A couple has pleaded guilty in a California court to charges related to the sale of an unapproved device that they said could be used as treatment for a range of conditions, including AIDS, worms and cancer.
David and Sandra Perez marketed the Energy Wave over the Internet — an unapproved device that consists of a microcurrent frequency generator, two stainless steel cylinders, two personal application plates and a list of auto codes associated with specific disease conditions, according to court documents.
“Users were provided with an operating manual and a listing of ‘Auto Codes’ that set forth hundreds of digital settings for the device, directed to specific conditions such as abdominal pain, AIDS, diabetes, stroke, ulcer and worms,” according to court documents filed in the U.S District Court for the Southern District of California.
Fines, Other Penalties
David, 60, has admitted to selling the device for $1,200 to $1,500 each, earning gross proceeds of about $271,000. Sandra, 55, shipped the devices and deposited the funds necessary to pay a coconspirator, David Arthur.
In an indictment unsealed earlier this year, Arthur was accused of producing the devices at his residence, which was not registered with the FDA as a manufacturing establishment. He previously pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
David admitted that he intended to mislead the FDA by attempting to avoid the agency’s oversight of medical claims made regarding the Energy Wave device by maintaining a separate website, rifecodes.com. He would steer customers to the site to obtain the auto codes that allegedly were effective in treating the various conditions.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy chides the couple, who previously lived in Carlsbad, Calif., but now resides in Oregon, for duping vulnerable elderly patients, many of whom were suffering from incurable diseases.
“Those who are sick and desperate for relief are particularly vulnerable to scams, and we are doing our best to protect them from people who exploit the weak for their own financial gain” she says.
David is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 11, 2016, and faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sandra already has received a sentence of a year of probation and 100 hours of community service. She also must pay restitution of $1,495 to a buyer of the device. — Elizabeth Hollis