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Press Release

Part-Time Actor from Orange County Found Guilty of Soliciting Investors for Shell Companies that Peddled Bogus COVID Cure and Treatment

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

LOS ANGELES – An Orange County man and part-time actor was found guilty by a jury today of soliciting investors in companies that marketed what in fact were a bogus cure and treatment for COVID-19 during the pandemic’s early days.

Keith Lawrence Middlebrook, 56, of Huntington Beach, was found guilty of 11 counts of wire fraud. He remains free on $150,000 bond.

According to evidence presented at a three-day trial, in March 2020, Middlebrook solicited potential investors in California, Nevada, New York, Texas, and Colorado via text messages, videos and statements posted on YouTube and Instagram about his purported cure for COVID-19. Middlebrook called this so-called cure “QC20,” and he also marketed a purported COVID treatment, which he called “QP20.”

Middlebrook claimed to have personally developed a “patent-pending” cure and a treatment to prevent coronavirus infection. Middlebrook fraudulently solicited investments in various companies with a series of false promises. These fraudulent claims included miraculous results from the prevention product and the cure, risk-free and 100 percent guaranteed “enormous returns” on investments,” and that former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Earvin “Magic” Johnson was a director and officer of Middlebrook’s company. He induced victims to invest their money by promising them enormous returns.

To bolster these claims, defendant Middlebrook lied that a party in Dubai had offered to purchase Middlebrook’s companies for $10 billion, and this offer would secure the victim-investors’ investments in the companies. He also lied that he had secured funding from seven investors who had each already invested between $750,000 and $1 million.

The FBI arrested Middlebrook in this case in March 2020 after Middlebrook delivered pills – purportedly the treatment that prevents coronavirus infection – to an undercover agent who was posing as an investor.

United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer scheduled a September 9 sentencing hearing, at which time Middlebrook will face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count.

The FBI investigated this matter.

Assistant United States Attorneys Kenneth R. Carbajal and Joseph S. Guzman, both of the General Crimes Section, are prosecuting this case.


Ciaran McEvoy
Public Information Officer
(213) 894-4465

Updated May 10, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-110