TERMINAL cancer patient Jean McKinney thought her prayers had been answered when she found Dr. Christine Daniel and her magical miracle cure, but Jean’s faith in the fraudulent physician ended up with the California woman’s death and her heartbroken family bankrupt.
And Jean was just one of 55 victims that Dr. Daniel duped out of more than $1 million.
“The scope of Daniel’s fraud was breathtaking,” declared Andre Birotte Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. “She robbed victims of more than money. She also stole their hopes and dreams for a cure.”
DR. Daniel preyed on people like Jean, who was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 1998. Five years later, after undergoing surgery and chemo, doctors told her there was nothing more they could do.
That’s when she and her husband of 47 years, George, a San Diego minister, heard about Dr. Daniel and her miracle cure – a cancer-killing concoction of “herbs” she said came from Africa and the rainforests of South America.
Dr. Daniel claimed the herbal remedy could beat even late-stage cancers like Jean’s, but the price was steep: $100,000. Desperate to save his wife, George took out loans and borrowed money from friends.
Despite adhering to Dr. Daniel’s regimen, Jean died in June 2004 at the age of 69. Not long after her death, George learned the horrifying truth – the “herbs” that Dr. Daniel had given his wife were nothing more than a mix of sunscreen preservatives, beef extract flavoring and drug store vitamins.
“It was all a hoax, a wicked, evil sham,” George, 80, told The ENQUIRER. “She told us that in my wife’s case, she had seen patients of this severity that had been cured.”
George says he and Jean had no reason to suspect that Dr. Daniel was scamming them. The Nigerian-born physician had obtained a medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School and had practiced medicine for 26 years. She ran a clinic, the Sonrise Wellness Center in Mission Hills, Calif., and was even an ordained minister!
“It was not as if she was a bogus doctor,” said George. “I saw her medical degree. I saw her church ordination papers, and she was a member of a church of a friend. We had great faith in her.”
Sadly, Jean was not the only victim of the duplicitous doctor, who on May 17 was sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered to pay back the money she scammed. Dr. Daniel, 58, continues to maintain her innocence and plans to appeal.
But prosecutor Birotte said: “Daniel is responsible for a shockingly coldhearted fraud that has brought her a richly deserved federal prison sentence.”