Man admits selling fake coronavirus cure kits

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City of London Police

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Frank Ludlow had a genuine belief his cure could “take out all viral infections”, the court heard

A man has pleaded guilty to selling fake coronavirus cure kits to people in France and the United States.

Frank Ludlow, 59, was caught by City of London Police trying to send dozens of parcels of fake remedies in a post office near his West Sussex home.

Judge William Mousley said father-of-two Ludlow contacted national governments and “took advantage of an international crisis”.

Ludlow was given a suspended 10-month sentence at Portsmouth Crown Court.

American custom officials intercepted Ludlow’s fake kits at Los Angeles International Airport, with his “Trinity Covid-19 SARS Antipathogenic Treatment” labels attached.

Ludlow’s address was also found by customs officers who alerted City of London Police on 23 March.

Hours later, officers went to a post office in Petersfield, Hampshire, to ask for a description of the person who had been sending the packages.

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City of London Police

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Police seized chemicals and labels when they raided Ludlow’s home in March

The court heard while officers were talking to staff Ludlow walked in with more packages addressed to France, Shoreham and New York.

Prosecutor Steven Hopper said: “Mr Ludlow admitted to making the product and had been making it for 17 years.

“Despite saying his cures had had not been officially tested, Mr Ludlow told police he was confident it took out ‘all viral infections’.”

Ludlow “made elaborate claims” about wanting to make 1,000 kits a week and he sent a message to a friend saying “Thank god for Covid-19”, Mr Hopper added.

Defence barrister Ben Smitten said Ludlow had spent time in custody and while in lockdown was only allowed out one hour a day.

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