Doctor who duped $1m out of patients jailed for 14 years – claims she can cure cancer


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

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.

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.’

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