Doctor Charged For Selling Hydroxychloroquine as “Cure” For COVID-19

SAN DIEGO – Dr. Jennings Ryan Staley, previously charged with one count of mail fraud, was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday for additional crimes arising from his business venture selling COVID-19 “treatment kits,” which he advertised to one potential customer as a “miracle cure.” Staley is a licensed physician and the former operator of Skinny Beach Med Spas in and around San Diego.

According to the new charges, which became publicly available today, Staley agreed with a Chinese supplier to smuggle hydroxychloroquine powder into the U.S., lying to U.S. Customs by mislabeling a shipment as “yam extract.” Staley is also charged with stealing the name and identifying information of one of his employees in order to create and submit a bogus prescription for hydroxychloroquine on the employee’s behalf, in order to sell the drugs at a markup to his customers.

In late March and early April 2020, Staley marketed and sold his treatment kits to Skinny Beach customers. He described his product as a “concierge medicine experience,” which included hydroxychloroquine—an anti-malarial drug that Staley described to one potential customer as a “guaranteed” cure for COVID-19. Staley’s kits were priced as high as $3,995 for a family of four, while Staley himself paid roughly $1 per tablet of hydroxychloroquine. Staley’s marketing materials, per the indictment, stressed that recipients should “NOT BELIEVE THE REPORTS THAT HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE DOESN’T WORK!”

During a phone call with a prospective customer, in reality an undercover FBI agent, Staley repeatedly promised that the drugs he was selling would cure COVID-19. According to the charging document, Staley said hydroxychloroquine “cures the disease,” and that it was “incredible,” a “magic bullet,” and an “amazing weapon.” When the undercover agent asked if hydroxychloroquine and mefloquine—another anti-malarial that Staley described as “the Russian cure”—would effectively cure someone infected with COVID-19, Staley replied, “One hundred percent. One hundred percent.”

One week later, when interviewed by FBI agents, the indictment alleges that Staley falsely denied ever saying that the Skinny Beach treatment packages were a “one hundred percent effective cure.”

“People must be able to trust their doctors to offer honest medical advice instead of a fraudulent sales pitch, especially during a global pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “Medical professionals who lie about their treatments to profit from a desperate, fearful public will face criminal charges and serious consequences like any other lawbreaker.” Brewer praised prosecutors Nicholas Pilchak and Jaclyn Stahl as well as agents from the FBI and U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, for their excellent work on this case.

“The FBI has been vigilant in investigating anyone trying to capitalize on the COVID-19 crisis,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. “It’s clear that trust in our medical professionals is always important, but particularly so in current times. These additional charges emphasize the FBI’s dedication to fully uncovering the extent of Dr. Staley’s alleged fraudulent actions and our unwavering commitment to pursuing those who put personal greed before humanity.”

The charging document outlines multiple ways that Staley obtained the hydroxychloroquine pills he resold as part of his treatment kits, including soliciting them from his acquaintances and employees with preexisting hydroxychloroquine prescriptions, and writing prescriptions for immediate family members and acquaintances to get the drugs “by any means necessary.” He even had plans to make his own tablets of hydroxychloroquine, using the mislabeled powder he planned to smuggle in from Chinese suppliers he found online.

Staley wrote one sham prescription, according to the superseding indictment, for a Skinny Beach employee. Staley had also asked the employee for a few tablets from her own hydroxychloroquine prescription, supposedly for another Skinny Beach staff member who was sick. Instead of borrowing a few of the employee’s tablets to help a suffering colleague as he had promised, however, Staley turned around and wrote a bogus prescription using her name, date of birth, and prior home address. Staley then took the sham prescription to multiple pharmacies to try to obtain hydroxychloroquine in the employee’s name, including by pretending to be her during the online ordering process.

Staley also lied to agents about the employee whose identifying information he had stolen, falsely claiming that she had allowed him to use her pre-existing medical condition to get hydroxychloroquine tablets that he would re-sell at a significant profit.

“The FDA continues its steadfast efforts to identify, investigate, and bring to justice those who attempt to profit from the pandemic by offering American consumers so-called ‘miracle cures’ to treat COVID-19,” said Special Agent in Charge Lisa L. Malinowski, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Los Angeles Field Office. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice those who place profits above the public health.”

The superseding indictment also charges Staley with an importation crime, based on his agreement with a Chinese supplier to lie to U.S. Customs about a shipment that Staley believed contained 12 kilograms of hydroxychloroquine powder. As alleged, when the supplier volunteered to “change the product name to export” in order to get the product through U.S. Customs by “replac[ing] hydroxychloroquine export with yam extract,” Staley replied “Excellent,” and then suggested the same mislabeling technique himself to another potential supplier.

