Feds investigate tri-county man for “fraudulent coronavirus cures”

FORT  DAVIS — Federal authorities on Tuesday filed a temporary restraining order against a Ft. Davis man for allegedly selling bunk coronavirus medicine.

Authorities accused Marc “White Eagle” Travalino, 73, of fraud for selling unproven cures and treatments for coronavirus. Travalino continued selling the products after he was warned to stop, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Texas stated in a news release Tuesday.

“Peddling bogus COVID-19 cures to fellow citizens is illegal and immoral,” U.S. Attorney John Bash said in the news release. The FBI and the Food and Drug Administration are investigating the situation.

In court filings, authorities said Travalino allegedly told an agent his products “had to be taken every day” and “were 100 percent pure” but allegedly said he “did not need to conduct an exam on the patient.”

Travalino faces charges of alleged wire and mail fraud. He has a court date scheduled for next week at a federal court in Midland.

In May, the FDA sent Travalino a letter warning him his ware were “misleadingly represented as safe and/or effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.” Among them were “Shar Mar Formula,” a product Travalino advertised could eradicate coronavirus, according to the complaint letter and “Kolon Kleen,” which he said “works against Corona Virus [sic].”

That same month, Travalino also allegedly made guarantees to “an undercover special agent that his hospitalized grandmother would not die from COVID-19” if given his products, according to the news release from the U.S. attorney’s office. He allegedly continued selling products “almost a week after he was warned to stop.”

As a result of the alleged fraud, feds said they would “shutter Travalino’s website immediately.” At press time on Wednesday, Travalino’s website was still up, but references to coronavirus were no longer included in some of the product descriptions.

On his website, Travalino describes himself as a “medicine and shaman” who was “not taught the traditional way by other Native medicine people but rather received his ‘spiritual gifts’ direct from the Great Spirit at a very young age.” Among the ailments he claims to have cured are: blindness, leprosy, the black plague, flesh-eating bacteria and “cancers.”

In a phone interview Wednesday morning, Travalino said he had been a “natural medicine man for many years” and that “a lot of people” have recovered from using his products.

“They’re terming herbs, natural holistic medicine, as drugs,” Travalino said of the charges against him.