Virginia Man Arrested for Selling Bogus Cancer Cure

doctor arrested

Many people are understandably desperate to find a solution for cancer – especially one that won’t cause awful side effects or, like chemotherapy, potentially worsen their illness. The sad reality is that many people are also desperate to make an easy buck, and have no qualms about ripping off people looking for hope. That was the case for one Virginia man, who was arrested July 25 for selling a ‘bogus cancer cure.’

Investigators say that Peter Adeniji, 67, posed as a medical professional and operated a fraudulent business charging cancer patients $1,200 for a single dose of an herbal mixture that Adeniji promised would heal them completely of cancer. The FBI is currently analyzing the mixture. [1]

Adeniji was arrested at his home in Manassas, Virginia. He had already been charged and convicted in the past for selling fake treatments in other parts of the state. Two of the patients who obtained Adeniji’s herbal “cure” later died. [2]

According to Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Doucette, authorities had considered filing a murder charge in one of those cases, but decided they couldn’t prove that the treatment was the proximate cause of the patient’s death. Ultimately, medical experts decided that the woman likely would have died no matter what treatment she had been given. [3]

Police suspect that Adeniji had more victims in the community, nationally, and possibly even internationally.

On Adeniji’s website, he states that he:

“has over 20 years of experience in the practice of naturopathic and holistic medicine…[and] has successfully treated and reversed several diseases including multiple sclerosis, inoperable brain tumors, multiple myeloma, lung cancer … breast tumors … congestive heart failure, prostate cancer.” [3]

Police spokeswoman Adrienne Helms said:

“In this particular case, knowing that Adeniji was discouraging other treatment options was sort of a red flag that we hope others are aware of and if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” [2]

Law enforcement seized medications, ingredients for the herbal mixtures, and $17,000 in cash. [3]

Adeniji was charged with obtaining money by false pretenses, money laundering, and dispensing drugs and operating a medical practice, both without a license. He’s currently being held without bond, and it’s not clear whether he has an attorney. [1]

Sara Goldberger, director of program for Cancer Support Community, said:

“People are looking for a cure, alleviating side effects or improving quality of life are a very vulnerable population. I would be especially cautious when someone is offering you a cure. People have to talk to their health care team about that. There are so many examples of ‘cures for cancer’ that have proven not to be the cure for cancer.” [3]


[1] The Associated Press

[2] NBC Washington