Staley later bragged to the undercover agent just days later that he “got the last tank of . . . hydroxychloroquine smuggled out of China Sunday night at 1:00 a.m. in the morning” by “saying it was sweet potato extract.” In truth, but unbeknownst to Staley, the shipment contained only baking soda.

As set out in the indictment, Staley also sought to raise money for his lucrative COVID-19 venture by soliciting investments. He told one potential investor that, if she contributed a minimum of $25,000, he would promise to repay “triple [her] money in 90 days.”

Staley’s next court date is December 17, 2020 at 11 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.

The post Doctor Charged For Selling Hydroxychloroquine as “Cure” For COVID-19 appeared first on Breaking911.



Source: Breaking 911, Doctor Charged For Selling Hydroxychloroquine as “Cure” For COVID-19

Pfizer Slashed Its Original Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Target After Supply-Chain Obstacles – The Wall Street Journal

  1. Pfizer Slashed Its Original Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Target After Supply-Chain Obstacles  The Wall Street Journal
  2. What it feels like to get an mRNA coronavirus vaccine  CNN
  3. Initial vaccine distribution will cover fraction of health care workers  CBS News
  4. Everything you need to know about the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine  New Scientist News
  5. Dec. 2 Coronavirus updates: U.S. reports largest number of deaths since June  NBC News
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Pfizer Slashed Its Original Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Target After Supply-Chain Obstacles – The Wall Street Journal

One of the best meteor showers of 2020 is happening this month – KSAT San Antonio

  1. One of the best meteor showers of 2020 is happening this month  KSAT San Antonio
  2. December 2020 astronomical events: Geminid meteor shower, total solar eclipse, ‘great conjunction’ of Jupiter, Saturn  WPVI-TV
  3. A radiant, bountiful meteor shower, a ‘double’ planet and a full moon [December’s astronomical calendar]  LancasterOnline
  4. How to watch the Geminids meteor shower, one of the year’s best  WTOP
  5. Haleakalā National Park Premieres Virtual Program for Upcoming Geminids Meteor Shower  Maui Now
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, One of the best meteor showers of 2020 is happening this month – KSAT San Antonio

Larsa Pippen arrives home to face the music after Malik Beasley's wife 'files for divorce' – Daily Mail

  1. Larsa Pippen arrives home to face the music after Malik Beasley’s wife ‘files for divorce’  Daily Mail
  2. NBA Star Malik Beasley’s Wife Montana Yao Files for Divorce Amid Larsa Pippen Drama  E! NEWS
  3. NBA Star’s Wife ‘Blindsided’ By Photo Of Him With Larsa Pippen | TMZ TV  TMZ
  4. Montana Yao divorcing Malik Beasley after Larsa Pippen dating controversy  New York Post
  5. Larsa Pippen apparently has a famous new boyfriend — and his wife’s not happy  Yahoo! Voices
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Larsa Pippen arrives home to face the music after Malik Beasley’s wife ‘files for divorce’ – Daily Mail

Asian shares vault to record high as U.S. stimulus seen within reach – Reuters

  1. Asian shares vault to record high as U.S. stimulus seen within reach  Reuters
  2. Asian Stocks Mixed Over Vaccines, US Stimulus Measures Uncertainty By Investing.com  Investing.com
  3. Asian shares vault to record high as US stimulus seen within reach  The Edge Markets MY
  4. Asian shares hit record high as U.S. stimulus seen within reach  Reuters UK
  5. Asia stocks set for small gains as US advances fiscal stimulus  Moneycontrol.com
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Asian shares vault to record high as U.S. stimulus seen within reach – Reuters

Hackers are targeting the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain, IBM finds – The Verge

  1. Hackers are targeting the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain, IBM finds  The Verge
  2. Vaccine shipment companies targeted by cyberattacks, IBM says  Axios
  3. Hackers targeting COVID-19 vaccine supply chain, IBM warns  Japan Today
  4. COVID-19 vaccine distribution networks targeted by hackers  New Atlas
  5. Researchers Discovered Efforts to Steal Vaccine Data  VOA Learning English
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Hackers are targeting the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain, IBM finds – The Verge

Biden plans to ask Americans to wear masks for first 100 days in office, says Fauci will be chief medical adviser – Boston.com

