An ex-doctor and minister who hawked a miracle cancer cure via a program on the Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) was sentenced today to 14 years in federal prison because her “brown sludge'' was actually made of suntan lotion and beef flavoring. Besides TBN, Christine Daniel, 58, of Santa Clarita, also sold the phony cure through her “wellness center” with ever-changing names in Mission Hills.
In addition to the prison stretch, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Timlin, who remanded Daniel into custody following the four-hour hearing in Los Angeles, ordered her to forfeit nearly $1.2 million. When the then-licensed physician and ordained Pentecostal minister was arrested in LA in October 2009, she'd by then taken $1.1 million from 55 families over three years for her herbal “C-Extract.” At least six patients died over a six-month period.
As we reported at the time, Daniel appearing on TBN's Praise the Lord program was not her only Orange County connection.
She had privileges at Los Alamitos Medical Center, according to her official website.
Besides cancer, Daniel claimed C-Extract cured multiple sclerosis, strokes, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes and hepatitis, boasting a 60-80 percent success rate for the most advanced forms of cancer. Victims from around the country told Judge Timlin that Daniel instructed them to stop their chemotherapy and other traditional cancer treatments and pay her $5,000 instead for “C-Extract.” One patient who paid $13,000 died a few months later.
Many reportedly said they trusted Daniel because she was a minister. She reportedly played on that faith, according to her jaw-dropping court testimony related by City News Service: “In faith-based churches, there are a lot of people who won't go to doctors. They know in their hearts that what they are saying is not correct. They know the truth, and the Lord's going to deal with this.''
She can thank the Creator for this: the four counts of mail and wire fraud, six counts of tax evasion and one count of witness tampering she was found guilty of in September 2011 could have sent her away to prison for 80 years.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.