Va. man guilty in fraud scheme; claimed he was developing AIDS treatment

A hyperbaric chamber.

A hyperbaric chamber.

RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia man has been found guilty of defrauding investors through a project purportedly developing a treatment for the virus that causes AIDS.

A hyperbaric chamber.

The government says Michael F. Harris, 49, of Luray, Va., was convicted Monday in U.S. District Court of bilking investors out of more than $700,000. The convictions on mail, wire and securities fraud followed a five-day jury trial in Richmond.

U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said Harris used investors’ money to travel the world and improve his home and farm.

Harris promoted a treatment for HIV/AIDS that used hyperbaric chambers, which he said inhibited the virus. The chambers are used to treat divers for decompression sickness, or the bends.

Harris is scheduled to be sentenced on June 11. He faces up to 90 years in prison.

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