  1. Biden plans to ask Americans to wear masks for first 100 days in office, says Fauci will be chief medical adviser  Boston.com
  2. CNN Exclusive: Biden says he will ask Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days he’s in office  CNN
  3. Joe Biden asks Anthony Fauci, the federal coronavirus expert, to become his chief medical adviser  Yahoo News
  4. Biden taps Murthy as nation’s top doctor, offers Fauci key role as covid team takes shape  The Washington Post
  5. Psaki, next White House press secretary, a veteran messenger  Associated Press
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Biden plans to ask Americans to wear masks for first 100 days in office, says Fauci will be chief medical adviser – Boston.com

Among first acts, Biden to call for 100 days of mask-wearing – WLBT

  1. Among first acts, Biden to call for 100 days of mask-wearing  WLBT
  2. Biden said he asked Fauci to stay on and be a chief medical adviser in his administration  CNN
  3. Biden will ask Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days as president  WCVB Boston
  4. Zients, Murthy tapped to head up Biden’s Covid-19 response  POLITICO
  5. Biden Asks Fauci To Join His Team : Biden Transition Updates  NPR
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Among first acts, Biden to call for 100 days of mask-wearing – WLBT

Video Shows The Heartbreaking Moment The Arecibo Telescope Collapsed – ScienceAlert

  1. Video Shows The Heartbreaking Moment The Arecibo Telescope Collapsed  ScienceAlert
  2. Drone footage shows the shocking collapse of the Arecibo Observatory  The Verge
  3. WATCH: Giant observatory collapses  KTTC
  4. Watch drone footage of Arecibo collapse  Boing Boing
  5. Arecibo Observatiory telescope in Puerto Rico collapses  cnn.com
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Video Shows The Heartbreaking Moment The Arecibo Telescope Collapsed – ScienceAlert

Not All Hedge Funds Had A Dismal Year: Coatue Is Up 53%, Balyasny Gains 30% As Some Veterans Flourish

Not All Hedge Funds Had A Dismal Year: Coatue Is Up 53%, Balyasny Gains 30% As Some Veterans Flourish

Tyler Durden

Thu, 12/03/2020 – 18:44

By now it is well-known that most hedge funds have a dismal 2020, outperformed not only by the S&P500 but also by retail investors, whose basket of 50 favorite stocks is up 80% YTD, versus the HFRX hedge fund index which is barely green on the year.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that every hedge fund had a terrible year, in fact as Bloomberg notes, some of the industry’s marquee names are proving why they deserve 2 and 20, racking up double-digit returns this year.

One fund racking up impressive YTD returns is Balyasny Asset Management is up 30% through the end of November, beating most of its multi-stra, pod-based peers. Citadel’s Wellington fund was also up in the double digits, returning a solid 21.2%, including a gain of 0.9% last month. The fund saw positive returns for both periods across its core strategies: equities, fixed income macro, credit, commodities and quant.

Some other equity-focused funds with stellar (at least in the context of the generally dismal industry) returns in 2020 are Lone Pine Capital whose Lone Cypress flagship fund is up 24%. Lone Pine’s long-only Lone Cascade fund was in line with the broader market last month, gaining 11% and bringing returns for 2020 to 39%, people said. Lone Pine benefited from a bullish bet on Shopify which was the firm’s largest publicly disclosed long wager as of Sept. 30. The stock is up almost 170% this year as online shopping surges in the pandemic.

One of the year’s best performers is

Philippe Laffont

‘s Coatue Management which is up more than 50% thanks to its long position in Tesla – the hedge fund held 3.1 million shares at the end of the third quarter, which would now be worth $1.3bn – as well as its Wirecard short, the fraudulent German payments group, making it one of the best-performing big hedge funds in the world in 2020. Coatue also benefited from its investments in PayPal which is up nearly 100 per cent this year, and in the video conferencing business Zoom as well as solar-panel maker Sunrun, which also appear in its recent regulatory disclosures. Meanwhile, a large stake in Disney has been a drag on its performance.

 

As the FT reports, in a rare appearance at an industry conference in 2018, Laffont – who is one of the most prominent “Tiger cubs” or investors who learned the tools of the trade under Julian Robertson’s hedge fund Tiger Management – said: “I truly believe that in every portfolio you need to ask yourself what is going to be more relevant five to 10 years versus today.

“The most interesting trend is that technology, which used to be mostly software and semiconductors and obscure things, it’s coming everywhere, it’s the future of cars and the future of transportation and every sector.”

