A Florida family accused of selling toxic industrial bleach through their online church as a counterfeit COVID-19 cure will stand trial in Miami this week.
According to court records, Mark Grenon, 65, and his sons, Jonathan, 37, Joseph, 35, and Jordan, 29, are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and deliver drugs under the wrong name.
The Grenons represent themselves but declined to make opening statements as the trial began on Monday, according to the Miami Herald. They pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors called the Grenons “scammers” and “snake oil dealers” and said the Bradenton family-owned Genesis II Church of Health and Healing sold their so-called “Miracle Mineral Solution” worth $1 million. Prosecutors said it was presented in videos as a cure for 95% of known diseases, including COVID-19, Alzheimer’s, autism, brain cancer, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis.
What the Grenons were selling was actually chlorine dioxide, officials said. When ingested, the solution turns into bleach, which is commonly used to treat textiles, process water, pulp and paper, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Authorities said it was the same as drinking bleach and could be fatal.
A Miami federal judge ordered the church to stop selling the substance in 2020, but the decision was ignored.
Jonathan and Jordan Grenon were arrested in Bradenton, south of the Tampa Bay area. Mark and Joseph Grenon fled to Colombia, where they were arrested and extradited back to the United States.