A father and three sons have been convicted in Miami federal court of making $1 million through a fake church selling toxic bleach as a ‘miracle cure’ for the coronavirus.
Mark Grennon, 65, and sons Jonathan, 37, Joseph, 35, and Jordan, 29, were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the US government and the FDA by distributing an unapproved and misbranded drug.
The jury also found Jonathan and Jordan guilty of violating a federal court order to stop selling drugs.
Conspiracy charges carry up to five years in prison, and contempt carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. They are scheduled to be sentenced in Miami on October 6.
The family began selling Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) – a chemical solution containing sodium chlorite that, when mixed with water and a citric acid activator, turns into ‘chlorine dioxide’ – from a fake Florida church website to thousands of people across the US, in 2010. . Sales continued through the Covid pandemic.
Mark Grennon, 65, (pictured) and his sons were convicted of conspiring to defraud the US government and the FDA by distributing an unauthorized and misbranded drug.
The family sold Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), a chemical solution containing sodium chlorite that, when mixed with water and a citric acid activator, turns into chlorine dioxide.
In April 2020, the feds cracked down on the enterprise after Grennon’s defied an FDA order to stop distributing the poison.
Their disobedience of court orders eventually led to criminal charges and a raid on their home in Bradenton, Florida, where investigators found loaded guns, nearly 10,000 pounds of sodium chlorite powder, and thousands of bottles of MMS.
Jonathan and Jordan were arrested in Bradenton, and Joseph fled to Colombia, where he was later extradited by Colombian authorities.
Grennon, dressed in a beige prison uniform, chose to represent himself in the two-day trial that ended Wednesday.
While Joseph told the court: ‘We will appeal.’
Throughout the trial, prosecutors portrayed the Grennons as con men using the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing website to defraud consumers and the US government.
Kin used video pitches to appeal to customers, claiming MMS as a cure for 95 percent of the world’s known diseases, including AIDS and the coronavirus.
‘This entire Miracle Mineral Solutions scheme was built on fraud and dishonesty,’ said prosecutor John Shipley during his closing arguments.
Joseph Grennon (pictured) was arrested in Colombia where authorities returned him to the United States
Jonathan Grennon was convicted of two counts of violating a federal court order to stop selling drugs.
Jordan was also found guilty of conspiracy, which means he could face life in prison
Mark Grennon used the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing website to flog the dangerous substance.
The Grennons ‘created a fake church to make it harder for the Food and Drug Administration and the government to stop selling snake oil,’ Shipley explained. ‘It was no church. It was a scam for money – an old-fashioned scam.’
Shipley and fellow prosecutor Michael Homer described how
The Grennons called themselves ‘Bishops’ and peddled MMS as a ‘sacrament’ to consumers in South Florida and other parts of the US in exchange for ‘donations’ to Genesis Church.
On Wednesday, US District Judge Cecilia Altonaga instructed the jury that the Grennons could not use the First Amendment as a defense for selling MMS because their so-called church was not a religious entity.
In a public warning, the FDA said it had received several reports of hospitalizations and life-threatening conditions after people drank the hazardous substance.
The criminal case brought in April 2020 was the first pandemic-related enforcement action in Florida.
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