MIAMI (AP) — A Florida family accused of selling toxic industrial bleach as a fake COVID-19 cure through their online church is going on trial this week in Miami.
Mark Grenon, 65, and his sons, Jonathan, 37, Joseph, 35, and Jordan, 29, are all charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and deliver mislabeled drugs, court records show .
The Grenons are representing themselves but declined to make opening statements as the trial began on Monday, the Miami Herald reported. They pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors called the Grenons “scam artists” and “snake oil salesmen” and said the Bradenton family’s Genesis II Health and Healing Church sold $1 million of their so- saying miracle mineral solution. In videos, it has been touted as a purported cure for 95% of known diseases, including COVID-19, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, brain cancer, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis, prosecutors said.
What the Grenons were selling was actually chlorine dioxide, officials said. When ingested, the solution becomes a bleaching agent that is typically used for things like treating textiles, industrial water, pulp and paper, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Authorities said it was the same as drinking bleach and could be deadly.
A Miami federal judge ordered the church to stop selling the substance in 2020, but it was ignored.
Jonathan and Jordan Grenon were arrested in Bradenton, just south of the Tampa Bay area. Mark and Joseph Grenon fled to Colombia, where they were arrested and extradited to the United States