95 per gallon of the silver product.
Over the first four months of 2020, Pedersen's company generated about $2 million in sales, court documents show.
Pedersen was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 23, 2020, on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and felony introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with intent to defraud or mislead. After failing to appear in court, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Pedersen managed to evade authorities for three years but was arrested in Utah County earlier this week, authorities said. He made an initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon, and court documents show that he "wishes to represent himself."
Pedersen's next court appearance is scheduled for Friday when the judge will rule on his self-representation request.
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