Probation for ‘virus shut out’ salesman

Crime

A judge’s gavel is shown in a file photo. (Credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus)

BOSTON (SHNS) – A Quincy man was sentenced to a year of probation Wednesday for selling lanyards that he falsely claimed would protect buyers against viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jiule Lin, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution and sale of an unregistered pesticide.

Federal prosecutors said Lin began advertising card-shaped devices to be worn as a lanyard on eBay in March 2020 with “the explicit claim that the product would protect the buyer or wearer of the product from viruses or bacteria, stating that the product’s main ingredient was chlorine dioxide and showed images of the device’s purported removal of bacteria, germs, and viruses.”

The product, Toamit Virus Shut Out, was on the radar of federal authorities throughout 2020 and Lin is not the first person sentenced for selling the products.

“The shut out devices claim efficacy against Coronavirus strains and often contain the hazardous pesticide Chlorine Dioxide, a pesticide that can leech into the skin on contact, cause breathing issues, and lead to additional health concerns for the wearer. The shutout devices often lead to a false sense of security and in no way protects the bearer from the Coronavirus,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection wrote in a September press release announcing it had seized 10,000 of the lanyards.

In addition to one year of probation, Lin was fined $1,500.

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