Lawrence Stowe and his co-conspirator Francisco Morales lured desperate patients with ALS and other neurological ailments to their clinic with promises of miracle cures. Instead unsuspecting patients were subjected to untested and bogus treatments that cost as much as $100,000 per patient.
Lawrence Stowe, the so-called doctor referred to as a “21st Century snake oil salesman” in a 2010 episode of 60 Minutes, has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to introduce misbranded and unapproved new drugs into interstate commerce and been sentenced to 6 years in prison, according to the FBI.
Back in January of this year the FDA reported that Stowe’s accomplice Francisco Morales was sentenced to 5 years in prison for posing as a doctor and for his role in the medical fraud perpetrated by Stowe.
Stowe and Morales’ stem cell con was first revealed to authorities by the 60 Minutes “Snake Oil Salesmen” story. In the report, 60 Minutes discovered that Stowe was offering untested stem cell treatments to patients suffering cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), and other neurological degenerative conditions. Using hidden cameras, 60 Minutes revealed that Stowe made all manner of miracle-cure claims about his expensive treatments.
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The FBI reports that Stowe “utilized several businesses, Stowe BioTherapy Inc. and The Stowe Foundation to advertise and promote a medical treatment protocol for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s, and other neurological diseases. This treatment protocol, which was named ‘Applied Biologics,’ consisted of supplements, vaccines, patient specific transfer factors and ultimately stem cell therapy. Stowe falsely represented to patients that this treatment protocol had been reviewed by all levels of the FDA and was effective in the treatment of ALS, MS, and Parkinson’s. There is currently no cure for these diseases.”
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Stowe convinced a man suffering with ALS to give over his life savings of $47,000 for treatment with Stowe’s cocktail of useless treatments. The DOJ also reports that Stowe took another $3,800 from a family whose son had suffered brain damage after a near-drowning incident. In exchange for the cash, the boy received a completely ineffective, non-FDA approved stem cell procedure.
The cases were investigated by the FDA and the FBI with assistance from Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Former Assistant United States Attorney Samuel Louis and Assistant U.S. Attorney Cedric L. Joubert prosecuted the case with assistance of Carol Wallack with the Department of Justice Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch.