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SF father, son who claimed inventing wearable COVID-19 detector accused of fraud

A new study of long covid
A new study of long COVID 05:51

SAN FRANCISCO – A father and son were charged Tuesday in a federal indictment for conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and false statements in connection with investment schemes and with a loan application to a federal pandemic relief program, according to an announcement from U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds and the FBI.

Prosecutors said Santos Rene Soto (Santos), 59, and his son Santos Moises Soto III (Saints), 39, both of San Francisco, were engaged in multiple frauds involving Golden Spear LLC, an artificial intelligence technology company purportedly based in San Francisco and Barcelona, Spain.

According to the indictment, GoldenSpear offered clothing retailers an "A.I. Fashion Assistant" that used "visual and textual algorithms" to help retailers identify specific fashion brands and clothing that their customers might want to purchase.

The indictment describes that from 2017 to March 2020, Saints raised investment funds by falsely representing to potential investors that GoldenSpear had entered into contracts with, or discussed investments or acquisitions by, numerous established business entities.

Prosecutors said the pair moved onto a new scheme during the pandemic in early 2020, when Saints and Santos began raising investment funds for a new subsidiary of GoldenSpear named "AI Health." Saints and Santos informed potential investors that AI Health created a wearable device that detected the COVID-19 virus in its wearer. Saints and Santos allegedly made numerous representations to potential investors, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The indictment lastly alleges that Saints and Santos defrauded the Paycheck Protection Program, a federal government pandemic relief program.

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