LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles doctor was sentenced Friday to 14 years in federal prison for bilking patients out of more than $1 million by promising them that an herbal supplement she hawked could cure late-stage cancer and other diseases.
U.S. District Judge Robert Timilin also ordered Dr. Christine Daniel to forfeit $1,277,083.
Daniel, 58, was found guilty of 11 counts, including wire fraud, tax evasion and witness tampering in September 2011.
She enticed patients to take her herbal product and charged them as much as $100,000 for a six-month treatment program that she claimed could cure cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis, authorities said.
Some of her patients, however, died from complications of cancer within three to six months after taking the supplement. In one case, prosecutors contend a 22-year-old woman who had a highly curable form of neck lymphoma died because she relied on Daniel’s recommendation to avoid radiation or chemotherapy treatments.
“The scope of Daniel’s fraud was breathtaking,” U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said in a statement after Daniel was sentenced. “Daniel robbed victims of more than money — she also stole their hopes and dreams for a cure. Daniel is responsible for a shockingly cold-hearted fraud that has brought her a richly deserved federal prison sentence.”
Prosecutors sought a 27-year prison term, while Daniel’s attorney argued that nearly six years behind bars was more appropriate.