A professional arm wrestler has been arrested over accusations that he was selling a phony health product marketed as a cure for cancer.
"The Answer to Cancer is known," Vale states on his website, which features videos of him arm wrestling and stories from his struggles with numerous ailments over the years.
On Wednesday, Vale and his mother, Barbara Vale, were arrested by police in Queens, NY., on the basis of a 15-page complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Court documents state that the pair charged $250 for three-pound orders of apricot seeds, which they claimed had the ability to eliminate cancer cells. The concept stems from the belief that amygdalin (also known as laetrile), a chemical compound found in the pits of fruits like apricots, cherries, plums and peaches, can be used as a medical remedy.
It's also the reason the Vales insisted their products contained cancer-curing remedies. Despite the fact that the National Cancer Institute states there is no evidence proving amygdalin is an effective cancer treatment, the pair's website praises the substances as a highly beneficial treatment, in addition to claiming it can help reduce pain and lower high blood pressure.
In 2003, Jason Vale was arrested for making similar claims about the benefits of amygdalin, which led a criminal conviction and a 63-month jail sentence. Still, he continued to promote the apricot seeds as a cancer cure, launching the "Apricots from God" website with his mother in 2013.
"When I ate the seeds, my tumor shrunk down and when I stopped eating the seeds the tumor grew," he said in a 2016 interview with The Verge.
Vale's website made similar statements, including that they had seen a 90 percent success rate with their product. The "Apricots from God" website also features numerous testimonials from customers, many of which are written in Vale's words.
"In 6 weeks he was completely CURED," Vale writes of one man, Vin Lidge, who he claims used the seeds to treat the "most aggressive of testicular cancers."
Court documents state that Vale and his mother collected more than $850,000 in payments over the course of the past seven years. Those sales led to FDA investigators starting a case against them, including making "undercover purchases" from the website starting last year.
The Vales have yet to appear before a judge, during which time the full list of accusations against them will be outlined. As of now, any formal charges against them are not listed in the court documents.