Dynamic Duo

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Pills spilling out of a prescription bottle on 100 dollar paper currency

When you think of dynamic duos, Batman and Robin might come to mind. A former naturopathic doctor from Port Angeles, Wash., claimed his product named “Dynamic Duo”, could “crush” viruses such as COVID-19 and MRSA, and treat a variety of serious diseases, all for the low price of $140 plus shipping. (Batman and Robin would have done it for free.)

Richard Marschall, 68, advertised himself as a retired naturopath and health coach on Facebook, where he also showcased his products. Criminal investigators from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began reviewing complaints about his posts on the social media platform in late March 2020. (Facebook was probably too busy fighting “fake news” to deal with Marschall’s fake claim that his product could eliminate MRSA and other infections that were resistant to antibiotics.)

When an undercover FDA investigator contacted Marschall by phone to ask questions about the “Dynamic Duo,” he explained that the product contained garlic extract and larch tree starch. He claimed it literally killed the virus and boosted white blood cell protection to attack infections. (If only garlic killed COVID-19 we could have been done with this pandemic by now.)

While the undercover agent was talking to the fraudster, Marschall referred to himself as a doctor. His Facebook posts and additional marketing materials listed him as “N.D”. or “N.D. retired.” (N.D. stands for naturopathic doctor.) But he did not have a license to practice naturopathy. (Because the Washington State Department of Health had previously revoked his credential to practice as a naturopath.)

The undercover agent paid $140 plus shipping for the “Dynamic Duo.” The product was received by the FDA in early April 2020, along with other documents. It turns out that the products were made by other manufacturers, not Marschall. (Surprise?)

The manufacturers’ labels did not claim to kill the virus as Marschall had indicated, but he did provide other documents that claimed the “Dynamic Duo” could “crush 30 different viral infections, including those in the Corona family, like in China Corona-19.” (Why would anyone doubt Dr. Marschall’s claim? Uh, because his claims are totally false and misleading and also because his products were not listed with the FDA. Now there’s a shocker.) 

A 4-day trial led to Marschall’s conviction for Introduction of Misbranded Drugs into Interstate Commerce. (Note that this is his third conviction for the same crime.) When sentenced in early 2022, Marschall faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. (What this guy needs is a super hero to rescue him; however, I doubt his “Dynamic Duo” can save him now.)  

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “Former Naturopath convicted of trafficking in misbranded drugs he claimed could treat and prevent COVID,” dated October 25, 2021.

Tacoma – A former Port Angeles, Washington, naturopathic physician was convicted late last week of a federal felony related to his misbranding of products he claimed could prevent and treat numerous serious diseases, including COVID-19 and MRSA, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas W. Brown.   Richard Marschall, 68, was convicted following a 4-day trial.  The jury found Marschall guilty of Introduction of Misbranded Drugs into Interstate Commerce, his third conviction for the same crime following earlier prosecutions in 2011 and 2017.  Sentencing in front of U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle likely will occur in early 2022.

According to records filed in the case, in late March, 2020, Food and Drug Administration criminal investigators began reviewing complaints from the public about Facebook posts for Marschall’s products.   Investigators reviewed Marschall’s Facebook page which included claims that his product the “Dynamic Duo” could “crush” viruses, including the coronavirus.  Marschall billed himself as a retired naturopath and “Health Coach.”  Marschall’s Facebook page also claimed that his products could eliminate MRSA and other infections “even if there is antibiotic resistance.”

 

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.