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Monday, 20 May 2013

Ex Doctor and Pentecostal minister Dr.Christine Daniel, Who Hawked Phony Cancer Cure on TBN, Gets 14 Years, $1.2 Million Fine

Christine Daniel, Who Hawked Phony Cancer Cure on TBN, Gets 14 Years, $1.2 Million Fine


An ex-doctor and minister who hawked a miracle cancer cure via a program on the Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) was sentenced today to 14 years in federal prison because her "brown sludge'' was actually made of suntan lotion and beef flavoring. Besides TBN, Christine Daniel, 58, of Santa Clarita, also sold the phony cure through her "wellness center" with ever-changing names in Mission Hills. In addition to the prison stretch, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Timlin, who remanded Daniel into custody following the four-hour hearing in Los Angeles, ordered her to forfeit nearly $1.2 million. When the then-licensed physician and ordained Pentecostal minister was arrested in LA in October 2009, she'd by then taken $1.1 million from 55 families over three years for her herbal "C-Extract." At least six patients died over a six-month period.

As we reported at the time, Daniel appearing on TBN's Praise the Lord program was not her only Orange County connection.

 Fraud: Dr Christine Daniel has been jailed after conning patients out of money for her herbal cancer cure

Doctor-Minister Arrested for Fake Cancer Cure Has OC Ties

She had privileges at Los Alamitos Medical Center, according to her official website.

Besides cancer, Daniel claimed C-Extract cured multiple sclerosis, strokes, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes and hepatitis, boasting a 60-80 percent success rate for the most advanced forms of cancer. Victims from around the country told Judge Timlin that Daniel instructed them to stop their chemotherapy and other traditional cancer treatments and pay her $5,000 instead for "C-Extract." One patient who paid $13,000 died a few months later.

Many reportedly said they trusted Daniel because she was a minister. She reportedly played on that faith, according to her jaw-dropping court testimony related by City News Service: "In faith-based churches, there are a lot of people who won't go to doctors. They know in their hearts that what they are saying is not correct. They know the truth, and the Lord's going to deal with this.''

She can thank the Creator for this: the four counts of mail and wire fraud, six counts of tax evasion and one count of witness tampering she was found guilty of in September 2011 could have sent her away to prison for 80 years.

Doctor who claimed herbal concoction could cure cancer and duped $1m out of patients is jailed for 14 years

  • California doctor robbed patients of 'hopes and dreams of cure'
  • Herbal cure found to contain beef extract and sunscreen preservative
By Jessica Jerreat


 A California doctor who duped patients out of more than $1 million after claiming her herbal supplements could cure cancer has been jailed for 14 years.

Christine Daniel charged patients up to $100,000 for six months of treatment, which she claimed could also cure diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

'Daniel robbed victims of more than money – she also stole their hopes and dreams for a cure,' U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said after the doctor was sentenced.

The 58-year-old was also ordered to pay back nearly $1.3 million, by U.S. District Judge Robert Timlin, who sentenced her over four counts of mail and wire fraud, six counts of tax evasion and one count of witness tampering.

The doctor and Pentecostal minister claimed her natural cancer treatment had a 60 to 80 per cent chance of success for advanced stages of the disease.

Claims that the supplements were natural and blended specifically for individual patients were found to be false in court. 

It actually contained sunscreen preservative, beef extract flavoring and other ingredients that would not have any effect on cancer or other diseases, expert testimony proved.

Some of the Los Angeles doctor's patients died from complications after taking her supplement, including Paula Middlebrooks, who was charged nearly $60,000, the court was told.

After five months Daniel claimed Ms Middlebrooks was free of cancer, and threw her a party. However, the Georgia woman's breast cancer had spread and she died soon after.

Debra Harris, whose sister Barbara died after being treated by Daniel, submitted a letter to the court saying: 'I live with the guilt that I should have seen that none of what she was going through was helping her, but instead was hurting her.'

It wasn't only Daniel's patients who were convinced they could be cured, Ms Harris said. Their families  'wanted to believe it just as bad,' The Washington Post reported.

Another case highlighted during the trial was that of a 22-year-old woman who was suffering from neck lymphoma.

Although her condition could be cured, the woman died because Daniel recommended that she should avoid having radiation or chemotherapy.

'Daniel is responsible for a shockingly cold-hearted fraud that has brought her a richly deserved federal prison sentence,' Mr Birotte said in a statement published by the Huffington Post.

The court heard from 28 former patients and family members of cancer sufferers who had died.

Some told the court they were advised to avoid chemotherapy and to not take pain killers while being treated by Daniel.

This led to some spending the last few months of their lives in agony, Cal Coast News reported.

Daniel was also accused of trying to influence at least two witnesses at her trial, including a former patient.

And, in an attempt to make her clinic, which operated under names including Sonrise Wellness Center, appear as a non-profit organization, Daniel told patients to classify medical service payments as donations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Johns said in court documents that Daniels had 'a merciless and callous indifference to the suffering of her patients and their family members'.

He added: 'It is unlikely that our federal criminal justice system will see the like of defendant Christine Daniel again.'
Read more:

Doctor-Minister Arrested for Fake Cancer Cure Has OC Ties

Another health practitioner with Orange County ties has been arrested on suspicion of prescribing phony cancer cures.

Licensed physician and ordained Pentecostal minister Christine Daniel of Mission Hills was arrested Thursday night in Los Angeles for allegedly taking $1.1 million from 55 families over three years for an herbal cancer "treatment" that resulted in at least six patient deaths in a six-month period.

(The only image Clockwork could find of the 55-year-old was this line drawing from the Wall Street Journal, although there exists online multiple photographs of Christine Daniels, formerly known as Los Angeles Times sportswriter Mike Penner.)

Dr. Daniel reportedly appeared on the Costa Mesa-based Christian television network TBN's Praise the Lord program and convinced some viewers to become her patients, stop their medically prescribed cancer treatments and send her $5,000 apiece. At least one rube is claimed to have paid her $13,000 only to die a few months later.

Among the three Southern California hospitals where Daniel has privileges, according to her official website, is Los Alamitos Medical Center. The criminal case against Daniel is similar to that of Daryn Peterson, the 37-year-old Las Vegas resident who the Orange County District Attorney's Office charged last month with unauthorized practice of medicine, operating a health care service plan without a license, treating cancer without a license, offering an unapproved drug for cancer treatment, and misrepresenting himself as a licensed medical practitioner.

Peterson's boasts of rejecting western medicine and reversing cancer through a vitamin regime had been touted in an Orange County Register feature story. Some of the OCDA's evidence was collected by an investigator who posed as one of Peterson's patients and met with the accused in his Mira Loma apartment. Some of Peterson's real patients have since rushed to his defense, even mounting an online legal fund.

Some Peterson supporters travel in the same New Agey circles where you'll find proponents of crystals, ear coning and herbal colon cleansers to cure what ails you. Daniel's business is said to be part of a "Christian wellness" boom that similarly relies on dietary supplements, herbal formulas and diets inspired by Biblical descriptions.

Whoever's inspiring the consumption of these cures, they have one major thing in common: they are lightly regulated.

A Food and Drug Administration investigator's affidavit apparently states that at least three dozen people drank "C-Extract," Daniel's alternative to chemotherapy and other traditional cancer treatments. Some patients bypassed conventional therapies after undertaking Daniel's regimen, and eight people eventually succumbed to their cancers, prosecutors allege.

"These patients were told they were being cured, but they were being eaten alive by cancer," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Johns.

Some patients told the Wall Street Journal they turned to Daniel because she is a minister.

She could reportedly get up to 80 years if the charges stick.