Man sentenced to 15 months in prison for posting COVID hoax online that grocery items are infected

Dunya News (web desk) - Christopher Charles Perez who had spread a COVID-19 scam that he had paid someone infected with COVID-19 to lick items at a grocery store in San Antonio to scare people away on Facebook last year has been sentenced to 15 months in prison.

The man was charged for two offences i.e false information and hoaxes related to biological weapons, the Justice Department declared.

40-year-old Perez posted two false threatening messages on Facebook, claiming he paid someone infected with COVID-19 to lick items at a grocery store in San Antonio to scare people away, authorities said.

After further investigation, it was determined Perez’s threat was false and he did not pay anyone to intentionally spread COVID-19.
Perez also confessed that his post was false.

"Those who would threaten to use COVID-19 as a weapon against others will be held accountable for their actions, even if the threat was a hoax," FBI, San Antonio Division Special Agent said in a statement.

In addition to his 15-month sentence, Perez was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

Facebook said, it had deleted over 20 million false posts and shut down the accounts of 3,000 repeat offenders. It had also put warning labels on 190 million questionable posts and promoted factual vaccine information only.