Utah Federal Court Shuts Down Coronavirus Scam

A temporary restraining order was issued by a federal court in Utah to stop a man from peddling silver as a potential cure for COVID-19. 

Matheson CourthouseThe Utah Scam is just one of many COVID-19 scams targeted by the DOJ in recent weeks. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)“The court’s order temporarily enjoins the defendants from continuing to sell or distribute their silver products for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease, including COVID-19.” said a statement released by the US Department of Justice on Wednesday. 

The order comes in response to a complaint that alleged that Gordon Pedersen of Cedar Hills, Utah, conducted a fraudulent scheme through his companies My Doctor Suggests LLC and GP Silver LLC to promote the use of silver as to prevent coronavirus and other ailments. 

“The defendants have made a wide variety of false and misleading claims touting silver products as a preventative for COVID-19,” read the statement  “including that having silver in the bloodstream will ‘usher’ any coronavirus out of the body and that ‘it has been proven that alkaline structured silver will destroy all forms of viruses, it will protect people from the coronavirus.”’ 

Across the world, governments and watchdog organizations have been warning about the threat of coronavirus related scams hawking miracles cures. Just last week the DOJ announced that it had shuttered hundreds of scams around the country related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Even in a time of great uncertainty, there are at least two unchanging realities. There are those who would unlawfully exploit our vulnerabilities, and there are those who will hold such parties accountable,” said U.S. Attorney John W. Huber for the District of Utah.  “COVID-19 is a dangerous disease, and American consumers must have accurate and reliable information as they make important health decisions.”

“The Department of Justice will take swift action to protect consumers from those who would recklessly exploit this public health crisis by offering phony cure-alls for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.