Oct. 26, 2010
KANSAS PHYSICIAN WHO OFFERED PHONY LYME DISEASE CURE PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD
KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Kansas physician has pleaded guilty to participating in a fraudulent scheme to sell medical equipment and drug treatments for a nonexistent epidemic of Lyme disease, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
John R. Toth, 61, Topeka, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, introduce misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, receive misbranded drugs in interstate commerce and introduce adulterated or misbranded medical devices into interstate commerce.
In his plea, Toth admitted that beginning in September 2001, co-defendants CRB, Inc., doing business as American Biologics, Robert W. Bradford, Brigitte G. Byrd, Carole Bradford and others developed a strategy for marketing a medical device and drugs to diagnose and treat Lyme disease, which they claimed was the underlying cause of many illnesses the medical community was failing to address. The marketing plan promoted a false “epidemic” of Lyme disease in order to create demand for a microscope the co-defendants manufactured and claimed could diagnose the disease and for drugs they claimed could cure the disease. Neither the medical device nor the drugs was reviewed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Toth distributed various drugs prepared by the conspirators including Bismacine, Dioxychlor, Sulfoxime and Bio-Rizin to his patients. Because he knew that health care benefit programs would not pay for the Lyme disease treatment, he established Alternative Therapies Health Association to bill patients for the treatment. He charged patients for the use of the Bradford Microscope and intravenous injection of drugs. As a result of such treatment, one patient in Kansas experienced renal failure and another patient in Kansas lapsed into a coma and died.
Toth is set for sentencing Jan. 18, 2011. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. He agreed to pay a money judgment of $30,000.
Co defendants are:
Robert W. Bradford, who pleaded guilty and is set for sentencing Dec. 14, 2010.
Carole E. Bradford, who pleaded guilty and is set for sentencing Jan. 18, 2011.
Brigitte G. Byrd, who pleaded guilty and is set for sentencing Jan. 18, 2011.
CRB, Inc., dba American Biologics, which pleaded guilty and is set for sentencing Jan. 18, 2011.
Grissom commended the Food and Drug Administration – Office of Criminal Investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Rask and John Claud, trial attorney with the Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Litigation for their work on the case.