Man Accused Of Bilking Gays With Fake AIDS Drug
Posted by pozlife on April 3, 2008
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: April 3, 2008 – 3:00 pm ET
(St. Petersburg, Florida) A Florida man has been charged with fraud and misrepresenting himself as a health care professional over the treatment of people with HIV/AIDS and the sale of what police say was a phony drug.
Investigators say that Wesley Perry promoted himself and his AIDS drug, which he called APEX, at area gay bars and LGBT events.
The indictment against Perry says that he created two corporations, Thrift International and Health Education and Safety First to bilk the public.
According to the police complaint Perry, 56, is a former Certified Nursing Assistant but currently does not hold any medical certifications or licenses.
Nevertheless, police allege, Perry regularly provided AIDS and HIV testing and counseling to clients. It is not known if blood tests were ever actually sent to an accredited lab for testing.
He promoted APEX to patients claiming the drug would cure HIV/AIDS cancer, and diabetes. He also allegedly told people who had HIV/AIDS to stop taking their meds while taking APEX.
Perry allegedly sold APEX for $450 for a 3-month supply.
After receiving a complaint by a suspicious client police set up a sting operation.
On four occasions Perry sold APEX to undercover officers, telling them that after taking the drug for a period of 120 days they would be cured of HIV and that the result would be verified by an HIV test.
Detectives said it was one of the worst scams they had ever seen.
“I would characterize him as being a snake oil salesman. He was peddling his wares to desperate people who were hoping he was going to help them and he wasn’t,” St. Petersburg Police spokesperson Bill Proffitt told WTVT-television news.
“He’s a con man. He’s selling them something that’s not real and that’s the kind of people you want to get off the street. People in that condition, they’re desperate. They don’t know who to turn to and then he takes advantage of them,” said Proffitt.
Ann Sherman-White of the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas said she is glad the scam has been halted.
“My heart bleeds and I am so upset when I hear of acts like this. Unfortunately, there are people who will take advantage of folks that are dying – at the end of life – that are experiencing issues that contribute to end of life and people take advantage of it,” she told WTVT.