Feds win guilty pleas from two men in stem cell therapy scam

Two men pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from their scam to peddle unapproved stem cell treatments to patients with incurable neurological illnesses, a victory for investigators from the FBI and FDA who tracked down the cons. And now Frank Morales and Lawrence Stowe face jail time for their scam, which the TV show "60 Minutes" covered with hidden cameras back in April 2010, according to a CBS News report.

Illinois resident Stowe operated his scheme through businesses such as Stowe BioTherapy and The Stowe Foundation to promote treatments for ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, multiple sclerosis and other diseases, according to the U.S. Department of Justice's press release. Some customers were fooled, unfortunately. He falsely claimed that his battery of therapies for certain neurological ailments had sign-offs from the FDA. Among his own conspiracy crimes, Morales, of Brownsville, TX, sold Stowe an unapproved drug with knowledge that the latter man would peddle it to patients.

"These pleas are a victory for the American public, in demonstrating the FDA's commitment to investigating cases of individuals and businesses that prey on the sick and vulnerable with phony medical treatments," FDA Special Agent Patrick Holland said in a statement. "The FDA will continue to aggressively pursue perpetrators of such acts, and ensure that they are punished to the full extent of the law."

Credit CBS reporters for exposing the misdeeds of what the news outlet calls snake-oil salesmen of the 21st Century. It claims that its coverage of the scam led to the feds' investigation of Morales.

- check out the DOJ release
- and the CBS News report

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