Washington sues man accused of marketing, selling fake COVID-19 vaccine
OLYMPIA, Wash – The State of Washington Friday filed a lawsuit against a business and its owner for selling a COVID-19 vaccine that wasn’t real.
According to the Attorney General Bob Ferguson, North Coast Biologics and owner Johnny Stine were first warned last month and the state sent a cease and desist letter.
The state accuses Stine of violating the Consumer Protection Act by making “unsupported claims about his supposed ‘vaccine’” and that he “administered it to dozens of Washingtonians without taking proper steps to evaluate its safety or effectiveness.”
The state says Stine sold and administered the vaccine to about 30 people for $400 each.
Ferguson says Stine started selling the vaccine on Facebook in early March, right as concerns about COVID-19 began to peak. He apparently claimed to have developed the vaccine in “half a day” and that he tested it on himself and became immune.
The state says Stine posted, “coronaviruses are easy as [expletive] to make a vaccine against.”
“Mr. Stine sold this so-called ‘vaccine’ to people in Washington who are frightened and more apt to look for a miracle cure in the midst of a worldwide pandemic,” Ferguson said in a news release. “This is not only morally wrong – it’s illegal.”
The state says the company describes itself as an “antibody discovery company”, but that its business license was dissolved in 2012.
The state wants the court to award civil penalties, restitution and attorney’s costs and fees.