Who is the stem cell fugitive?
When I was a kid I loved re-runs of that program The Fugitive. I always knew that Dr. Richard Kimble was innocent. Then in 1993 Harrison Ford starred in a movie based on the TV show, which was a fun one.
Now we have a real life fugitive story involving stem cells, but the innocence or guilt of the party on the run in this case, Dr. Lawrence Stowe, remains to be determined. (2020 update: we have more stem cell fugitives including the Morrows.)
The FBI is becoming more and more active in pursuing the purveyors of dubious stem cell treatments. Their latest action was a collection of federal indictments and arrests on charges based on stem cells, including charges against Stowe who the FBI says “is considered a fugitive”
The indictment reads in part:
The indictment further alleges that Stowe marketed, promoted and sold stem cells along with other drug and biological products for the treatment of cancer, ALS, MS and Parkinson’s Disease that had not been reviewed or approved by the FDA. Stowe operated several entities, including The Stowe Foundation and Stowe Biotherapy Inc., through which he allegedly marketed and sold these products.
Who is Lawrence Stowe and what is going on?
According to Wikipedia, Stowe is “an unlicensed medical practitioner”. He ran Stowe Biotherapy and the Stowe Foundation (website here, which is still up) here in California down in La Mesa. He offered treatments for a number of incurable diseases including ALS. Interestingly, Stowe’s expertise is not even in biology at all, but is rather in chemical engineering and petroleum chemistry.
Stowe and his partner, “Dr.” Frank Morales, who was also indicted by the FBI, were the subjects of a 60 Minutes expose on dubious stem cell treatments in 2010.
An important question is how folks likes Morales and Stowe were connected with the patients that they allegedly treated with stem cells in an illegal fashion.
Some of the patients undoubtedly found Morales and Stowe on their own via Google searches or Google Ads (search ‘stem cells’ or ‘stem cell treatments’ on Google and you’ll see all kinds of unusual ads pop up on the side), while others likely were directed to them via stem cell facilitators, operators who make money by acting as the middle men.
Who are these facilitators? At this point the answer is unclear, but certainly the FBI is on their trail too.
From what I hear, there are likely more indictments coming on stem cell charges and some may even already be in the works, but have not been made public yet.
If you are a purveyor of dubious stem cell treatments or a facilitator who connects patients with fake doctors to make money, you should be running scared at this point and shutting down your operation. The FBI likely has you in its crosshairs and the national media is not far behind. Want to spend time in federal prison? Shut down asap!