Four members of a Florida family were convicted Wednesday of selling a toxic industrial bleach as a fake COVID-19 cure through their online church.
A federal jury in Miami found Mark Grenon, 65, and his sons, 37-year-old Jonathan, 35-year-old Joseph and 29-year-old Jordan, guilty of conspiring to defraud the United States and deliver misbranded drugs, according to court records. That charge carries up to five years in prison. Their sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 6.
The Grenons represented themselves but declined to speak during the two-day trial, the Miami Herald reported. After the jury delivered its verdict, Joseph Grenon said they would be appealing.
Prosecutors called the Grenons “con men” and “snake-oil salesmen” and said the family’s Genesis II Church of Health and Healing sold $1 million worth of their so-called Miracle Mineral Solution, distributing it to tens of thousands of people nationwide. In videos, the solution was sold as a cure for 95% of known diseases, including COVID-19, Alzheimer’s, autism, brain cancer, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis, prosecutors said.
What the Grenons were selling was actually chlorine dioxide, officials said. When ingested, the solution becomes a bleach that is typically used for such things as treating textiles, industrial water, pulp and paper, according to the Food and Drug Administration, which warned drinking it could cause dangerous side effects like severe vomiting, diarrhea, and life-threatening low blood pressure. Authorities said it is the same as drinking bleach and can be fatal.
Authorities said in July 2022 that they had received reports of people requiring hospitalizations, developing life-threatening conditions, and even dying after drinking the solution.
A Miami federal judgeto stop selling the substance in 2020, but that was ignored.
Jonathan and Jordan Grenon were arrested in Bradenton, Florida. Mark and Joseph Grenon fled to Colombia, where they wereback to the U.S.
Besides the fraud convictions, Jonathan and Jordan Grenon were also convicted of violating federal court orders requiring them to stop selling Miracle Mineral Solution in 2020. U.S. authorities agreed to drop those same contempt charges against Mark and Joseph Grenon as a condition of their extradition from Colombia.
In the indictment charging the family members, authorities alleged that they were using Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, an entity they described as a “non-religious church,” to avoid government regulation of the solution and to protect themselves from prosecution. The mineral solution could only be acquired through a “donation” to the church, but donation amounts were set at specific dollar amounts and were mandatory, the indictment said.