A Florida family has been accused of selling thousands of bottles of toxic industrial bleach by touting it as a miracle coronavirus cure.
Mark Grenon, 62, and his sons Jonathan, Jordan and Joseph allegedly made more than $1m (£719,725) selling their “Miracle Mineral Solution” and claiming it could cure illnesses including cancer, malaria and COVID-19.
Officials said the solution being sold was actually chlorine dioxide, which is typically used for industrial water treatment and can be deadly if ingested.
Authorities have not approved the substance for medical use and have said it is dangerous to ingest, warning people against using it for any reason.
Court documents show the substance was being sold and marketed by a non-religious church called Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, where Mark Grenon is the archbishop.
Authorities had ordered them to stop selling the product last April, but the court order was ignored.
The Grenons have been accused of fraud and violating civil court orders and they face possible life sentences if convicted.
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According to court documents, the family manufactured the solution in a shed in Bradenton, south of Tampa.
After raiding the property, authorities found dozens of chemical drums, 10,000 pounds of sodium nitrate and thousands of bottles of the solution, the US attorneys office for southern Florida said.
The family had already sold more than 28,000 bottles and had seen a huge jump in revenue – from an average of $32,000 (£23,000) a month to $123,000 (£88,580) – court documents said.
The papers also allege that on a podcast released last year, Mark Grenon had referred to the 2nd Amendment and threatened a federal judge over a court order halting the sale of MMS and claiming she was committing “treason”.
“Do they want a Waco?” he allegedly said, referring to the 1993 siege of a religious compound that resulted in the deaths of 76 people.
Two of the sons, Jordan and Jonathan Grenon, have been arrested and are scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.
Mark and Joseph Grenon are in Colombia.