As part of a broad crackdown on pandemic scams, the Department of Justice announced on Friday that a self-styled health and wellness center in Dallas, Texas has been barred from marketing “ozone therapy” as a cure for the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
According to the DOJ, U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay entered a judgment against Purity Health and Wellness Centers and its principal Jean Juanita Allen for fraudulently peddling the “bogus” cure. Per the DOJ:
According to court filings, Allen told a caller posing as a potential customer that although ozone could be dangerous, Purity’s treatment was safe even for children, would sanitize anything, and would eradicate viral or bacterial infections.
The court filings alleged that Allen claimed Purity’s ozone treatments – which she asserted would increase oxygen in the blood, making it impossible for viruses to manifest – were 95 percent effective even for someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. She claimed a team of “doctors” had recommended an “ozone steam sauna” for someone with COVID-19.
On Instagram, Purity Health & Wellness claimed ozone was the “only prevention” for COVID-19 and insisted the treatment could “eradicate” the virus. The center also claimed ozone could combat other deadly diseases, including cancer, SARS, and Ebola.
The permanent injunction and agreed upon judgment obtained by Law&Crime shows that Purity Health and Wellness Centers and Allen are “permanently enjoined and shall immediately cease from offering to treat, cure, prevent, or otherwise mitigate the impact of the novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 through ‘ozone therapy.'”
The business was ordered to “remove, delete, take down, and cease making any such representations or statements regarding ‘ozone therapy’ as they relate to the Coronavirus or COVID-19, including, but not limited to, posts on Defendants’ Instagram account.”
The Instagram account can be found here.
“Finally, it is ordered, adjudged, and decreed that this is a final judgment; the court retains jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the permanent injunction; and the parties shall bear their own costs of court,” Judge Lindsay said.
Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt said Friday that the DOJ wouldn’t stand idly by while fraudulent coronavirus cures are marketed to the public.
“We are working with law enforcement and agency partners to stop those who attempt to profit by selling useless products during this pandemic,” Hunt said.
U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox said the ozone “cure” was flat out “bogus.”
“This defendant preyed on public fear, peddling bogus treatments that had absolutely no effect against COVID-19,” Cox said in a statement. “As we’ve said in past COVID-19 civil cases: the Department of Justice will not permit anyone to exploit a pandemic for personal gain.”
The DOJ noted that the “claims made in [its] complaint are allegations that the United States would have had to prove if the case had proceeded to trial.”
Read the judgment below:
[Image via Google Maps screengrab]
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