A doctor-minister who plied her congregation with phony cancer cures was found guilty of multiple federal charges and faces up to 150 years in prison and $5.5 million in fines.
Christine Daniel, 57, who operated the Sonrise Clinic in Mission Hills, was convicted of four courts of mail fraud and wire fraud and six counts of tax evasion, as well as one count of witness- tampering.
Daniel is scheduled to be sentenced on December 5.
During her trial, dozens of victims or family members of victims who died while taking her products testified against Daniel. Many of them were in tears as they told of the loss of their loved ones who thought they were receiving valid treatment for cancer or alzheimer's.
Prosecutors said Daniel offered bogus cures that consisted of sunscreen preservatives and beef extract.
“This is the most egregious fraud case I’ve seen,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph O. Johns, who prosecuted the case. “In addition to giving them false hope and stealing their money, she also stole their time,” Johns said.
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Daniel flogged her phony treatments in a program aired on the Trinity Broadcasting Network and claimed she had a 60% to 100% cure rate.
She charged her customers more than $4,200 a week for the product, claiming the high price was justified because it was made from herbs from around the world.
More than 50 people paid her for the “cure” including one woman with breast cancer whom she told that chemotherapy would not help. The woman died four months later.
Prosecutors also presented evidence that Daniel claimed to be operating a “nonprofit organization” and she instructed her patients to classify their medical payments as “donations.”
She was convicted of failing to report more than a million dollars in corporate income from 2002 to 2004 or more than $438,000 in taxable personal income.
Daniel, who is from Nigeria, is an ordained Pentecostal minister with a medical degree from Temple University in Philadelphia.
Aside from a maximum sentence of 150 years in federal prison, Daniel is facing fines of up to $5.5 million dollars.