In March of last year, as the pandemic was spreading across the world, televangelist Jim Bakker was marketing the "Silver Solution" as a treatment for COVID-19. On the "Jim Bakker Show," for example, the product was promoted as one that was "proven" to "kill any of these known viruses." Apparently, on eleven different episodes of Bakker's television program, Bakker offered to send the product to viewers in exchange for a contribution of $80 to $125.
Bakker's claims quickly got attention from regulators. For example, the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration send him a warning letter, telling him to stop making false claims about the efficacy of the Silver Solution. The New York Attorney general sent him a warning letter as well.
Last week, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that he reached a settlement with Jim Bakker and Morningside Church Productions (also known as the Jim Bakker Show Ministry), resolving a lawsuit that similarly alleged that Bakker falsely marketed the product as a cure for COVID-19. In addition to requiring Bakker to stop promoting the Silver Solution as a treatment for COVID-19, the settlement requires Bakker and his production company to pay $156,000 -- which includes $50,000 in civil penalties and $115,000 in restitution.
In a statement, AG Schmitt said, "Today I’m pleased to announce that the Missouri Attorney General’s Office has obtained a consent judgment against Jim Bakker and Morningside Church Productions that results in $156,000 in restitution and strong safeguards to prevent the marketing of ‘silver solution’ as a cure or treatment for COVID and other medical issues. My Office will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of Missouri consumers, and will not hesitate to take action when those consumers are being defrauded."
"My Office will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of Missouri consumers, and will not hesitate to take action when those consumers are being defrauded" -- Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt