May 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Stem cell frauds Morales and Stowe plead guilty to federal charges: who’s next?

FBIFrancisco Morales and Lawrence Stowe, have pleaded guilty to federal charges related to dubious stem cell treatments.

The pair pled guilty to conspiracy charges related to introducing “misbranded and unapproved new drugs into interstate commerce”. The drugs in question?

Stem cells.

Patrick J. Holland of the FDA said “the FDA is committed to investigating those who ‘prey on the sick and vulnerable with phony medical treatments”.

Why do the names Morales and Stowe sound familiar?

The pair were indicted late last year on charges alleging they defraud patients out of $1.5 million for phony stem cell treatments. Stowe took off and was for a time a federally wanted fugitive. The stem cell fugitive!

The pair, with Morales posing as “Dr. Frank Morales” were the subjects of a 60 Minutes expose on dubious stem cell treatments in 2010. The pleas today raise the question of whether the subject of 60 Minutes’ more recent stem cell sting, Dan Ecklund, may be concerned about a visit from the FBI himself, although apparently he has left the country shortly after the 60 Minutes episode focused on him.