Attorney Patrick Griffin Defends Doctor, Veteran Unfairly Prosecuted for Fraud
Patrick Griffin, a lawyer representing Dr. Jennings Ryan Staley of California, who has been charged with fraud, said his client truly believed he was helping people during a crisis, and that it’s unfair to prosecute him.
According to The New York Times article, Jennings Ryan Staley, 44, a licensed physician and the owner of Skinny Beach Med Spa in San Diego, was charged with mail fraud for his role in selling “Covid-19 treatment packs”. These packs included the medications hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.
The drugs were sold at $3,995 for a family of four, and that included, among other things,
two medications, anti-anxiety treatments to help patients avoid panic, as well as access to Dr. Staley.
Federal prosecutors, who opened an investigation after F.B.I. agents received a tip, claim that Dr. Staley said that drugs hydroxychloroquine mefloquine would totally cure Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus in a phone call with an undercover F.B.I. agent. According to prosecutors, the doctor guaranteed that the treatment would cure the virus, although he later said that there were no guarantees of anything.
Robert S. Brewer Jr., the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, said in a statement that Covid-19 fraudsters who try to profit and take advantage of the pandemic fear to cheat, steal and harm others would not be tolerated. Assistant U. S. Attorney Robert Huie also explained that the case is actually about the 100 percent curative claims made about the medication.
However, Patrick Griffin, Dr. Staley’s lawyer, said that his client was unfairly prosecuted for selling a drug that was repeatedly promoted by the executive branch of government as well as President Donald Trump as a “100 percent” cure. He pointed out that Dr. Staley, who didn’t have a criminal record and was an Iraq veteran, was criminally charged for doing exactly the same thing that the administration’s been doing.
Griffin explained that his client truly believed he was helping people, that he wasn’t scamming anyone, and that the treatment packs were sold at a fair market price. He added that the proper forum for his client’s conduct was a state regulatory agency, instead of a federal criminal courtroom.
If he was convicted, Dr. Staley could spend up to 20 years in prison.