In addition to its flagship hedge fund, Coatue manages other investment vehicles in areas such as private equity and venture capital, and its overall assets under management are $25bn.

Coatue’s main fund which manages more than $11 billion returned 53% net of fees through the end of November, the FT  and Bloomberg reported.

These funds are largely outliers: the average hedge fund lost 4.5% in the year up to the end of October, according to HFR, and equity-focused hedge funds have only returned 3%, dramatically underperforming stock markets which are up more than 10%.  Even tech-focused hedge funds, which have enjoyed a solid year, have returned about 17%, according to HFR, less than half the YTD return of the Nasdaq which doesn’t charge any fees.

As a result of another year of dismal performance, the hedge fund industry suffered net investor redemptions of more than $100bn in the first 10 months of the year, according to Eurekahedge, a data provider, about half of which was yanked out of long-short funds.

A list of some other outperformers is below:



Source: Zero Hedge, Not All Hedge Funds Had A Dismal Year: Coatue Is Up 53%, Balyasny Gains 30% As Some Veterans Flourish

Couple arrested after flying to Hawaii despite positive COVID-19 test in NW – OregonLive

  1. Couple arrested after flying to Hawaii despite positive COVID-19 test in NW  OregonLive
  2. A couple was arrested after allegedly traveling to Hawaii knowing they tested positive for Covid-19  CNN
  3. Couple Arrested After Boarding Flight to Hawaii Despite Testing Positive for COVID-19: Authorities  PEOPLE
  4. Couple Flies From SFO to Hawaii While Knowingly COVID-Positive, Gets Arrested  SFist
  5. Hawaii has updated its travel restrictions. What to know if you’re flying from Phoenix  The Arizona Republic
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Couple arrested after flying to Hawaii despite positive COVID-19 test in NW – OregonLive

"Trump's China Measures Will Box Biden In": Visa Restrictions For 92 Million CCP Members

“Trump’s China Measures Will Box Biden In”: Visa Restrictions For 92 Million CCP Members

Tyler Durden

Thu, 12/03/2020 – 18:40

“Trump’s measures will box Biden in,” Shi Yinhong, director of the Center on American Studies at Renmin University of China and an adviser to the Chinese government told Bloomberg of Trump’s pressure campaign which has ramped up all the way into the presidential transition.

“It’s a constant escalation. The starting point for negotiations keeps rising. It’s unlikely for the U.S. side to return to a time before decoupling,” he added. Here are the latest major escalations out of the Trump White House:

  • Travel visas for all members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and their families have been greatly restricted to unprecedented levels.

  • Cotton imports from a major PLA military-linked company have been banned based on accusations of “slave labor”.

  • And looming on the horizon: Trump is expected to sign a bill passed by the House that would impose US audit reviews of Chinese companies’ books, expected to lead to the likely delisting of Chinese companies from American exchanges, given Beijing is unlikely to cooperate with such a measure.

Via Reuters

Any of these actions alone are already huge, but taken altogether could lead to final breaking point, or as Yinhong underscored a point of no return “before decoupling”.

On the visa issue, the chief significance and expansive impact will be seen in the fact that there are some 92 million Communist Party members, according to most estimates.

Up to this point, party members were treated like any Chinese citizen seeking entry to the United States – able to obtain a US visitor visa for up to a decade. Now they and their families will be limited to a one-time, one month single entry visa, after which a new one must be sought. It’s perhaps the most direct way thus far Trump’s pressure on China will impact much of the broader population and not just high government officials.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson demanded the US administration immediately reverse course: “China lodges representations with the U.S. side and we hope people in the U.S. will adopt a common rational view toward China and give up their hatred and abnormal mindset toward the CCP.” Yet the action is so early in its rollout the spokesperson told Bloomberg she was not yet aware of it.

Meanwhile a US Embassy-China spokesperson framed it as part of combatting CCP propaganda, saying in a written statement, “The CCP and its members actively work in the U.S. to influence Americans through propaganda, economic coercion, and other nefarious activities.” 

“For decades we allowed the CCP free and unfettered access to U.S. institutions and businesses while these same privileges were never extended freely to U.S. citizens in China,” the US official added.

Practically speaking it will be interesting to see how rapidly these major policy changes can be implemented, given Trump has a mere weeks to go in office before Biden’s inauguration January 20. They are coming so swiftly it does certainly seem the strategy to “box-in” Biden in terms of deteriorated Sino-US relations has hit peak stride.



Source: Zero Hedge, “Trump’s China Measures Will Box Biden In”: Visa Restrictions For 92 Million CCP Members