Queens arm wrestling champ busted again selling apricot seeds as cancer cure
An ex-champion arm wrestler from Queens who’s done time for peddling apricot seeds as a cancer cure was busted again Wednesday — after prosecutors said he was up to his old tricks.
Jason Vale, 51, was arrested at his mother’s Bellerose home for allegedly hawking the toxic “cure” online, in violation of a Brooklyn federal judge’s order from 2000 telling him to cut it out.
Vale — who won city, state and national arm wrestling titles throughout the 1980s and ’90s — was sentenced to five years in jail in 2003 for violating an injunction barring him from selling the pits.
But the seed slinger just couldn’t give it up, and in 2013 began hawking the bogus cure again, according to a criminal complaint.
A devout Christian, Vale allegedly operates the website “Apricotsfromgod.info” where he preaches about the healing powers of the fruit seeds.
He credits Vitamin B17 and laetrile, the compound found in the seeds, with curing him of terminal cancer — twice.
“THE SEED,” the website proclaims. “Tens of thousands know the answer to cancer, and do not fear the disease, myself included.”
The US Food and Drug Administration considers the “cure” a fraud, warning that not only are the seeds not a proven cure, they contain dangerous amounts of cyanide.
Between Jan. 2013 and Sept. 2019, Vale and his mom Barbara, 77, made more than $850,000 in sales of the supposedly-healing seeds, the complaint states.
They collected $295, plus $27.75 for shipping, in exchange for three pounds of seeds, three bottles of vitamins and a DVD about the “cure,” the court docs state.
When law enforcement officials went to arrest the mother-son pair Wednesday, they said they found several drums filled with hazardous liquid.
Vale was taken to the hospital following his arrest, though prosecutors wouldn’t say why. His mom was expected to be arraigned Wednesday.
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